Columbia is home to business support services that are attractive to new or growing businesses including:
- USC/Columbia Technology Incubator helps to recruit, develop, and launch local technology driven companies.
- Innovista is a USC led economic development effort that connects university-spawned innovations with entrepreneurs, businesses, and stakeholders.
- Center for Entrepreneurial and Technological Innovation is a partnership between the USC/Columbia Technology Incubator and Innovista to support entrepreneurial business development.
- SCLaunch facilitates applied research, product development, and commercialization programs.
- Benedict College Business Development Center helps address the business development needs of small and minority owned businesses.
- IT-oLogy is a non-profit collaboration between businesses, academic institutions, and organizations to grow the IT talent pipeline and advance the IT profession.
- USC Darla Moore School of Business is ranked No.2 in the nation for both its International MBA program and undergraduate studies.
- University of South Carolina Honors College is ranked No.1 in the US in 2012, in a review of public honors colleges.
Land and Labor
Columbia is business ready with ample land and labor resources, with enough office, retail, warehouse, industrial space, and undeveloped land to suit the needs of any company looking to expand or relocate to the area. We are home to one of the best labor forces in the nation and support the development of human capital with nationally renowned job training assistance programs. Columbia is one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the United States at 19% over 10 years. This growth combined with low unionization and competitive wage rates means you will have the human capital necessary to meet your output targets while keeping overhead costs under control.
Transportation and Connectivity
Columbia is nationally ranked among the top five cities for highway connectivity and is the only Southeastern city that has direct access by three interstates and indirect access by two additional interstates within 100 miles. The Midland's highway network includes I-20, I-26, I-77 and I- 95, offering easy North to South and East to West access. This puts Columbia within 24-hour ground access to more than 66% of the U.S. market. We are in close proximity to major markets such as Charlotte, which is an hour away, 3.5 hours to both Atlanta and Raleigh, and are halfway between New York City and Miami. The Columbia Metropolitan Airport (CAE), which is home to the UPS Southeast Regional Air Hub, provides excellent air shipping access. The Port of Charleston is located less than two hours away, and is the largest container port on the U.S. Southeast and Gulf coasts. It is the 8th largest in the US by cargo value and one of only a handful of ports to receive the Presidential "E" and "E-Star" awards for excellence in exporting. Columbia's rail service is provided by both CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern.
Columbia has some of the nation's most dependable and affordable utility and telecommunications networks. South Carolina has some of the nation's lowest power costs thanks to a diverse supply of resources including: coal, nuclear, petroleum and natural gas. In fact, industrial power costs are generally 15-20 percent lower than the national average, and are currently the lowest in the South Atlantic Region.