Estate Planning Attorney inColumbia, SC

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Securing Your Legacy in South

Did you know that one in two U.S. citizens have yet to create a plan for their estate? Just about everyone knows they need to get their affairs in order, but most people procrastinate when it comes to estate planning. It's an uncomfortable subject to think about. After all, nobody wants to ponder their death and what happens to their assets when they pass. However, working with an estate planning lawyer in Columbia, SC, protects you, your loved ones, and your assets, both while you're alive and after you have died. There isn't a perfect time to plan your estate, but there is a right time and that time is now.

We understand that there is no "one-size-fits-all" solution to your estate planning needs. That's why, at CDH Law Firm, we make a concerted effort to speak with our clients personally so that we can create an estate plan that is as unique as they are. Our estate plans are comprehensive, cost-effective, and catered to you. That way, your family is provided if you are incapacitated or pass away.

At the end of the day, our goal is to make sure that every one of our clients leaves our office feeling less stressed and more informed. Peace of mind is valuable currency these days. Why worry about the future of your loved ones when you can use South Carolina law to ensure their stability?

Many of the clients in Columbia that walk through our doors have significant questions that require serious answers. They're filled with doubt, stress, and worry. They're worried about their children, their spouse, their relatives, or all the above. They ask questions like:

  • How much does estate planning cost?
  • What kind of results can I expect?
  • How long will this process take?

If these questions sound familiar, know that you are not alone. At CDH Law Firm, we have worked with hundreds of clients just like you. Sometimes, these clients are unsatisfied with their current estate planning attorney in Columbia. Other times, they have been served with confusing papers or documents that leave them feeling overwhelmed. In either case, clients come to our office knowing they need to manage what is often a sudden, foreign situation.

The good news? We sit down with all new clients for an hour at no extra cost. We do so to get a basic sense of their situation and help steer them in the right direction. That way, they can leave our office feeling a little wiser and a lot better about the future.

Estate Planning Law Columbia, SC
Service Areas

Our firm specializes in several areas of estate planning and family law, including:

  • Estate Planning
  • Last Will and Testament
  • Living Wills
  • Heath Care Power of Attorney
  • Living Wills
  • Irrevocable Trusts
  • Revocable Trusts
  • Retirement Trusts
  • Special Needs Trusts

The CHSA Law

At CHSA Law, LLC, estate planning is like second nature to us. Having worked hundreds upon hundreds of cases, we have the knowledge and experience to assist with all the estate planning needs that you or your family have.

As our client, you will always work directly with your attorney. We do not pass cases off to paralegals or junior associates. Because your concerns and questions don't end when our office closes, we encourage our clients to contact us at any time.

Because we limit the number of cases we accept, we have the time and resources to truly dedicate ourselves to each of our clients. Unlike some competitors, we care about the outcome of every case because we know that our clients' future depends on it.

 Estate Planning Attorney Columbia, SC The-Cobb-Dill-Hammett-Difference

What Our Clients Say

What is Estate Planning in
Columbia, SC?

The word "estate" might make you think of a sprawling mansion in the French countryside. The truth is, you don't have to be rich to have an estate. In fact, most people already have an estate. An estate comprises the assets that a person owns like cars, bank accounts, real estate, businesses, and other possessions. Everyone's estate is different, but we all have one thing in common: none of us can take our estates with us when we die. When that does eventually happen, you will need legal instructions that state who gets what from your estate in plain terms.That, in a nutshell, is estate planning building a framework in advance that names the organizations or people that should receive your assets after you die. Planning your estate now helps make life much easier for your family down the line.

 Estate Planning Lawyer Columbia, SC
A good estate plan covers more than fiscal assets, however. A comprehensive
estate plan should include the following:
  • If you have children who are minors, instructions as to who will be their guardian when you die.
  • Long-term care insurance if you suffer from an extended injury or illness.
  • Instructions that dictate what happens to you and your financial affairs if you become incapacitated before death.
  • Instructions on the transfer of your business after retirement, incapacity, disability, or death.
  • Instructions on how to provide for loved ones who might need help managing money or who need protection from creditors.
  • Probate and tax avoidance that help minimize court fees, taxes, and legal fees.
  • Planning Medicaid payments.
  • Instructions that help complete or update beneficiary designations.
  • Assist family members who have special needs without disqualifying them from government benefits.

