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"We frequently come across successful and growing global companies who know that they have market potential here, but aren't quite ready to dive in and open a full-scale manufacturing facility before testing the waters," said South Carolina Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt. "These firms want to be conservative and begin with a sales and marketing office, or a small warehouse with a few employees - but they don't know where in the U.S. to go, or how to start. The Landing Pad program will allow us to help these companies minimize the risk of establishing operations in a new market and guide them through the process." By helping businesses make necessary connections and navigate the requirements for doing business in the state, this program will allow companies to focus more on securing new North American sales and expanding existing customer bases. In the end, the goal for the Landing Pad program is to ensure an even greater success rate for these companies and lay a foundation for future investment and job creation in South Carolina. "Our hope is that our Landing Pad participant companies thrive here, so that, in the future, when they are ready for something larger, it will be here in South Carolina due to their positive experience and our pro-business climate," said Hitt. For more information on the Landing Pad program, email the S.C. Department of Commerce's Division of International Strategy &andTrade at GrowfromSC@SCCommerce.com.