NEWS

Prospects for economic development strong in West Columbia in 2022

The outlook for new business in West Columbia in 2022 is strong.

“We will continue to move toward our long term redevelopment plan in 2022,” said West Columbia Mayor Tem Miles. “Our approach to growth is in keeping with the goal of improving the quality of life for the citizens of West Columbia.”

Economic expansion is coming if last year is an indicator. “We experienced a wave of new business openings in West Columbia in 2021,” said Steve Cohen, president of the WeCo River District Merchants Association.

WeCo River District Merchants Association

In 2021 there were 199 new business openings, compared to 154 in 2020, according to Anna Huffman, City of West Columbia communications and technology director.

Cohen said he expects the positive trend to continue into 2022.

“We saw so many news businesses that made it a point to locate in West Columbia, in 2021. We expect that to continue,” said Cohen. “West Columbia is where people want to be.”

Cohen said not only did new businesses open in West Columbia, existing businesses have moved into spaces in the West Columbia City Limits because there is so much momentum building.

“I spoke with a woman who came to a River District meeting,” said Cohen. “Her business is now out on Leaphart Road, but not in the city limits, but she is moving her business to The River District because she wants to be in the city.”

State Street

Some of the new businesses in 2021 included: Savage Craft Ale Works on Center Street; The Hideout in Weco on State Street; Studio 221 Interiors on Meeting Street; Gentleman’s Quarters in the Brookland Development; Jake’s on Meeting; Select Physical Therapy in the Brookland Development; Always Original Baker; Franks Car Wash on Charleston Highway; D’Alberto, Graham & Grimsley Law Firm on Meeting Street; and The Cake House Casa del Pastel on Ninth Street; Tall Oaks Boutique; The Preserve and Co. at 731 Meeting Street; Carolina Law Group.

And there’s more coming in 2022.

“There are a couple of big announcements coming for projects that will have a tremendous positive effect on West Columbia, Cohen said. “They are not ready to announce at this point, but it’s good economic news.”

In addition to new business, Cohen said the City of West Columbia’s events, like the Kinetic Derby Day on April 23, have enhanced the appeal to the business community.

“The members of the River District will take full advantage of the events the City of West Columbia puts on,” Cohen said. “The numerous events the City puts on are very good for our business owners and it’s the reason so many want to be here.”