Contrary to popular belief, estate planning isn't just for adults who are approaching retirement age. Estate planning is for everyone. After all, we're all getting older, and none of us know exactly when it will be our time to go.

The Basics of Estate Planning
in Columbia, SC

Although estate planning can be complicated, a well-rounded plan makes a huge difference in what is left to your beneficiaries. Before you start planning your estate, it's important to know a few common topics that may arise as you detail your needs.


Working with a Tax Advisor and Estate Planning
Attorney in Columbia, SC

Working with a veteran estate planning lawyer is a no-brainer, but you should consider working with a tax advisor too. Your attorney's role is to help guide you through the creation of your estate planning documents. Common documents include your will, health care directives, and power of attorney. Your tax advisor will help guide you through tax issues associated with your estate planning needs.

In this relationship, you make the decisions while your attorney and tax advisor help you understand and think through the options you're considering. As a team, they will help you state your wishes clearly while minimizing mistakes and adjusting your plans as they change. Because significant savings can result from thorough, informed planning, you should seriously consider working with a tax advisor in addition to your estate planning attorney.

 Law Firm Columbia, SC

Your Estate

If there were one overriding theme of estate planning, it would be maximizing what you plan to leave behind. Thinking through how each of your assets will be distributed is crucial to your estate. Your decisions may change depending on the type of asset, its size, how old you are, and several other factors. With an attorney on your side, you will gain a thorough understanding of what actions you should take to care for your family while minimizing expenses like taxes and court fees.

Estate Planning Law Columbia, SC

Inheritance, Estate,
and Gift Taxes

One of the biggest parts of maximizing what you're leaving behind is to minimize taxes. Federal taxes on estates and gifts are incredibly high. Both forms of taxes usually have exemption limits, which means you can give up to a specific amount without being taxed. Your lawyer can achieve that by using the gift tax exemption to move assets while you are still alive. This strategy maximizes how much your beneficiaries will receive.

Inheritance taxes are often based on the value of your estate and paid prior to asset distribution to your beneficiaries.

 Estate Planning Attorney Columbia, SC

Choosing the
Executor of Your Will

The executor of your estate plays a key role in your affairs. Their responsibilities include carrying out the terms of your will and seeing the estate settlement process through until the end. Obviously, such a role demands a qualified person. Choosing your executor isn't an easy decision. The person you select should be great at managing money, be savvy financially, and show an ability to be patient. That's because the executor is tasked with:

  • Collecting Your Assets
  • Paying Outstanding Bills
  • Submitting Tax Returns
  • Petitioning the Court for Documents
  • Distributing Assets to Your Beneficiaries
 Estate Planning Lawyer Columbia, SC

If the person that you choose as executor is inexperienced with the estate settlement process, it is recommended that they lean on an estate planning attorney in Columbia, SC for guidance. It should be noted that you may appoint more than a single executor to your estate. This is common when two individuals have complementary personalities or skill sets.

The Benefits of Estate Planning
in Columbia, SC

One of the biggest benefits of planning your estate is the peace of mind it brings to you and your family. With the help of our expert estate planning attorneys, you have the power to protect your assets, privacy, and children's welfare. You can also potentially save money on taxes or even avoid probate. By having your wishes legally documented before death or incapacity, you can minimize any impact on your beneficiaries and take control of your legacy. Without a comprehensive estate plan, you're leaving the future of your loved ones in the hands of the South Carolina court system.

With an estate plan in place, you can plan for incapacity by using a power of attorney or advanced medical directives. Doing so relieves your loved ones of the burden of asking the court for the authority to fulfill your wishes.

At CDH Law Firm, we are committed to helping you prepare for both the expected and unexpected through years of experience and a fierce dedication to our clients. From establishing trusts to designing business succession plans, we are here to fight for you.

At CDH we offer a "Will Package" that includes 4 necessary documents.

If a husband and wife each purchase reciprocating will packages we give a discount. Reciprocating just means the husband names the wife and the wife names the husband. Those four documents are:

  • Last will and testament
  • Healthcare power of attorney
  • Durable power of attorney
  • living will

Common Documents Included
in Your Estate Plan

As mentioned above, everyone's estate planning needs will be different. However, most plans include one or more of the following documents:



Your will is an essential piece of documentation and is often considered the cornerstone of a proper estate plan. Generally speaking, your will is a document that dictates the distribution of your assets after your death. Having an iron-clad will is one of the best ways to make sure that your wishes are communicated clearly. As is the case with most estate planning, it is highly recommended that you work with an estate planning attorney in Columbia, SC, to create and update your will.

