Since my update last week, South Carolina has started making the turn towards opening the state. Last Monday, the Governor announced an accelerateSC advisory team to consider and recommend economic revitalization plans for South Carolina. The team is led by James Burns, a partner at the law firm of Nelson, Mullins, Riley and Scarborough and former chief of staff for Governor Nikki Haley.

The team consists of 29 state leaders from various background and 6 appointments from the legislature – 3 Senate members and 3 House members. I am honored to be one of President Peeler’s appointments from the Senate to help in opening the state up as fast and safe as possible.

All of us, along with Governor McMaster, know that we must move to re-open our state. The Paycheck Protection Program from Congress was to help businesses for 2 months, but we all know businesses will be affected for far more than 2 months. We must get our economy rolling again.

Our first meeting was held last Thursday at the University of South Carolina alumni center, where we received an overview from all of the state departments regarding the economic impact to each. We also heard from team members about their affected industries, including restaurants, tourism, healthcare, and small business.

The accelerateSC team is divided in to 5 sub-groups – Response, Protection, Governance, Resources, and Information. The Governance sub-group met yesterday afternoon and the Resources sub-group will meet this Thursday at 1:30 p.m. The legislative group that I am a part of sits as advisors for both of these groups.

Our Governance committee is chaired by Mayor Knox White. The great thing was that before the meeting began, Executive Director Burns sent an email that said the purpose was not to be “A GENERAL AIRING OF GRIEVANCES.” We all know there are problems – we now need solutions.

Mayor White did a great job moderating the meeting. He kept us on task and made a few opening comments that help set the tone. He said the key to recovery is confidence: confidence in employers that they can provide a safe working environment, confidence in employees that they are working in a safe environment, and confidence of consumers that they are shopping or eating in a safe environment. He gave credit to Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt, who mentioned this last week, but it bears repeating because it hits the nail on the head.

All accelerateSC meetings are being televised at For a complete list of the accelerateSC team members, click here.

If you know me, you know that I play golf. I am not that good – but I am competitive. I love to play golf in bad weather with players that are better than me, because I believe they will focus on the bad conditions and not the game. Right now, every state in the nation is dealing with the same bad conditions as we are. I believe if we stay focused on how we make South Carolina better from this Pandemic, we can lead the nation in showing how its done. South Carolina is tailor-made for a strong summer recovery with our beaches and mountains.

If we use this time to just plan on trying to get us back to where we were, we are missing the opportunity. It took a Pandemic, but you will see Government relax regulations that may have never been needed, education looking at exciting options they wouldn’t have considered 6 months ago, and a renewed interest in belt tightening for the unexpected.

I know most of us want our state opened up yesterday, but if the consumer doesn’t have any reason to be confident, it’s not going to help most to open up. If you have ideas on how to grow confidence and accelerate the economic return of South Carolina as fast as possible, please send them to me at or to anyone on the task force.

If you are still having problems with unemployment or navigating other state agencies, please give me or my assistant, Ja’vell Bynoe, a call at (803) 212-6148. We will be glad to get you connected.

Click here for Governor McMaster’s latest update, which was issued this morning.