It is a good time to be living in the Lowcountry. Far too often, we hear only the negative news of what’s happening in our community or around the country, when in reality there is so much positive momentum here in the Lowcountry.
Hilton Head Island has enjoyed a prosperous year. But business doesn’t stop at the bridge. Bluffton is enjoying rapid and sustainable growth as new buildings pop up throughout Old Town and along 278. This means more jobs, more residents, more amenities and more customers for area businesses.
We’ve also garnered amazing media coverage that puts our community in the spotlight.
Here is a small sampling of some of the positive developments happening in our community:
- Flying is more convenient and less expensive. Allegiant Air added four new routes to Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport and will start service to Newark, N.J., in November. American Airlines will begin daily service to Washington-Reagan in October.
- Hargray is more than a year into its Lowcountry Broadband Initiative, bringing gigabit internet speeds (very, very fast internet) to Hilton Head Island and Bluffton residential communities, businesses and public Wi-Fi. This is great news for businesses whose staff can work faster and smarter, and for attracting new businesses to the Lowcountry.
- Bluffton has TWICE been named one of the best places to retire by Forbes and Southern Living. We’ve known this for a long time and are thrilled to be nationally recognized.
- The Town of Hilton Head Island is poised to start the redevelopment project around Coligny, a welcome addition to one of the most popular spots on Hilton Head Island.
- The University of South Carolina-Beaufort campus on Office Park Road on Hilton Head Island will house the university’s hospitality management program, bringing eager-to-learn students into the workforce and community to get hands-on learning experience.
- The Town’s $20.7 million beach re-nourishment project means brand new beaches to enjoy without having to pay for it. The project is funded by the Beach Preservation Fee, which is charged to visitors on their overnight stays.
- Hilton Head Island has been honored to be named to Travel + Leisure magazine’s World Best Awards as the No. 1 Island in the continental U.S. and No. 8 in the world. We were also recognized in GOLF Magazine, Buzzfeed, U.S. News & World Report, TravelChannel.com and Trip Advisor. And those are some of the bigger names. We’re grateful so many people see the special things about this island that we call home.
Your Chamber has been there for Bluffton and Hilton Head Island every step of the way. We’ve hosted more than 30 events to help small businesses network and grow their business, including the Tourism Summit in September with keynote speaker Peter Yesawich, the guru of travel trends. We’ve held committee meetings and seminars to help you learn how to stay on top of the fast-moving world we live in. Business is booming; we’ve had more than 20 ribbon cuttings since the beginning of the year.
That all adds up to living a good life in the Lowcountry. And great things are still to come.
Bill Miles is president & CEO of the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce.