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22 Charleston-area companies make list of fastest-growing firms in the U.S.

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Sean Flood heads out of the office of Gotcha, a Charleston company that offers bikes, scooters and electric vehicles as an alternate form of transportation. The company is No. 277 on this year's Inc. 5,000 list of the fastest-growing privately held companies. File/Sylvia Jarrus/Staff

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THE ONE TO WATCH:  These SC firms are among the fastest-growing in the U.S.

Inc. Magazine released its annual guide to the 5,000 fastest-growing privately held companies in the U.S., and 56 South Carolina firms — 22 of which are in the Charleston area — made the cut, up slightly from 54 last year. 

Factorial Digital, a Mount Pleasant-based firm that provides digital marketing services to other businesses, was the highest-ranked company in the state at No. 269. Over the last three years, it grew by 1,627%, according to the list. The company also has offices in New York City and brought in $2.7 million in revenue last year.

Just behind it is Gotcha, an e-mobility company that has its offices on Radcliffe St. in downtown Charleston. Gotcha has been growing rapidly, surpassing 100 new partnerships — most with universities and colleges — in the first six months of the year. The company recently hired its 120th employee and is on the lookout for a larger office space. 

Of the 10 highest-ranking S.C. firms on the list, half are in the tri-county area.   

Factorial Digital is the youngest company of the state's top 10, along with Healthy Human, a retailer that produces sustainable water bottles, tumblers and straws. Both were founded in 2015 and have offices in Mount Pleasant. 

Gotcha was one of just two South Carolina firms to make the state's top 10 on the Inc. list both in 2018 and 2019. The company ranked third among South Carolina firms last year but held a higher spot on the overall list.

Clear Touch, a Greenville company that produces interactive tech for classrooms and businesses, continued to grow this year, too, though at a slower rate. It ranked 10th among Palmetto State firms and had a 496 percent growth rate, compared to more than 1,000 percent last year. 

Parrish & Partners, a Columbia-based engineering firm, outranked every other S.C. company in 2018 with a growth rate of more than 3,400 percent and a ranking of No. 114. This year, the firm dropped to 880. UCW Logistics out of Greenville fell from second in the state and No. 126 on the list to No. 1164.

Meanwhile, Grand Strand-headquartered Anson Belt & Buckle has climbed up the rankings after making its first-ever appearance on the Inc. 5000 list last year. The maker of holeless, "micro-adjustable" belts jumped from No. 1,084 on the list to No. 589, also ranking it sixth among South Carolina firms.

The company, which was founded in 2009, has been buoyed by the growth of e-commerce. It's seen 754 percent growth over the last three years, and revenue rose from $2.7 million in 2017 to $4.1 million last year. 

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  • An opening date has been set for East Side restaurant Big Bad Breakfast.
  • Breakfast and lunch spot Bacon Station is now open in Mount Pleasant.
  • Holy City Magic celebrates its grand opening this weekend on John St.
  • Cosmetics shop Lush, which closed its downtown Charleston location last week, will be opening a new store in Mount Pleasant Towne Centre
  • Two more Parker’s convenience stores will open in the area this month.
  • The Charleston Pride-sponsored Closet Case Thrift store is now open


  • A racial discrimination lawsuit filed by a Boeing S.C. employee who said co-workers placed a noose at his desk was dismissed. (Post and Courier)
  • Buoyed by falling interest rates and a healthy job market, area home sales bounced back last month after slipping in June. (Post and Courier)
  • Mount Pleasant finalized its short-term rental rules. The number of units will be capped at 1 percent of the town's total dwellings. (Post and Courier)
  • Food delivery apps like Uber Eats, DoorDash and Grubhub — all of which operate in Charleston — are reshaping the restaurant industry. (NYT)
  • The global economy is weakening; financial markets are flashing warning signs.Is the U.S. economy nearing a recession? (Associated Press)


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There are about 4,900 hotel rooms on the Charleston peninsula, and around another 2,600 rooms could be in the pipeline. File/Grace Beahm Alford/Staff

"Hey boss, did you know there are about 4,900 hotel rooms on the Charleston peninsula now, and around 2,600 more potentially in the pipeline?"

If you've been wondering what the BZA-Z is or why people are talking about an "overconcentration of hotels on the peninsula," listen to this week's episode of Understand SC where we break down the details of Charleston's hotel boom.


  • Lenny Russo was named corporate director of food and beverage operations for Rutledge Cab Co., Harold's Cabin and Container Bar. Russo, who's coming from Minnesota, isn't planning major changes
  • Phil Hallstedt has joined Gotcha as director of mobility partnerships. The firm is growing quickly, particularly through partnerships with colleges. 
  • Spencer Pryor is now the Charleston County Aviation Authority's chief communications officer. Previously, he was a public information officer for the North Charleston Police Department. 

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Reach Emily Williams at 843-937-5553. Follow her on Twitter @emilye_williams.

Emily Williams is a business reporter at The Post and Courier, covering tourism and aerospace. She also writes the Business Headlines newsletter and co-hosts the weekly news podcast Understand SC.

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