Dear All,

There are many friendly faces back in the Lowcountry as we head into summer.
No, we’re not talking about our visitors. It’s our H2B visa workers from all over the world who have joined us to work in our restaurants, resorts, golf courses, landscaping businesses, and more. Some have been coming to the Lowcountry to work year after year. These workers are a vital part of our local economy. Without them, our businesses wouldn’t be able to provide superb services for our residents and visitors.  
There are many facets to the workforce conversation. While our chamber’s committees are actively working on solutions via internships, encore careers, and connecting employers to veterans and people with disabilities, we are also making our voices heard on Capitol Hill when it comes to increasing the number of H2B visas available.
It’s no secret that businesses across all sectors in the U.S. have challenges when it comes to finding workforce. The annual unemployment rate in Beaufort County is 3.1% - that’s below the South Carolina rate of 3.4% and the national rate of 3.6%. The H2B visa program helps fill those open jobs during peak season, which helps those businesses provide excellent service. Better staffing helps provide the unique quality of life that tourism supports.
Whether or not your business utilizes the H2B program, it benefits us all.
We hope you enjoyed your long weekend and took the time to remember what the Memorial Day holiday is all about: honoring the brave servicemen and women who made the ultimate sacrifice. Last week, we shared the podcast interview with Operation Patriots FOB, an organization that is making a tremendous impact on local veterans. Click here to listen in case you missed it.
Make it a great week!  

Bill Miles,
President & CEO