The contents of a will typically include:

  • Designation of the executor, who is responsible for adhering to the provisions of your will.
  • Designation of beneficiaries the people who will be inheriting your assets
  • Instructions that dictate how and when your beneficiaries will receive assets.
  • Instructions that assign guardianship for any minor children.

Without a will in place, the State of South Carolina will decide how to distribute assets to your beneficiaries. Allowing the state to distribute your assets is often an unfavorable route to take, since the settlement process may not include what you had in mind for your survivors. Having a will drafted that reflects your wishes will prevent such a situation from happening.

 Law Firm Columbia, SC

Living Will

Despite its name, a living will does not instruct your survivors on what assets go where. Also called an advanced directive, your living will allows you to state your end-of-life medical wishes if you have become unable to communicate. This important document provides guidance to family members and doctors and solidifies certain issues like whether you should be resuscitated after an accident.

For example, it's common to direct that palliative care (care to decrease pain and suffering) always be administered if needed. Conversely, you may state that certain measures are not allowed, like CPR.

Estate Planning Law Columbia, SC


Traditionally, a trust is used to minimize estate taxes and maximize other benefits as part of a well-rounded estate plan. This fiduciary agreement lets a trustee hold your assets on behalf of your beneficiaries. There are many ways to arrange a trust to specify when and how your assets are distributed.

With a trust in place, your beneficiaries can avoid going to probate. That means they may be able to gain access to your assets quicker than when they are transferred with a standard will. Assets placed in a trust can pass outside of probate, which will save you and your family time, money, and stress.

There are two distinct trust categories that you should be aware of: revocable and irrevocable.

 Estate Planning Attorney Columbia, SC

Revocable Trust:

Also called a living trust, a revocable trust helps assets circumvent probate. With this trust, you can control your assets while you are still alive. These trusts are flexible and may be dissolved at any point in time. This type of trust becomes irrevocable upon your death. Revocable trusts can help you avoid the pitfalls of probate but be aware that they are usually still taxable.

Irrevocable Trust:

This kind of trust transfers assets out of your estate so that they are not taxed and do not have to go through probate. However, once an irrevocable trust has been executed, it may not be altered. That means that once you establish this kind of trust, you lose control of its assets and cannot dissolve the trust. If your primary goal is to avoid taxes on your estate, setting up an irrevocable could be a wise choice.

When drafted with the help of an estate planning lawyer in Columbia, SC, your trust can also:

Protect Your Legacy:

When constructed properly, a trust can protect your estate from your heirs' creditors. This can be a huge relief for beneficiaries who might need to brush up on money management skills.

Privacy and Probate:

Probate records are made available for public consumption. With a trust, you may have the choice of having your assets pass outside of probate court so that they remain private. In the process, you may also save money that you would lose to taxes and court fees.

Control Wealth:

Because you can specify the exact terms of a trust, you have more control over who receives your assets and when they receive them. As an example, you can set up a revocable trust so that your assets are attainable while you're alive. When you pass, remaining assets are distributed, even in complex situations involving children from multiple marriages.

The Top Estate Planning Law Firm in the Lowcountry

If you know that you need to provide for your family and loved ones after your death, it's time to develop your estate plan. With CDH Law Firm by your side, planning your estate doesn't have to be difficult. However, it does need to be accurate and executed exactly to your wishes something that we have been helping clients achieve for years. Don't leave your legacy up to chance contact our office today and secure your future generations.


Latest News in Columbia, SC

South Carolina championship celebrated with parade, rally

ReactionsLike202Fire5Celebrate3Wow1COLUMBIA, S.C. -- South Carolina women's basketball coach Dawn Staley and her national champion Gamecocks celebrated with a jam-packed downtown parade and rally at the statehouse a week after completing their undefeated season.Staley and her player...










COLUMBIA, S.C. -- South Carolina women's basketball coach Dawn Staley and her national champion Gamecocks celebrated with a jam-packed downtown parade and rally at the statehouse a week after completing their undefeated season.

