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The Large Economic Impact of the South Carolina MEP

January 7, 2020

Revolutionizing businesses and entrepreneurs in South Carolina through Innovation                      

The South Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership (SCMEP), an affiliate of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), is a private, non-profit group that serves as a proven resource to South Carolina businesses, providing them with a range of innovative strategies and solutions. SCMEP engaged the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research to conduct an analysis of the overall effect of SCMEP projects on the state of South Carolina’s economy. MEP centers assist primarily small and medium-size manufacturing businesses to help them improve their productivity. The centers provide services such as assistance with product development, tools and resources for business expansion, and business continuity planning, which contribute to cost savings, new investments, and improved products and processes. These improvements increase the profitability and competitiveness of the client firms, which in turn improves the economy by creating jobs, increasing earnings, and expanding the tax base.

Each year, SCMEP clients are surveyed using an independent, third-party vendor to obtain a reading of the impact of the services provided. The survey asks clients to report the effects of SCMEP services on the following possible outcomes:

  • Jobs created and retained
  • Sales created and retained
  • Cost savings
  • Investments

The study’s purpose is to use the client-reported outcomes to estimate the overall effect of SCMEP on South Carolina’s economy. Using the REMI model developed for the Upjohn Institute and configured specifically for the state of South Carolina, this study estimates the indirect and induced effects of the reported increase in jobs, sales, cost savings, and investments by SCMEP clients.

Two scenarios are presented in this study. The first is the unconstrained approach in which it is assumed that an increase in sales of one firm does not affect or reduce the sales of another firm. The second scenario provides a set of estimates and potentially a more accurate, yet conservative, assumption that competition among firms reduces the outcomes as a result of competition.

Unconstrained Model Constrained Model
Source of SCMEP Funding Return Per Dollar Return Per Dollar
State of South Carolina $72.87 $58.49
NIST/MEP $50.83 $40.80

For every $1 SCMEP brings in, $72.87 is returned to the State under the unconstrained model and $58.49 is returned to the State under the constrained model. SCMEP looks forward to continuing our work throughout the State!