Featured Image Credit: Charleston CVB
According to an internal measure, the largely renowned company Yelp has created, Charleston is the fifth-best city for economic opportunity. Factors such as how many people leave reviews in a city, how many people visit businesses’ pages, and how many businesses open and close each year attribute to this new measurement. As of this month, Charleston has the second-fastest rate of expansion in the country according to Yelp’s new measurements.
While Yelp is most commonly known for its reviews on businesses and a helpful guide for knowing which coffee shop is the best in your area, the 13-year-old company is also helpful in deciding where to open a business.
The Yelp measure of business openings is a relatively new way of calculating economic growth. But according to Harvard Business School researchers, it closely matches census figures, even though it can offer results years earlier. It is also more up-to-date than official government statistics.
FirstString is a biotech startup in the Charleston area founded by Dr. Gautam Ghatnekar at the Medical University of South Carolina. It raised around $6.5 million and is aiming for millions of more dollars in financing. In their securities filing earlier this month, the company is also aiming to sell $15 million of stock after raising more than two-fifths of that sum. FirstString is in the process of developing a therapeutic gel, Granexin, for treating radiation exposure and diabetic foot ulcers.
The industry is trying to establish a firm footing in South Carolina, as it is expected to have a large economic impact.