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Chamber, LCEDC get IL office

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By Jenny Hartley

INDIAN LAND - Business leaders, chamber of commerce members and employment officials now have a place to meet in the Panhandle.

Merrifield Partners, the developer of 521 Commerce Center on U.S. 521, donated a 1,300-square-foot space in the Pinckney Building for use by Lancaster County Economic Development Corp., Lancaster County Chamber of Commerce and the local office of the S.C. Employment Security Commission.

The three entities will share the cost of a monthly $565 maintenance fee, said LCEDC President Keith Tunnell.

"Often times, all of us have had a need for office space, a place to meet" in Indian Land, Tunnell said.

Tunnell made it clear that the development corporation is not moving to Indian Land.

"We're not moving our office. We're just using the space to meet with clients," he said. "It's a beautiful space, a great space."

Tunnell is working with a Charlotte furniture company to furnish the office in lieu of LCEDC membership fees.

Chamber President Dean Faile is pleased about having a space for the chamber in Indian Land.

The chamber plans to hire a person later this year who will concentrate on membership sales and programs. Faile said this staff member will work in Lancaster three days a week and two days a week in Indian Land.

"I think it's going to be very advantageous to us," Faile said. "The board is excited."

Plans to build a welcome center in Indian Land to be shared by the entities have been discussed over the past couple of years. Faile said with the growth in Indian Land, rent will likely become expensive in the future, so building will become an option.

The donated office space is an important "first step" in establishing a presence in the Panhandle, Faile said.

"We will be diligent and start to have a presence up there, and hope for the best," he said.

Contact Jenny Hartley at 283-1151 or jhartley@thelancasternews.com