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Elevate Midlands

Highlighting growth throughout
the Columbia, S.C. region

A stronger Columbia region
through research-backed action.

For many years, the Midlands Business Leadership Group has responded to the data and analysis found in the annual EngenuitySC Midlands Regional Competitiveness Report with collaborative efforts that have made Columbia, S.C. a first-choice place to live, learn, work and play. In recent years, MBLG played an active role not just in response to the report, but in producing the report itself.

2023 Elevate Midlands Fall Breakfast Highlight Video

Past reports have inspired initiatives such as these.


Capture Columbia

A program for summer interns in the city to develop attachments to the community and its residents.
Learn More About The Program

Bridging Columbia

A training and placement program to ensure that the community’s boards and commissions reflect our diverse population.

Regional Gateways Project

A coordinated effort among the region’s municipalities to create welcoming gateways along the primary corridors for business and tourism.

The Midlands Regional Competitiveness Council

The Midlands Business Leadership Group has a long, positive track record of convening and collaborating to foster positive change. The MBLG Regional Competitiveness Council will follow that path.

The Council, in partnership with the University of South Carolina, will produce the Elevate Midlands report. Armed with this information and supported by the expertise and experience of its members, the council will then develop collaborative initiatives to turn report-identified opportunities into real-life success stories.

Understanding the Data

The Elevate Midlands Report primarily allows us to observe the Columbia MSA’s long-term trends and compare them directly to trends we are seeing in cities with which we compete.

The data lags an average of 18 months and is from the most current and reliable sources possible, such as the U.S Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Our Comparative Regions

Tallahassee, FL

Knoxville, TN

Chattanooga, TN

Richmond, VA

Greenville, SC

Winston-Salem, NC

Augusta, GA

Charleston, SC

Raleigh, NC

Greensboro, NC

Lexington, KY

Indicators of Competitiveness


A region’s ability to attract, develop and maintain a vibrant and skilled workforce.

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Innovative Capacity

A region’s capacity to support the creation of new ideas, products and processes.

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Entrepreneurial & Business Environment

A region’s relative ease of doing business and the strength of the support system for the startup, growth and maintenance of businesses.

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Industry Clusters

A region’s ability to sustain and grow high impact industries that are competitive on an international scale.

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A region’s ability to build an inclusive and dynamic live, learn, work, and play environment.

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Employment Index

New to this year’s report, the Employment Index uses two metrics – one-year employment growth rate and five-year compound annual employment growth rate.

Interested in connecting with the Competitiveness Council?

Drop us a line here.