Sen. Lindsey Graham speaks at State of the Region on Hilton Head
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HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. () — Senator Lindsey Graham was in the Lowcountry Friday speaking with local leaders about the economic impact in the region.

Graham said South Carolina’s coastal communities are huge drivers in the state’s economy. Beaufort County has grown significantly in the past several decades. With that growth calls for more housing, jobs and bigger roadways.

Local business leaders and politicians came together at this year’s State of the Region to talk about what they’ve accomplished and what’s to come.

“This is probably the most effective chamber I deal with anywhere in South Carolina,” Graham said. Graham also explained that the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act is crucial for the Lowcountry and a big reason why he voted for it.

“It had a billion dollars allocated for South Carolina infrastructure needs. I’m sure Georgia benefited also,” Graham said. “But the one thing you have to understand about this region, if you don’t stay ahead of the game, you’ll get left behind. A lot of people come here for tourism and they need to have a good experience.”

That rings true with Hilton Head Island Mayor Alan Perry. He said the county has its plate full, needing help from everyone to maintain the natural beauty and keep up with infrastructure.

“The explosive growth that we’ve experienced over the past several years, post-COVID has been phenomenal,” Perry said. “And so the entire county has got to address the full aspect of transportation, the workforce, housing and workforce.”

The center of the Lowcountry’s economy is tourism. It’s what has many people from across the country returning to Beaufort County every year.

Local leaders said it’s because the area is so unique. However, one long-standing issue in the Lowcountry is affordability.

Recently, Hilton Head announced plans for workforce housing. Making sure everyone who works in the communities has a place to call home is top of the list.

“This is a tourist destination, but this is also home,” Graham said. “And if you’re a police officer, you’re a nurse, you’re a schoolteacher, you work in one of these hotels, we’ve got to make sure there’s a place for you and your family to live that’s quality and affordable.”

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