When the recession hit the U.S. in 2008, the South took most of the punishing blows. States like Florida, Georgia, and Alabama suffered from high economic insecurity, putting their residents in a very precarious financial position. Other Southern states such as Louisiana and South Carolina were also badly hit.
Several years later, some of these states would be among those that recovered the most from the worst economic shock since the 1930s. South Carolina, for instance, ranked third for pulling its unemployment rate below nine percent. The addition of more jobs and reduction of layoffs became instrumental to its eventual recovery.
Today, the unemployment rate continues to drop while business confidence continues to go up. Kristy Rupon of The State reports:
South Carolina’s jobless rate plunged to a six-year low of 5.5 percent in March, far below its high of 11.9 percent in December 2009.
While nearly every industry saw improvement, construction, manufacturing and leisure and hospitality have had the biggest gains since March 2013.
Senior economist Mark Vitner, interviewed by The State, is bullish about the outlook. He says South Carolina’s economy is “firing on all cylinders.”
The key to sustainable economic growth will be encouraging customers to buy or invest in local products and services. Researchers from The New Economics Foundation, a London-based think tank, found out that twice more money stayed with the local economy when buyers went for local goods.
Although the U.S. economy works on a macroeconomic scale, resisting downward trends rests with local economies holding their ground. They form the basic building blocks that paint a bigger picture of the economy. Local business could’ve been more proactive with local marketing in Greenville, SC and other places to blunt recession’s effects.
For that, a business must highlight the benefits of buying local, and not just economic benefits. Ask: “What’s in it for the customer?”
You can say that buying local helps reduce stress on logistics. Why buy quality goods outside the city when you can get the same goods within? Businesses can deliver their promises of customer satisfaction, responding to orders and troubleshooting issues faster. At the same time, the customer can buy the goods for a lower price due to easier logistics.
The Internet will be a business’s most likely medium for local marketing. Regardless of its global outreach, online marketing has invested more in fostering local competition so that businesses play on equal footing. As much as possible it avoids putting a local burger joint and a worldwide brand like McDonald’s in one arena.
Find out how your local business can contribute to the betterment of South Carolina by asking marketing agencies in Greenville, SC like Spark Local Marketing.
(Source: “SC economy ‘firing on all cylinders’,” The State, April 26, 2014)