Staley and her players rode some seven blocks to the cheers of a crowd that Columbia Mayor Daniel Rickenmann called the largest ever in the downtown area of the capital city. And then Staley teased a repeat celebration 12 months from now.

"I hope we can end our [next] season at the same time, in the same place on this beautiful day," Staley said. "Thank you so much for loving up on us. We truly appreciate it."

It would be difficult to bet against the Gamecocks, who were an inexperienced, untested group that lost seven seniors from the team that lost to Iowa Hawkeyes and Caitlin Clark in the 2023 Final Four.

Staley recalled to the crowd that, when asked about her young players and the new roles they would have to fill, she said to "expect the unexpected."

The Gamecocks exceeded almost everyone's expectations, finishing 38-0 to become the 10th undefeated national champion after beating the Hawkeyes 87-75 on April 7. It was Staley's third NCAA crown in the past seven tournaments.

University president Michael Amiridis said he loves talking up Staley and her program until the listeners tell him to stop.

"Some people call it a 'Dawn-asty,' some call it a 'dynasty.' I don't know the right word," he said. "But I know we're building an empire."

Staley singled out the lone player, as of now, not coming back in 6-foot-7 Final Four most outstanding player Kamilla Cardoso, who passed on a WNBA draft orientation session in New York City to take part in the parade.

"You all have made it a special time for here to take on to the next level," Staley said.

Cardoso, a key reserve on the 2022 national championship team, and Staley will both be at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on Monday, when Cardoso is expected to be among the top five selections.

Even without Cardoso, South Carolina should be a formidable team next season. Barring any surprise jumps into the transfer portal -- NC State star Saniya Rivers left the Gamecocks a few days after celebrating in the 2022 title parade -- players such as sophomores Ashlyn Watkins and Chloe Kitts and freshmen MiLaysia Fulwiley and Tessa Johnson should easily slide into larger roles.

The Gamecocks add the game's No. 2 college prospect in Joyce Edwards of Camden, South Carolina.

Staley is not afraid to bring in necessary players via the portal. One of the top 3-point shooters nationally this season in Te-Hina Paopao transferred in from Oregon last offseason.

Paopao, who will be back next year, used point guard Raven Johnson's words to set the bar high for 2025.

"It's time for the repeat tour," she said to wild cheers.

Whataburger breaks ground in Columbia; new Asian eatery ready to open in Five Points

COLUMBIA — Whataburger, the popular Texas-based burger chain, is one step closer to opening a location in the Capital City.The fast food chain's Killian Commons Parkway location, one of three planned for the Columbia area, broke ground on April 5. The restaurant is set to open in September. The area's other locations include one in Irmo and another in Lexington. The chain also plans to open up eateries in the...

COLUMBIAWhataburger, the popular Texas-based burger chain, is one step closer to opening a location in the Capital City.

The fast food chain's Killian Commons Parkway location, one of three planned for the Columbia area, broke ground on April 5. The restaurant is set to open in September.

The area's other locations include one in Irmo and another in Lexington. The chain also plans to open up eateries in the Upstate.

The burger chain, which started in 1950 in Corpus Christi, Tex., is set for 202 Bridgeberry Lane in Columbia.

Teriyaki Madness to open in Five Points

An Asian fusion chain has circled an opening date for its first Columbia location.

Teriyaki Madness, which is set for 942 Harden St. in Five Points, will open its doors April 12, according to a press release from the restaurant.

The Colorado-based chain has locations across 20 states and in 3 countries. Its Five Points location was first reported in September of last year.

The restaurant offers a variety of bowls, including chicken teriyaki bowls and spicy tofu teriyaki bowls, and sides like chicken eggrolls and crab rangoons, according to the website.

It will open alongside a strip of other popular chain businesses like Orangetheory Fitness, a boutique gym and Flying Biscuit Cafe, a Southern food brunch place.

Parlour 818, new hair salon, opens

A new luxury salon, Parlour 818, celebrated opening its doors on Millwood Avenue April 5.

The salon, which offers everything from hair cuts to hair extension applications, comes from Florence native Lex Moore.

"Parlour 818 was meant to feel like home, or like you were going to visit your best friend," Moore writes on her website.

The salon is located at 3306 Millwood Avenue and is open Mondays through Fridays 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.

Other business news you might've missed:

For the second year in a row, and for only the second time in Columbia's history, two restaurateurs from here have been named finalists in the James Beard Foundation awards.

