NEWBERRY COUNTY — The announcement that Samsung will bring a manufacturing plant to Newberry could have higher benefits for the community than those already stated.
It is called the spin-off effect, a term used in economic development to describe the collateral impact of a project like this, according Rick Farmer, director of Economic Development in Newberry County.
“It’s something we call the multiplier effect. You get different numbers from different people, but for every one manufacturing job created in the community a certain number of other jobs are created to serve that manufacturing,” Farmer said. “I have heard of numbers as high as 4.2. Under that theory is every one manufacturing job created there are 4.2 jobs created to sort of supply and service those jobs.
“When Samsung gets here, they will need office paper and ink, toner, jobs associated with that. They need raw material, jobs associated with that. Now they are going to be importing a lot of the parts they are going to be using to make these appliances, at least at the start, but eventually we would like to see some of those suppliers here.”
This is also true for businesses such as restaurants, security firms, janitorial services. Farmer said there is a huge impact.
“Like throwing a rock in a pond, there is a ripple effect that goes out and with a project this size there are going to be some big ripples,” he said. “I know what the big question on everybody’s mind is and that is will this lead to Newberry finally getting a Cracker Barrel? I honestly do not know the answer to that question, but I think it behooves us to reach out to Cracker Barrel again and say, hey have you heard Samsung is coming to Newberry, would you rethink things and let us know.”
The ripple effect may in fact have already started.
Farmer said he received a call on Wednesday from a company that develops buildings. He explained that this company builds speculative buildings in the private market on the premise that somebody is going to be coming into the community.
“They sense there is an opportunity here today that was not here last week. It is only talk at this point, but just receiving that call validates this ripple effect,” Farmer said.
Farmer did say that not all of it would be here in Newberry. Some of these companies could be in Columbia and serve the new Samsung facility. However, that does not mean the possibility is not there, which creates a potential for new restaurants, new hotels, new retail and new service sector organizations.
“It will just take some time for that to flesh out. It is all a part of a general pattern of a growing community,” he said. “I get asked sometimes why do we not work retail and commercial projects too. Our belief is that the retail and commercial sector will follow the manufacturing sector, and if you build it they will come. Bring manufacturing companies to your community, you will see the spin off growth from that.”
Reach Andrew Wigger at 803-276-0625 ext. 1867 or on Twitter @ TheNBOnews.