Q: What is per capita income and why should Greenville’s leadership be concerned about the recent trends?
A: Per capita income is a measure of a community’s wealth and is calculated by taking total income and dividing by the number of people included.
Q: The Bureau of Economic Analysis computes per capital income based on total personal income, which includes items like wages, interest, dividends, and government transfers.
A: Real per capita income continues to increase in Greenville and the surrounding region. However, the rate of increase is well behind other peer communities and the rest of the U.S. This decline in income competitiveness is unprecedented in Greenville’s modern history and is a loud call-to-arms for the community to evaluate its economic situation and apply development strategies that can produce stronger results.
Q: What is the source for the data and analysis of Greenville’s economic situation and are they objective and reliable?
A: In partnership with the EDA University Center for Economic Development at Clemson University, the Greenville Chamber published an Economic Scorecard in Spring 2009 showing various indices of competitiveness between Greenville and 11 other peer and target communities in the Southern United States. The data was pulled from U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis and other federal sources by Clemson in their review of the region’s economy. The data is both reliable and objective as is the analysis by the economic experts at Clemson. The full scorecard report is available here.
Q: Why a five-year program?
A: The economic weaknesses addressed by ACCELERATE! are longer-term in nature and thus require a multi-year perspective in order to affect change. At the end of each year, the Chamber in consultation with the ACCELERATE! Investor Council will review progress towards accomplishing the program’s metrics and will adjust tactics and strategies accordingly.
Q: Why launch ACCELERATE! now, especially considering the current economic climate?
A: The economic concerns currently facing Greenville and the region are such that an immediate action plan is required to address them, despite the current macro-economic situation. Before ACCELERATE! was launched, over 60 local CEO’s were interviewed about the situation and were nearly unanimous that the community must begin addressing these concerns immediately regardless of today’s business climate.
Q: Isn’t the Chamber already active in nearly all of the program elements of ACCELERATE!?
A: Yes, and traditional Chamber membership revenues alone cannot effectively fund these key drivers for economic growth. Peer communities seeing stronger economic returns than Greenville have funded similar strategies much more aggressively for years.
Q: Does ACCELERATE! overlap with the work of other economic development organizations in the community?
A: The strategies and programs supported by ACCELERATE! are unique to the Greenville Chamber and not only have no overlap with other community efforts but actually augment the traditional industrial recruiting efforts of the Chamber’s economic development allies. By successfully implementing ACCELERATE!, the Greenville “product” will be significantly improved and should lead to greater recruiting success.
Q: Why does Greenville Tech’s Achieving the Dream, which is not a Chamber initiated program receive support?
A: Education attainment is one of the key drivers for growing per capita income. Achieving the Dream is aimed particularly at students who traditionally face the most significant barriers to success, including students of color and low-income students. Rather than create a new program to address these issues, the Chamber looks to support effective strategies in place by its allies in the community. More information about Achieveing the Dream is available at www.achievingthedream.org .
Q: Why do you refer to “making an investment?” Isn’t ACCELERATE! really just fund raising?
A: ACCELERATE! is focused on pooling community resources to address an alarming economic trend in the community that financially impacts every business here. Like businesses that seek capital and promise a reasonable return on investment (ROI), ACCELERATE! is an opportunity for the area’s businesses to pool resources and drive toward a significant economic return by building a larger, more vibrant economy.
When the economy flourishes, ACCELERATE! investors receive a direct ROI through increased business and an improved location from which to operate.
The Greenville Chamber continues to do traditional fundraising to support its base operations not covered in ACCELERATE! This program, however, is designed to raise dedicated capital to address specific economic opportunities with measurable results.
Q: What happens if the investment goal is not met?
A: Although the Chamber expects the program to reach the original resource goal , it is prepared to restructure the program to match the available funding and to maximize the economic results thereof
Q: Are investments tax-deductible?
A: Generally, yes. The deductible portion and the nature of the deduction are dependent upon why the investment is made and how the investment is made. Seek advice from your tax or legal counsel.
For businesses: If ordinary and necessary in the conduct of a business the full investment in ACCELERATE! is deductible as a trade or business expense. Businesses expect a return on investment just as if this represented an investment in goods or services necessary to conduct business.
For individuals: The investment is not deductible by individuals as a “charitable”
For more information on ACCELERATE! or to find out how you can invest, please contact John Moore, Executive Vice President at the Greenville Chamber at firstname.lastname@example.org or 864-239-3719.