• office locations
    Bluffton, SC map
    Bluffton, SC Office
    The Plaza at Belfair
    4 Clarks Summit Drive
    Suite 200 | Bluffton, SC 29910-4993
    843.815.2171  Main | 843.815.5991  Fax
    Charleston, SC map
    Charleston, SC Office
    100 Calhoun Street
    Suite 400 | Charleston, SC 29401
    843.723.7831  Main | 843.722.3227  Fax
    Charlotte, NC map
    Charlotte, NC Office
    Bank of America Plaza
    101 South Tryon Street
    Suite 2610 | Charlotte, NC 28280
    704.347.1170  Main | 704.347.4467  Fax
    Columbia, SC map
    Columbia, SC Office
    1221 Main Street
    Suite 1800 | Columbia, SC 29201
    803.799.9800  Main | 803.753.3278  Fax
    Greenville, SC map
    Greenville, SC Office
    Poinsett Plaza
    104 South Main Street
    Suite 700 | Greenville, SC 29601
    864.271.4940  Main | 864.271.4015  Fax
    Hilton Head Is., SC map
    Hilton Head Island, SC Office
    Shelter Cove Executive Park
    23-B Shelter Cove Lane
    Suite 400 | Hilton Head Island, SC 29928
    843.785.2171  Main | 843.686.5991  Fax
    Myrtle Beach, SC map
    Myrtle Beach, SC Office
    Founders Centre
    2411 Oak Street
    Suite 206 | Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
    843.444.1107  Main | 843.444.4729  Fax
  • contact us
      No   Yes  

Economic Development


McNair Brings Business and Government Together

Robert E. McNair was the first governor in the United States to actively pursue industrial and economic development for his state. When his term of office ended and he founded the McNair Law Firm in 1971, it was with the commitment that we would continue and expand South Carolina’s ability to grow and attract new business.

Today our firm remains committed to the economic development process. We represent major companies that seek to move to or expand in South Carolina, and counsel municipal, county and state development officials on the best ways to attract and retain these companies. Innovation has been our lawyers’ hallmark, from assisting with the creation of the South Carolina Jobs - Economic Development Authority to structuring the state’s first use of industrial incentives to finance general commercial development.

McNair lawyers are well-versed in the often complicated and technical areas of economic development incentives, from state-based corporate income tax credits, such as the Job Tax Credit, to county-based Fee in Lieu of Property Tax arrangements. McNair also understands the political and business factors involved in establishing effective development incentives.

At McNair, we combine diverse legal disciplines to create opportunities for growth, and to resolve problems and disputes that may threaten a project. In addition to a core group of lawyers with primary economic development emphasis, nearly a quarter of our firm's lawyers are regularly involved in economic development counsel. They are supported by colleagues in such practice areas as public affairs, governmental relations, tax, real estate, immigration, contracts, employment, finance and general corporate law. We have practicing lawyers in all areas needed for a development project.

Example of our Services
Our client, a global manufacturer of high technology cables and systems that is affiliated with one of Italy’s largest industrial groups, planned a $30 million expansion of its South Carolina manufacturing operations. The corporate parent approved the project and the land was assembled, but a major problem arose when the State Department of Transportation targeted an eminent domain action for part of the property to build a new highway project – an action that would scuttle the expansion plans.

Our lawyers worked with the state government, including the Departments of Commerce and Transportation, to devise a solution, and eventually negotiated an agreement for financing the construction of a new bridge that would make relocation of the highway project feasible.

We understand how state government works at the executive and legislative levels, and our professional credibility means we are often successful finding solutions that shape development law. Importantly, we work to ensure that any development solution adds value for both business and government. No matter where you are in the development spectrum, you can rely on McNair to know what is both practical and feasible.

Example of our Services
One of South Carolina’s largest banks wanted to build a new North American financial headquarters in the state, planned as a campus development that would include over a dozen buildings and more than 1,000 employees. Appropriate economic development incentives were needed to help secure the project, but they ran into a constitutional roadblock: by state law, such incentives could not be granted to banks because of their tax status.

McNair lawyers proposed and lobbied for a change in the law and then structured a favorable incentive package. Weeks of nearly round-the-clock work were required.

If you are looking to establish, expand or relocate an industrial or other commercial business, or if you represent a governmental entity wishing to offer financial incentives to such businesses, we can help you achieve your development objectives. We have a record of success working with global businesses that relocate operations to South Carolina, having advised companies with bases of operations in:

  • Europe (Belgium, Bulgaria, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Russia, Serbia/Montenegro, Switzerland, the United Kingdom)
  • Asia/Pacific (China, India, Japan, Korea, Philippines)
  • Africa/Middle East (Nigeria, Lebanon)
  • North America (Canada, Panama).

Example of our Services
In the early 1990s Governor McNair, while a member of a state delegation that traveled to Europe to help boost South Carolina’s international trade, met with the owners of a small German manufacturer. The company had purchased a business that produced truck rear-view mirrors and was looking to relocate it. Governor McNair advocated for South Carolina’s economic development incentives, and our firm subsequently negotiated with state and county economic development officials to secure financing and other incentives to bring the operation here.

Our client opened its new South Carolina facility in 1994 with five people. Today, after relying on us for help with incentives, international financing, tax guidance and licensing, our client employs 300 people at a 160,000 square foot plant that has achieved a position of global leadership in its industry.

Economic development financing is a complex undertaking that can combine tax incentives with government tax-exempt bond financing for infrastructure construction of industrial facilities, roads, sewers, public utilities and other related infrastructures. We play a central role in facilitating economic development bond financing for business and government throughout South Carolina. You get the benefit of our experience on billions of dollars in economic development financing transactions. That includes work as issuer’s and underwriters’ counsel on such financing vehicles as industrial development revenue bonds, special assessment and special source revenue credits and bonds, and Fee-in-Lieu-of-Tax (FILOT) transactions.

Businesses get our help in working with municipalities as well as such state agencies as the South Carolina Jobs - Economic Development Authority. Financing packages can range from several million dollars to many hundreds of millions of dollars. And, given our understanding of state law and contacts at most levels of government, we can often develop innovative financing approaches that secure incentives tailored to our clients’ development needs.

We have been effective at developing incentive vehicles that combine financing from multiple public and private sources. In one major package, we integrated municipal, county and private financing to facilitate the construction of a downtown convention center / hotel development. Other examples include an incentive package that we developed to help two municipalities create a development corridor between them, a public-private partnership formed to create incentives for redeveloping a blighted urban area, and innovative multi-entity incentives for the development of a public-private recreation complex.

Example of our Services
McNair played the lead role in an economic development financing innovation that resulted, for the first time in South Carolina history, in using industrial development incentives to help finance a non-industrial commercial project. Our initial client was the developer of a factory outlet village in Cherokee County, but we have since used this innovative approach to help finance at least six other projects. We effectively convinced state officials to pursue this approach by showing that state law did not prohibit it, even though it had never been tried before.