Myrtle Beach, SC. – Today, Vincent Sheheen kicks off a three-week Small Business Listening Tour at Wild Creations in Myrtle Beach to listen to small business owners around the state about challenges they face and discuss his plan to focus on helping small businesses succeed as much as those recruited from out of state.

“The number one job of a governor is to provide opportunity and deliver results for businesses and families to thrive. Small businesses are drivers of economic growth and the way to build a strong economy from within South Carolina,” said Sen. Sheheen. “Governor Haley’s policies stack the deck against small business owners, and the recruitment-only approach to jobs is a one-way ticket to average. As a small business owner and an attorney, I have helped scores of businesses succeed — I look forward to talking with more small business leaders around our state about how we can help our existing small businesses as much as those we recruit from out of state.”

The Small Business Listening Tour will include plant and facility tours, small business site visits, meetings, and discussions with local owners and Sen. Sheheen to talk about how to help small business owners, create a climate for success, and build a strong economy from within South Carolina. The listening tour kicks off in Myrtle Beach with Wild Creations owner Pete Gasca, and will include stops at small businesses in York, Charleston, Greenville, Columbia, Spartanburg and other locations throughout the next three weeks.

As a state senator, Vincent Sheheen has worked across the aisle to address the challenges small businesses face, with success. He:

  • Championed the Abandoned Buildings Renovation Tax Credit Act to help small business rebuild in downtown areas.
  • Created a true Rural Infrastructure Bank so that small businesses in rural South Carolina have access to water, sewer, and other infrastructure needs.
  • Fought to pass the Angel Investor bill to help small business entrepreneurs.
  • Formed the Taxpayer Protection Fund to help those who suffer financial loss as a result of the Dept of Revenue hacking scandal.

In his book, The Right Way: Getting the Palmetto State Back on Track, Sen. Sheheen laid out an initial plan for how to help small businesses more in the future:

  • Focus more on small businesses. The state should provide more support to encourage startups and entrepreneurs. Not only should it focus on creating clusters of large manufacturers, but it should work with local communities to create clusters of small businesses. pp. 98-100.
  • Lower the industrial property tax. South Carolina forces new manufacturers to pay a much higher property tax rate — the highest in the country — than homeowners. Despite some tools for economic development officials, such as negotiated fees in lieu of taxes, the state should find a simpler and fairer approach to lower the assessment ration for all manufacturing companies. pp. 88-91.
  • Help existing businesses to grow. The state should review all workforce incentives to revise them to help existing companies in danger of closing. South Carolina needs to put as much emphasis on job retention as it does job creation. pp. 94-97.
  • Streamline worker training. There are too many different agencies in South Carolina that provide workforce development and training programs. They need to be better coordinated — a one-stop shop for businesses. pp. 91-93.
  • Provide better training for tomorrow’s workers. Degrees from technical colleges are becoming more important as employers search for people with specific technical skills. We need to make technical college education affordable for all who want it. “Fully funding our state’s technical college system is a critical component for a successful economic future.” pp. 93-94.

Read more about Sen. Sheheen’s positions and download a free copy of his book at