"What are those?" you might ask. Essentially, the James Beards are akin to the Oscars or a Pulitzer, but for folks in the food and dining industry. They recognize excellence from chefs, bartenders and restaurateurs all across the country with categories like Outstanding Restaurant and Best Chef for each region.

This year, Robbie Robinson, owner and pitmaster of City Limits BBQ in West Columbia, is nominated for Best Chef: Southeast. This is Robinson's first nomination and it comes after he moved his longtime food truck to a brick and mortar location last year.

Lula Drake Wine Parlour, a wine bar and restaurant on Main Street in Columbia, is nominated for a second year in a row. This year, the bar is nominated in the Outstanding Wine and Other Beverages Program category. Last year, it was nominated for Outstanding Hospitality.

Columbia had two of the state's four nominations in the national awards. You can read more in-depth coverage of that news here.

In other restaurant news, the U.S. Department of Labor recovered more than a quarter of a million dollars from owners of Krafty Draft Brew Pub for around two dozen employees who the federal agency said were not compensated fairly. The Lexington restaurant's owners were found to be operating an invalid tip pool and using tips to cover most of the servers' salaries.

Lastly, if you're headed to the airport soon, be prepared to pay a little more for parking. The Columbia Metropolitan Airport announced it would up surface level parking from $10 to $12 a day and garage parking from $14 to $17 a day.

Columbia has a new $90K city logo. What do you think of it?

Columbia has a new, blue logo, and you can buy it on T-shirts at the city’s gift-shop.Columbia leaders Tuesday unveiled a roughly $90,000 city rebranding project that included a new logo of a blue crescent moon shaded in the same color palette as the city’s flag, with the tagline “Together, we are Columbia.”But don’t be confused — this new logo and tagline are separate from the Experience Columbia tourism bureau’s tagline and logo for the city and the half dozen other iterations of the ...

Columbia has a new, blue logo, and you can buy it on T-shirts at the city’s gift-shop.

Columbia leaders Tuesday unveiled a roughly $90,000 city rebranding project that included a new logo of a blue crescent moon shaded in the same color palette as the city’s flag, with the tagline “Together, we are Columbia.”

But don’t be confused — this new logo and tagline are separate from the Experience Columbia tourism bureau’s tagline and logo for the city and the half dozen other iterations of the city’s marketing efforts in recent years.

This newest campaign by the city is separate from Experience Columbia’s efforts to dub the city “The Real Southern Hotspot,” a tourism marketing campaign that was unveiled in 2017 after $150,000 of work.

Before that, the city was “Famously hot (surprisingly cool),“ which was launched by the visitor’s bureau for about $70,000.

And in 2004, the city’s slogan went from “Columbia, a Capital place to be,” to “Where friendliness flows,” after a different $70,000 campaign from the same firm that coined “Virginia is for Lovers.” But all of those efforts were done by the Midland’s tourism bureau, and not the city government.

The city paid Greenville-based Crawford Agency roughly $93,000 between November and February for the work on the city’s new campaign.

Experience Columbia and the city government are separate entities and pay for projects with separate funds, but Experience Columbia does get some city money from accommodations taxes. Despite the two being separate entities, City Councilwoman Aditi Bussells said she hopes to see more brand cohesion across the city and its various municipal-adjacent agencies.

She also said she might push for another slogan reconsideration — she loved “Famously Hot” — as part of her campaign to overhaul how the city sells itself and sees itself.

“I think one of the biggest reasons why we’ve seen a deterrent to some of the kind of growth of people wanting to come here, stay here, live here, play here has been our own sense of pride,” Bussells said.

When Bussells first moved to the city, she said she heard so many times how the best thing about Columbia is that it’s easy to leave — “just two hours from the mountains or the beach!”

She said getting all of the city departments and, hopefully, other agencies on the same page about aesthetics is the next step in boosting city morale and communicating to outsiders that Columbia has itself together.

Experience Columbia did not make a representative available for an interview, but in an email, communications Vice President Kelly Barbrey wrote, “We work closely with the City to share our concepts and assets and look forward to continuing to collaborate with them as they launch their new brand.”

“One of the things I’ve asked the Mayor, and that we have been working on (is) there are too many fiefdoms in Columbia,” Bussells said. “That’s a culture that I would like to see change, where everybody has just always done their own things.”

