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Charleston Regional Business Journal Preview: Focus: The Year Ahead

What is your industry outlook going into 2017?
The Business Journal asked several business owners and entrepreneurs about the changing political landscape and challenges and hopes for a new year. Read several of their answers below, and look for more in the Jan. 9 print edition.

“We’ve always tried to take a long-term view concerning industry challenges — or the opportunities they create. That said, one that will be an ongoing focus for us is how to effectively engage with the millennial generation. The industry has done an incredible job of connecting with customers from prior generations, but as this new generation of consumers moves into its peak spending years, we must make sure we are capitalizing on that opportunity. To date, we have found similar attitudes in previous generations regarding bridal jewelry, but important differences in the decision-making and buying habits are becoming evident. To fully capture the long-term demand from millennials, we must continue to stay well-informed and ahead of these trends and react appropriately in our efforts around marketing, branding, and creating a great shopping environment.”
— Ayelet Gilady, general manager, Diamonds Direct

“We anticipate a promising 2017, largely due to our existing (repeat) client relationships, but also through several new clients that are interested in the quickly growing Charleston market. We are also seeing signs of the burgeoning multifamily market beginning to plateau, while the local senior living market continues to expand. The local industrial market is also positioned for a promising 2017, as well as the resort and hospitality sectors. Unfortunately, I believe our local market will continue to see a shortage of skilled craftsmen within the masonry, electrical, plumbing and HVAC trades.”
— Matt Brewer, vice president, division manager, Choate Construction Co.

“As a water resources engineer, I hope that the new administration’s emphasis on the nation’s infrastructure will lead to projects such as bridge replacement, removal or rehabilitation of obsolete dams, improvements to water supply and treatment systems, and flood management. The underlying challenge is that the potential weakening on environmental regulations could adversely impact water quality, the health of our region’s waterways and wetlands, and curb our current progress toward sustainability.”
— Joshua Robinson, Robinson Design Engineers

“In 2017, growth will likely be both the biggest challenge and the biggest opportunity that the real estate industry faces. The growth in our area, driven by a combination of our quality of life and strong job and economic prospects, provides unique challenges to housing with low inventory levels combined with rising home prices for both resale houses as well as new construction. However, with these challenges also come opportunities as buyer demand is high; mortgage rates, even with their modest recent increases, are well below their historically normal range; an improving economy and increasing salaries provides more buying power to buyers; and rising home prices help existing home owners who may want to move up. For us, the challenges and opportunities provided by our area’s growth make the selection of a full-time, well-trained Realtor, who is looking out for your best interest, more important than ever.”
— Michael C. Scarafile, president, Carolina One Real Estate

“With increased construction activity, the biggest challenge in 2017 will be hiring and managing a depleted skilled workforce — a workforce that was significantly reduced by the ‘great recession.’ We feel that the construction industry will be enduring additional repercussions from the 2008 recession, which translate into a serious lack of workers and higher construction costs. Staffing projects with adequate workforce to maintain construction schedules, recruiting and training a new workforce, all the while controlling costs, are the short-term challenges for the construction industry.”
— Tom Black, executive vice president, Frampton Construction

An excerpt from the print edition:

I hope we can repeal all or part of what has become known as Obamacare.  I would also like to see the administration reduce some of the regulatory burden on businesses, particularly small business.  We have many regulations that make it difficult and expensive to transact business, and to see that burden reduced would be seem to be helpful to us all.

Employment law, OSHA and safety regulations, banking regulations and requirements,  environmental regulations, etc., all have a place and are important, but have become more of a burden than a help in recent years.

Some should be repealed or at least reconsidered.”

— Will Russell, principal, Jarrard, Nowell & Russell

“We’ve always tried to take a long-term view concerning industry challenges — or the opportunities they create. That said, one that will be an ongoing focus for us is how to effectively engage with the millennial generation. The industry has done an incredible job of connecting with customers from prior generations, but as this new generation of consumers moves into its peak spending years, we must make sure we are capitalizing on that opportunity. To date, we have found similar attitudes in previous generations regarding bridal jewelry, but important differences in the decision-making and buying habits are becoming evident. To fully capture the long-term demand from millennials, we must continue to stay well-informed and ahead of these trends and react appropriately in our efforts around marketing, branding, and creating a great shopping environment.”
— Ayelet Gilady, general manager, Diamonds Direct

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843-972-8072 / eboineau@eboineauandco.com

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Mount Pleasant, S.C 29464

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