Charles Ranson (copy)

SafeRack employee Charles Ranson inspects a staircase manufactured in Andrews. Much of the factory's work, like manufacturing parts for staircases and raised platforms, is automated, and workers handle final assembly. File/Wade Spees/Staff

You’re seeing the Post and Courier's twice weekly business newsletter. Get all the openings, closings, and the business stories that are shaping Charleston and South Carolina here.


Good afternoon. Have you been on the lookout for a restaurant to fill that Hominy Grill-sized hole in your downtown dining routine? According to our restaurant critic, you'll find that in VIP Bistro on Meeting Street. 

THE ONE TO WATCH: How automation could change SC

Automation will likely widen the existing disparities between urban cores and rural areas, a new study from the McKinsey Global Institute found. In the next decade, that will likely spell job growth in places like Charleston but net job losses in some of South Carolina's struggling rural counties. 

The report, which analyzed more than 3,000 U.S. counties and 315 cities, found that rural and urban America are "on sharply different paths." Municipalities were classified into 13 different archetypes based on qualities like economic health, industry mix and labor force demographics.

Charleston was one of 11 cities categorized a "small powerhouse." Other cities in the category include Boise, Idaho; Fort Collins, Colo. and Reno, Nev. These "powerhouses" had the fastest economic growth rates and second-highest rates of net migration across the various archetypes. 

Columbia was classified among places like Cincinnati and St. Louis as a "stable city." Greenville and Spartanburg were named among the manufacturing hubs designated as "America's makers." Both categories represent communities that are "neither thriving nor in distress," with slower growth and slightly higher unemployment than thriving metros like Charlotte.

According to the study, a small powerhouse like Charleston will fare the best in South Carolina, with projected 15% job growth by 2030, likely fueled by the tech industry. Stable cities should still see some growth, but distressed counties will likely see losses.

Except for Florence (described as a "trailing" city) and Myrtle Beach and Hilton Head Island ("silver" cities with aging populations), the rest of the South Carolina areas categorized in the study were either "Americana" or "distressed Americana." These primarily rural areas have older populations, higher unemployment and below-average educational attainment.

There are 16 S.C. areas in the Americana category, including Aiken, Georgetown and Sumter counties. Abbeville, Colleton and Orangeburg were among the state's 17 counties the study considered "distressed."

Jobs with the highest projected displacement rates include cooks (47%), accounting and auditing clerks (49%), secretaries and administrative assistants (30%), cashiers (24%) and retail salespeople (23%). 


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OPENINGS AND CLOSINGS:

  • ChuckTown Seafood Cafe moved to a larger North Charleston location. 
  • A Latin and Asian fusion restaurant, Dashi, opened on Remount Road
  • A new hemp product shop, CBD Social, is open on upper King Street
  • Handcraft Kitchen & Cocktails of NYC is now open in Mount Pleasant. 
  • The new Page's Okra Grill coming to Summerville will have a roomier kitchen, large bathrooms and a takeout counter selling chicken dinners.

OTHER STUFF YOU SHOULD KNOW: 

  • An average of 248 opioid pills per person were distributed in Charleston County, the highest rate of any county in the nation. (Post and Courier)
  • An analysis of DEA data from 2006 through 2012 shows that 76 billion opioid pills were distributed in the U.S. during that time. (Washington Post)
  • Boeing has hired the same lawyer who managed payments to victims in the 9/11 attacks, Boston Marathon bombing and BP oil spill to distribute $50 million to families of the 737 Max crash victims. (Business Insider)
  • The Charleston Tech Center broke ground on Morrison Drive. It's one of the first developments under a new Opportunity Zone. (Post and Courier)
  • Demolition of the former State Ports Authority headquarters is underway. A new 225-room waterfront hotel will take its place. (Post and Courier)

SOUND SMART AT WORK:

International African American Museum (copy)

Landscape architect Walter Hood (tan suit) explains landscape design of the African Ancestors Memorial Garden, at the soon to be built International African American Museum, will complement the structure. File/Brad Nettles/Staff

We're starting a weekly newsletter about the business stories that are shaping Charleston and South Carolina. Get ahead with us - it's free.


"Hey boss, did you know former Charleston Mayor Joe Riley first announced plans to build an African American museum in a speech in 2000?"

After almost two decades of planning and fundraising, the International African American Museum reached a major milestone Tuesday when City Council approved $60.2 million worth of contracts that it needs to break ground.

HIRES AND PROMOTIONS:

  • Lt. Col. Rachel Honderd, who began her service career in S.C., assumed command of the Charleston office of the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers.  
  • Jarmalar Logan is now principal of Jane Edwards Elementary School. 
  • Ron Lewis is now an orthopedic surgeon at Summerville Medical Center.
  • The manager of the Riverdogs' Riley Park Club is Maddie Grace Smith
  • Beverly Cowart was promoted to senior vice president of human resources at the S.C. State Ports Authority. 

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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 employment. She also writes the Business Headlines newsletter, which is published twice a week. Before moving to Charleston, her byline appeared in The Boston Globe.