SC business notebook, June 14

S.C. tied for fastest growing economy on east coast

South Carolina is tied with its neighbor to the north as the fastest growing state on the east coast and is the 12th in the nation for fastest growing economy, based on a new U.S. Commerce Department report, released Thursday by the S.C. Commerce Department. The state last year grew at a rate of 2.7 percent – above the national 2.5 percent rate and the Southeastern 2.1 percent rate – based on real gross domestic product, the market value of goods and services produced in a region. In manufacturing, South Carolina is the fastest growing on the east coast with a GDP growth rate of 8.5 percent, compared to a 7.8 percent U.S. rate. “This tells me that our strategy is working: grow manufacturing, grow jobs. The race is on,” said Gov. Nikki Haley.

Attorney steps up as chairman of Santee Cooper utility

Columbia attorney Leighton Lord has replaced Charleston’s O.L. Thompson as chairman of the board for state-owned utility Santee Cooper. Lord will serve a seven-year term for the Moncks Corner electricity provider. With Thompson’s departure and Lord’s rise to chairman, the board has two vacant seats. Lord is former chairman at the law firm of Nexsen Pruet and he ran unsuccessfully for S.C. attorney general as a Republican in 2010. He is a member of Gov. Nikki Haley’s Wind Energy Task Force and a member of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Offshore Renewable Energy Task Force for South Carolina. Lord also serves on the Providence Hospital Foundation Board, is chairman of the Heathwood Hall Episcopal School Foundation Board and serves on the board of governors for the Palmetto Club.

The Associated Press contributed.