Allendale County Business Leader Honored by Dept. of Commerce and Legislative Leaders
COLUMBIA, S.C. – January 26, 2011 – Bradley O'Neal was honored yesterday as an Ambassador for Economic Development by the Department of Commerce and legislative leaders as part of South Carolina‟s 20th Annual Industry Appreciation Week. The ceremony took place in Columbia on Tuesday, January 25 at the Statehouse and highlighted 47 individuals from 46 counties for their exceptional efforts to bolster community and economic development activities in South Carolina.
“Secretary Hitt and I have one very clear focus – to make our state the best and most competitive in the country for business development. 'Can't' isn't an option for us. But we can't do it alone. We need partners across South Carolina to grow the businesses we have, recruit new ones and help put our people back to work, and that's what today is all about,” said Gov. Nikki Haley.
Mr. O‟Neal is owner of the family-operated business, Coosaw Farms in Fairfax. Bradley is a third-generation farmer/fresh produce grower in Allendale County and a leader both locally and nationally in the field of agriculture. He serves on the Board of the Farm Service Agency in Allendale County. As a participant in the “Certified South Carolina Grown Program”, the Coosaw Farms brand can be purchased through local retailers (i.e., Bi-Lo, IGA, Piggly Wiggly) thus serving as an Allendale County agricultural products ambassador from New York to Miami and beyond.
“Serving as examples of economic success, our state‟s existing businesses are one of our most valuable economic development tools,” state House Speaker Bobby Harrell said. “These private sector leaders are at the frontlines of job creation and industry promotion for South Carolina and they do more for our economy than government can ever contribute. Our Ambassadors for Economic Development serve as a true asset to our state and deserve real credit for their leadership.”
“The health of our state's economy hinges on the important contributions made by business leaders and entrepreneurs throughout South Carolina. Whether it is bringing more capital investment and jobs to our state or supporting initiatives that bolster economic activities in communities, these ambassadors are committed to improving economic opportunities for all South Carolinians. We congratulate each Ambassador for Economic Development and thank them for their efforts,” said Bobby Hitt, Secretary of Commerce.
“We are delighted that the Governor and the State Legislature are honoring Bradley O’Neal,” said Bill Robinson, SouthernCarolina Alliance’s Economic Development Director for Allendale County. “Mr. O’Neal has been a major employer in the region for years, and his innovative business practices and commitment to the community have been an asset to Allendale County.”
“We congratulate Mr. O’Neal, and we are proud to have him as part of our regional industrial community,” said SouthernCarolina Alliance President Johnny Williamson. “Bradley’s agribusiness is an important part of the regional economic landscape, and the jobs he has created affect not only the families of his employees, but the many retail and service providers who benefit from his company’s presence in the region.”
Each year the Department of Commerce joins local communities to thank businesses for their vital contributions to South Carolina‟s economy. The Department of Commerce kicks off Industry Appreciation Week each year by recognizing individuals throughout South Carolina as Ambassadors for Economic Development. These individuals include local leaders from the private sector representing a variety of businesses and economic development organizations committed to securing new jobs and investment in their communities.