Business View Magazine | March 2019

169 Municipal Association of South Carolina BUILDING SOUTH CAROLINA’S LOCAL ECONOMIES C ity and town governments play an undeniable role in shaping and boosting local economies. In South Carolina, the City of Greenville may provide the best-known example. By the late 1970s, its downtown faced consid- erable decay and disinvestment. The city set an ambitious goal of revitalization, and pursued it for decades. It brought together carefully designed streetscapes and parks with the re- cruitment of such anchor projects as hotels, a performing arts center, and a baseball stadium. It demolished a bridge that had long hidden a waterfall located in the middle of town, which is now the centerpiece of an iconic and heavily visited city park. With growing retail, housing and industry, downtown Greenville has built a reputation for self-reinvention. This is just one story from South Carolina’s 271 cities and towns. They all have their own back- grounds, assets and challenges. We have seen over and over how they can build highly spe- cific plans to meet their economic needs and achieve their visions. Part of the Municipal Association of South Carolina’s job is to support the development efforts of the state’s cities and towns. Our Municipal Elected Officials Institute of Govern- ment offers training courses for mayors and council members focused on economic devel- By Jenny Boulware - Main Street South Carolina Manager