This story was originally published April 17, 2024, 9:21 AM.

Follow more of our reporting on Uniquely Columbia

See all 9 stories

Garden and plant shops in Columbia, SC to visit this spring

The first day of spring is just a week away and pending anymore out-of-season, late frost situations, we will all be spending more time outdoors.That means it’s the prime time for pollen, bees, and getting your garden started. If you don’t have a green thumb, then maybe you can get your front yard looking fresh, green, and and ready for spring with new plants.With the soil warming up, we figured now would be a good time to dig in, especially since the Capital City has a variety of locally owned shops to check...

The first day of spring is just a week away and pending anymore out-of-season, late frost situations, we will all be spending more time outdoors.

That means it’s the prime time for pollen, bees, and getting your garden started. If you don’t have a green thumb, then maybe you can get your front yard looking fresh, green, and and ready for spring with new plants.

With the soil warming up, we figured now would be a good time to dig in, especially since the Capital City has a variety of locally owned shops to check out and several plant-centric events on the horizon.

Columbia Garden Club Spring Plant Exchange | Saturday, March 16 | Held in the Talbot’s parking lot at 4809 Forest Dr., donations will be accepted 9:15 a.m.- 9:45 a.m., followed by the exchange beginning at 10 a.m. sharp.

Garden Design with Bill Guess | Thursday, March 21 | Register to attend this event where the B.B. Barns garden coach presents several formulas for botanical combinations.

Boone Fox Farm BFF Spring Plant Sale | Saturday | 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. | City Roots, 1005 Airport Blvd., Columbia | Includes a farm tour at 10 a.m. and noon.

Lexington Herb Bunch Festival | Saturday, April 6 | 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. | Lexington County Museum, 231 Fox St., Lexington | Supports agricultural student scholarships.

Historic Columbia’s Spring Plant Sale | April 11, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. (HC members only), April 12, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., April 13, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. | Hampton-Preston Mansion, 1615 Blanding St., Columbia | One of two plant sales Historic Columbia holds every year, attendees can purchase plants propagated from the Living Collections across all of the historic sites.

Midlands Plant & Flower Festival | April 11-14 | Thursday-Saturday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. | SC State Farmers Market, 3483 Charleston Hwy., West Columbia | Offers a wide selection of plants and garden arts.

Midlands Spring Native Plant Sale | Saturday, April 13 | 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. | The plant sale focuses on blooming perennials, grasses, and our favorite smaller blooming shrubs and trees.

Richland County Master Gardeners Annual Plant Sale | Thursday, April 18 + Friday, April 19 | 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. | Master Gardeners will assist with garden and plant selections.

Riverbanks Zoo Spring Plant Sale (Members only) | Saturday, April 20 | 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. | Riverbanks Growing Center, 1201 Seminole Dr., West Columbia | Features a variety of annuals, perennials, trees, and special collections.

The top industries and employers in the Columbia metro area

More than 460,000 people (and thousands of businesses) contribute to the Columbia metro area’s $54 million economy. But have you ever wondered about the Capital City’s heaviest hitters?Consider this Columbia Business 101 — your guide to our region&r...

More than 460,000 people (and thousands of businesses) contribute to the Columbia metro area’s $54 million economy. But have you ever wondered about the Capital City’s heaviest hitters?

Consider this Columbia Business 101 — your guide to our region’s five key industries and major employers.

Note: When we say Columbia metro area, that refers to the Central SC Region that includes Calhoun, Clarendon, Fairfield, Kershaw, Lexington, Newberry, Orangeburg, and Richland counties.

The key industries

Five key industries represent ~55% of the Columbia metro area’s economy, based on data from Central SC. We’ve listed them in order of employment numbers.

Fun fact: Blue Cross Blue Shield of SC offering insurance services, contact center, claims processing... etc. employs over 10,000 people alone and is the top private employer in the region.

Prisma Health Midlands + Lexington Medical Center together employ over 21,000 individuals. The services in these industries are delivered by trained professionals and include establishments providing medical care, health care, and social assistance.

Under that retail bracket of employers, Wal-mart came out on top, employing almost 6,000 people. Amazon followed, employing over 2,600, and Samsung + UPS, both employing 1200-1350 people.

Manufacturing in the Midlands comes in many different forms, but at the top of the list are Nephron Pharmaceuticals, Michelin, Trane, which makes metal products + machinery, and Samsung. Local players such as Kraft Heinz, and Westinghouse Electric Company, also carry a significant employment presence.

