Drawing on the status of Charleston as a major East-coast hub for trade and manufacturing, the Charleston Council for International Visitors develops effective programming on topics related to economics, trade, and business development. The Lowcountry is home to both sprawling manufacturing facilities for Boeing and Volvo, and modest, incubator-based tech startups at the Charleston Digital Corridor. With a post-Panamax-capable harbor and more than 1 million containers handled annually, Charleston is among the most efficient port cities in the United States. These resources and many others help ensure that any IVLP or fee-for-service program focused on economics, business, or trade will excel in Charleston.
Charleston's SME support infrastructure is well-developed. Financial support and counseling are available through development banks, and office space and logistical advice is available through incubators focused on various industries.
Charleston is home to many Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises, and the city has a dedicated MWBE office to provide assistance with starting, operating and expanding MWBEs in the Charleston area.
Through organizations like the World Trade Center Charleston, local business actively seek international partnerships. Charleston also aggressively promotes foreign direct investment through the Charleston Regional Development Alliance.
Visitors toured the South Carolina Ports Authority's Wando Welch Terminal, which is the largest port facility in the state. The visit included a briefing on the port's vessel and container capacity, operational schedules, and expansion plans.