Greenville Thrives on Partnerships

See why so many people are choosing Greenville as the place to live, work and succeed

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Greenville, SC
Courtesy of Fred Rollison

Greenville’s diverse economy and its well-established support network for entrepreneurs and innovators naturally make the city a destination of choice for businesses and individuals. The unparalleled quality of life, sense of place and community-focused orientation of residents make them never want to leave.

Just ask Meghan Barp, who relocated from the Twin Cities to lead United Way of Greenville county.

“One of the reasons my husband and I chose to make Greenville our home is because of the great quality of life here. It’s amazing what has been accomplished in just the past couple of decades. We are the envy of every other small city in the country. I believe our success results from a strong public-private partnership between business, civic and nonprofit leadership. This is a terrific and supportive place to live, play and work,” says Barp.

Carlos Phillips, who moved from Louisville to become president and CEO of the Greenville Chamber, was immediately sold on Greenville.

“I was struck by Greenville’s successful transition from the textile capital of the world to a more diverse economy, the search committee’s vision for the Chamber and the overall spirit of Greenville’s citizens. Greenville was making intentional and meaningful effort to improve its economy for all people, and I wanted to be a part of those efforts,” he says.

Sense of Community

Greenville is distinguished by a “laser focus” on quality of life issues that makes the city a desirable place to live, work and raise a family, says Mayor Knox White.

Greenville is a welcoming city with an excellent quality of life. We have a vibrant arts scene, a thriving, walkable downtown, abundant green space, excellent schools and great jobs. Greenville is a small city that offers all the amenities of a much larger urban area, without losing our sense of community,” he says.

“Over the last 30 years, Greenville’s downtown has changed from a city with blighted storefronts and dangerous corridors to a vibrant, bustling Main Street full of people throughout the day and night. Our growth has been intentional, with focus on green space, parks and people-friendly areas, which has brought businesses, jobs, and stability to our city,” says White.

Individuals and businesses in Greenville have a talent for forming partnerships to meet challenges and opportunities, including access to public transportation, affordable housing, education, and job training, says Barp. 

United Way of Greenville County is fortunate to partner with hundreds of businesses that are committed to making Greenville County a great place for everyone to live. Big problems require big solutions, and businesses invest in us to solve them,” she says.

As the largest poverty-fighting organization in South Carolina, United Way of Greenville County is committed to ensuring that everyone has the best possible chance of moving from poverty to prosperity.

Sharing Values

United Way of Greenville County, businesses and business owners share the same values and a vision for what our community can and should be. They give generously of their time and treasure because they know that doing good is good for business. In addition to their generous financial support, their employees invest 41,000 hours of volunteer hours in our community, which has an economic impact of more than $1 million annually,” says Barp.

In Greenville, businesses that are starting up, expanding or relocating find an environment that fosters success, says Phillips.

“In addition to our welcoming culture, wonderful quality of life and sense of place, our burgeoning entrepreneurial ecosystem punches above its weight. Our community provides several resources that serve area entrepreneurs,” he says.

Those include NEXT Upstate LLC, a Greenville Chamber venture that provides the support entrepreneurs require to build strong, successful, globally-competitive businesses, and the Upstate Carolina Angel Network, a group of more than 100 accredited investors who support early-stage, high-growth businesses with capital and expertise.

“Greenville specializes in partnerships, and to those considering relocating their business to Greenville or starting here I would say that you are not alone. Everything great in Greenville has been accomplished through the power of partnership,” says Phillips.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bill Lewis is an award-winning business journalist whose work has appeared in publications across the United States. Bill's experience includes serving as a Capitol Hill reporter a... more

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Tue, 12/04/2018 - 15:57