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State Resources

South Carolina Business Resources

South Carolina was primarily an agricultural state until the 20th century. Cotton has historically been South Carolina’s main cash crop. Today, the state also grows a substantial amount of tobacco and soybeans. These agricultural products also form the foundation of the state’s manufacturing sector. The clothing and textile industries rely on the cotton grown in the state. Lumbering and the manufacturing of paper and pulp rely on the forestlands that are found in the state.

Apart from manufacturing and agriculture, tourism and the military play a big role in the economy. Tourism is now the chief source of income for the state. U.S. military bases and nuclear facilities are more important to the local economies where they reside. These facilities include Fort Jackson in Columbia, the Marine Corps at Parris Island and Beaufort, and air force bases in Sumter and Charleston.

Business Data

Per Capita Real GDP$29,642 Rank: 45/50 (2006)
Population4,012,010 Rank: 26/50 (2000)
Per Capita Personal Income$29,515 Rank: 45/50 (2006)
Unemployment Rate6.10% Rank: 48/50 (2008)
Business Tax Climate IndexRank: 26/50 (2008)
Corporate Tax Rate5%
Individual Tax Rate 0% - 7%
Sales Tax Rate 6%

Business Tax Climate Index

Individual Income Tax Index Rank27
Sales Tax Index Rank18
Unemployment Insurance Tax Index Rank43
Property Tax Index Rank29
Business Tax Climate Index26
Corporate Tax Index Rank11

State Information

Nick NamePalmetto State
State Web Site
MottoWhile I breathe, I hope

Top 5 Export Partner Countries

Canada, Germany, Mexico, United Kingdom, China

Top 5 Export Merchandise

Transportation Equipment Sales Chemicals Sales Computers and Electronic Products Manufacturing Primary Metals Manufacturing Transportation Equipment Manufacturing

Major Cities

Charleston, Columbia, North Charleston


Total Gross Domestic Product (USD Millions) $152,830.00 (2007)
Per Capita Real GDP (USD)$28,894.00 Rank: 47 (2007

Population Stats

Population 4,479,800 Rank: 24 (2008)

Age Distribution

Under 18 Population1,009,640
Under 18 Percent of Total Population25%
65 and older Population485,333
65 and older Percent of Total Population12%

Gender Distribution

Male Population48.6%
Female Population51.4%
Non-English Speaker (at home)159,704
Net International Immigration36,401
Birth Rate13.5%
Percent of People Under Poverty Level15.6%


Per Capita State Spending$3,398
Energy Expenditures per Person$4,010
Expenditures of State and Local Government Employee-Retirement Systems$1,903,081


Personal Income$49,238
State Internal Revenue Collection$20,499,446
Cash and Deposits by State Government$3,090,830
Per Capita State Tax Collection$1,808


High School Graduation Rate56.5%
Percent of Population with a Bachelor's Degree14.9%
Percent of Population with an Advanced Degree7.9%

Largest Universities

University of South Carolina, Columbia Clemson University College of Charleston
High School Graduation Rate56.5%


Public Road Length (Mile)66,242
Gas Tax Rate (%)16%
Highway Planning and Construction (USD Thousands)524,163
Number of Public Airports68

Main Airports

CAE: Columbia CHS: Charleston GSP: Greenville Spartanburg





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State Business Links

The State

Secretary of State

South Carolina Secretary of State
Your one-stop site for accessing and filing information with the South Carolina Secretary of State's Office.

Small Business Administration

South carolina Small Business Administration
Whether you're a start-up entrepreneur, an established business owner or just thinking about going into business for yourself, the SBA South Carolina District Office is here to help. Our staff can answer any questions you have about our programs and services or refer you to the appropriate counselor or other institution/agency. We also have a variety of small business publications and materials available. Our office hours are 8:00-4:30 Monday through Friday. No appointments are necessary for general inquiries. We can also answer questions by phone and mail out SBA information packages containing the Small Business Resource Guide and any other materials pertaining to specific requests.

Top 10 Business Links

Frank L. Roddey Small Business Development Center of South Carolina
The Frank L. Roddey SBDC aims to provide SMBs with the assistance they need to compete both nationally and globally. It offers general and specialized consulting, employee development services, and communication facilities for engaging in videoconferencing. It is located in 14 different locations across South Carolina, and its website contains a list of online, topic-specific resources.
New Carolina
New Carolina is an alliance, between the public and private sectors, that aims to foster economic competitiveness in the state. It has created several specialized clusters that state businesses can join to engage in efforts to boost both efficiency and innovation within individual industries. New Carolina also drives numerous initiatives to create a direction for businesses who wish to foster economic development in South Carolina.
North Eastern Strategic Alliance (NESA)
NESA is an organization that aims to enhance quality of life in Northeast South Carolina through capital investment and the creation of jobs. The alliance creates job opportunities through several project collaborations. Its website contains demographical information, as well as interactive maps, for the counties that it represents.
South Carolina Business One Stop
The SCBOS website is a cooperative project, between the public and private sectors, that facilitates the process of starting a business in South Carolina. Aside from licensing and registration, it also contains information on areas such as funding for start-ups, and a list of external resources.
South Carolina Department of Commerce
The Department of Commerce is a one-stop resource for doing business in South Carolina. It provides a variety of information, including grants, state tax incentives, and economic information. The agency also offers assistance, in the form of business and product development, international expansion, and employee training.
South Carolina Women’s Business Center (SCWBC)
The SCWBC is a collaborative project dedicated primarily to helping women-owned businesses. It provides a wide range of services, including strategic planning, advising for finance and computing systems, and productivity improvements. They also have a mentoring program to guide budding entrepreneurs in starting a business.
University of South Carolina CIBER
The CIBER at USC is a research organization tasked with facilitating international trade for American businesses. It conducts several outreach programs to teach and promote international business amongst both faculty and local businesses. Its website contains links to various research internal and external research projects.
USC businessLINK
This is a collaborative effort between five of USC’s research divisions that is dedicated to providing assistance to business and economic development communities. The project offers an extensive list of services that ranges from start-up assistance, problem resolution, and product licensing.

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