Mark Malkowski, President of Stag Arms, has an interesting choice to make. According to an announcement he made this past Friday, Malkowski has narrowed the choice for where Stag expands to either Houston, Texas or the Myrtle Beach area of South Carolina. The ultimate decision will be made by the end of this month.
“South Carolina is very competitive,” Mark Malkowski said of what the state has to offer his company versus that put forward by the Lone Star State. “At this point, we’re spending our time evaluating the offers.”Assuming both states come up with comparable financial incentives, what advantages would Houston offer over Horry County (the H is silent)?
Houston would offer two major airports, two major universities with engineering schools, a number of technically skilled workers available with the downsizing of NASA, and all the amenities of a major metropolitan area including world-class healthcare facilities. The downside is that property taxes are higher, real estate and rents are more expensive, and, most importantly, wages tend to be higher. The overall cost of living as calculated by numerous cost of living calculators is about the same.
What about Myrtle Beach and Horry County?
First and foremost, it is closer to Connecticut. That was one of the deciding factors for PTR Industries when they relocated to Horry County.Workers that relocated from Connecticut are still within a long day's driving distance of their relatives up north. Horry County officials are hoping that works in their favor.
Brad Lofton, CEO of the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corp., agreed that Horry County compares favorably in most areas with Texas, but hoped that Horry’s proximity to Stag’s Connecticut plant, quality of life and short distance to customers in Columbia and elsewhere in the Southeast could be the points that will sell Malkowski.Both states have supportive Republican governors, good gun laws, and a welcoming business climate. Ultimately, I think it will come down to the intangibles such as quality of life. In other words, do they want to live at the beach or live in a major metropolis?