Fun fact: According to the latest tourism data from Experience Columbia, visitation increased from 15.1 million in 2021 to 15.8 million in 2022, and visitor spending increased 12% over the previous year to $1.7 billion.

Of the $1.7 billion spent in Columbia, food + beverage spending accounted for $487 million — that’s 29% of each visitor’s budget.

The economic impact of tourism on our region is substantial and the total economic impact in 2022 sustained over 22,300 jobs and generated $130 million in state and local tax revenues.

The top food and beverage employers in the Midlands region are Dak Americans LLC, a company that creates plastic materials and resins, Mark Anthony Brewing, a brewer and producer of hard seltzers, and Devro Inc., a company that creates edible casings for meat packaging.

The Public Administration sector consists of establishments of federal, state, and local government agencies that oversee and manage public programs. In total, the state of SC employs over 30,000 in the Midlands, the top two being the SC Department of Corrections and the SC Department of Social Services.

Now that we’ve established the major industries, we bet you’re curious about some specific names. Whether you’re job hunting (or just “casually prospecting”), here are five major employers — all that employ more than 5,000 workers on average.

32,085 employees | Public sector | Search jobs

With Cola being the capital of South Carolina, the city’s largest employer is the state — which helps drive tourism, the economy, business, and local government agencies.

15,000 employees | Healthcare | Search jobs

In 2017, Greenville Health + Palmetto Health merged to become Prisma — and became the second-largest employer in Richland County and one of the largest healthcare providers in the region.

10,998 employees | Insurance services | Search jobs

BCBSSC is the only SC-owned + operated health insurance carrier in the state and has a family of companies and affiliates also offering services to South Carolinians.

6,557 employees | Healthcare | Search jobs

The hospital in West Columbia delivers more than 4,000 babies each year and performs more than 25,000 surgeries. It was also named the No. 2 hospital in SC and is recognized as the No. 1 hospital in the Midlands, according to U.S. News and World Report.

6,456 employees | Educational services | Search jobs

The over 200-year-old university is the largest in South Carolina and has been ranked as the nation’s number one first-year student experience. The university also boasts the country’s number-one ranking for international business via the Darla Moore School of Business. With its campus spread throughout the city, USC is the heartbeat of Columbia.

2023 was a year of record achievements for economic growth in Richland County. The Richland County Economic Development Office (RCEDO) announced capital investments have surged to $2.35 billion, and with them, 4,532 new job opportunities have become available.

Scout Motors | Automotive |~4,000 jobs | Volkswagon is entering the electric off-road vehicle arena under the Scout Motors nameplate and building those cars at a new facility coming to Blythewood.

Cirba Solutions | Energy | ~300 jobs | Cirba Solutions — an electric vehicle battery materials facility — is investing $323 million to establish operations in Richland County. The new state-of-the-art, world-class lithium-ion battery recycling + materials facility will be ~400,000 sqft and located at Pineview Industrial Park, which is less than 1.5 miles from I-77 via Shop Road and home to Mark Anthony Brewing.

FN America, LLC | Manufacturing | ~100 jobs | The United States subsidiary of global firearms manufacturer, FN Herstal plans to expand its Richland County operations. The company’s $18 million investment will create approximately 102 new jobs.

Blanchard Machinery Company | Construction | ~30 jobs | The construction equipment supplier is opening new operations in Calhoun County. The company’s $46 million investment will create 30 new jobs and transfer 150 existing jobs from its Lexington County operations to the new facility.

Cooperative Electric Energy Utility Supply, Inc. | Utility, Energy | ~100 jobs | A consumer-owned electric materials supplier plans to expand operations in Lexington County, making a $52 Million investment.

Xerxes | Manufacturing | ~80 jobs | Xerxes is planning to establish its first SC Operations in Richland County by leasing a new production facility that will expand the company’s capability to deliver market-leading underground fuel and water storage tanks.

Mark Anthony Brewing | Fourth largest brewer in the US |~300 jobs | The Mark Anthony Brewing is a supply chain management company that invested $400 million in a new facility that created 300 new jobs to increase production of White Claw and Mike’s Hard Lemonade on Shop Road in Columbia.

This information is derived from the most recent data published by Central SC.


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