If you own a business, you should already know that at some point, you will need to hire an electrician in Fort Lawn to fix electrical issues and maintain your property's wiring systems. Unfortunately, many people forego certified, experienced electricians to save money. The reality is, trying to fix an electrical issue in your business is no small task and often costs more money than hiring a professional. Working with electricity can be dangerous to your property and, more importantly, your health.
It might seem like a good idea to try a DIY approach or call your "do it all" local handyman, but going pro will save you time and money when it comes to serious projects like thermal imaging and three-phase panel installations. Think about it: why spend money buying expensive supplies and countless hours watching electrical repair videos when there's a good chance you'll need professional help in the end? Many DIY electricians have good intentions but often end up damaging electrical systems worse than before.
At Engineered Electrical Solutions, we get the job done right the first time, so you can focus on enjoying running your business while we fix your electrical problem. We bring the same level of quality and reliability to every job we perform, whether it's a routine safety inspection or an entire commercial rewiring project. Unlike some electricians in South Carolina, we go above and beyond to ensure our customers are safe and satisfied with our work. We pride ourselves on keeping customers informed throughout their electrical job and follow up on our projects to make sure our fixes stick.
At the end of the day, excellent customer care is what we strive to achieve. We do so by providing the highest quality commercial services at affordable prices, all year long. Here are just a few reasons why Lowcountry residents trust Engineered Electrical Solutions:
If you're looking for the very best electrician in South Carolina, put down the pen and paper and look no further than Engineered Electrical Solutions. Keep reading to learn more about some of our most popular services.
Having a reliable electrician on hand that you can trust with electrical repairs is of utmost importance when you own a business in South Carolina. For years, Engineered Electrical Solutions has provided business owners with the most effective electrical repair and installation services in the Lowcountry. Our team is adept at assisting businesses of all sizes, from small "mom and pop" shops to industrial plants and everything in between.
We offer a wide range of electrical services, from electrical panel installation and business rewiring to transformer installation and thermal imaging. Modern businesses count on energy-efficient electricity to help run their day-to-day operations. If you need your electrical systems to run smoothly so you can stay focused on building your business, count on Engineered Electrical Solutions to be there when you need us the most.
A few of our most popular commercial and industrial electrical services include but are not limited to:
As a business owner, you know first-hand that closing your doors costs money, time, and possibly your clients. That's why, when you have an electrical issue that must be remedied, you need quick, cost-efficient help so you can keep running your business. But trusting the job of a trained electrician in the hands of an amateur can be a big mistake.
Sure, your uncle may know how to flip a few switches on the breaker in your home, but serving a commercial business is an entirely different animal. In fact, trusting your company's electrical needs to just anyone can end up costing you more in the long run. Here are just a few of the most important reasons to consider hiring an experienced commercial electrical contractor.
Did you know there is a litany of regulations and codes you must follow when servicing electrical components in a commercial setting? From remodels to maintenance, a knowledgeable electrician will know these codes in and out. If they don't, they've got the reference material and support to ensure their work is up to standard. Taking the time to hire a commercial electrical company with vetted technicians means you don't have to worry about legal fines and reprimands for not adhering to regulations associated with common services like commercial lighting installations and upgrades.
In general, a commercial electrical contractor in Fort Lawn, SC, must undergo extensive training and pass more tests in order to practice their trade in South Carolina. Like their counterparts in the residential electrical business, they must both pass exams and complete apprenticeships. But commercial electricians have more in-depth training. They must also prove their knowledge of the National Electrical Code, or NEC, which encompasses safety procedures and building codes in the U.S. The advanced training that commercial electricians complete sets the foundation for services such as:
When you break it down to the basics, commercial electricians in the Lowcountry require more experience because of factors like safety, complexity, and reliability. It's not unusual for a contractor to complete over 4,000 hours of on-the-job experience, to learn about complicated topics like voltage and phase balancing, control systems, and phase diagrams.
If you're like most people, you hire professionals like corporate lawyers, helicopter pilots, and commercial electricians to handle the things you don't have the skills to do yourself. Because, if we're being honest, many services provided by commercial electrical contractors are dangerous and even downright deadly. While you can find "How-To" articles that insist that this type of work is simple, taking on an electrical project for your business can have catastrophic consequences - both for your business and for the family you're supporting.
Hiring a commercial electrician for your business safeguards you, your employees, and your business. That's because they're trained to spot commercial electrical hazards and have the tools to fix the problem correctly and according to South Carolina regulations.
Some business owners make it a point to hire non-professionals to handle their electrical work, thinking they'll save money in the long run. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. Cutting corners and hiring unlicensed friends or family members creates hazards that will set your company back much more than it would to hire a qualified commercial electrician. Mistakes are costly and often end up with you having to close your business while they're corrected. This downtime will affect your ability to do business and may even affect your brand loyalty and customer base.
Energy mismanagement - it's one of the most common ways that businesses lose unnecessary money every year. Though every business in South Carolina will eventually face some sort of energy waste, that doesn't mean you have to settle for expenses you can prevent. At Engineered Electrical Solutions, we're all about supporting our fellow business owners. To help you reduce electrical costs, follow these five tips.
In terms of low-cost solutions, this one is among the best. If you've been using incandescent bulbs throughout your business, try installing compact fluorescents instead. They can last 9x longer and save you money over time. While you're at it, remove any incandescent lights powering exit signs in your building. Replace them with LED alternatives.
Did you grow up in a household where your mom or dad constantly reminded you to turn off the lights when you're done in a room? That same basic principle holds true here. If lights are left on unnecessarily, be sure they're turned off before closing for the day. If you find that doesn't help, you may need to develop a shift-based system to turn off lights. Our team of commercial electricians for your business in cityname, state, have the expertise to help you establish a system to lower energy waste without affecting your company's productivity.
According to the Small Business Administration, HVAC use accounts for nearly 40% of energy use in commercial buildings. It's clear, then, that poor-performing HVAC systems can rack up monthly energy costs quickly. To prevent this from getting out of control, make sure your AC and heating units are well-maintained and free of expensive issues. You may want to also consider installing programmable thermostats, which can automatically control the temperature settings on your property to help maximize your energy savings.
The EPA states that keeping your commercial building properly insulated can save you as much as 10% on your energy bill. Don't settle for obvious areas like walls and windows. Be sure your electrical outlets, pipes, and HVAC ducts are properly insulated too.
At Engineered Electrical Solutions, we can provide you with an energy audit for your business that pinpoints areas of energy waste and how those areas can be improved. Having an electrical assessment is a great idea for any business owner, especially if you have a storefront where customers come and go because it can help lower your overall operational costs.
Commercial and industrial-sized buildings are large and complex by the nature of their construction. By proxy, commercial buildings have complicated wiring and electrical systems. Electrical work in the commercial market is best left to experienced, licensed professionals. If you're looking for the very best commercial electricians in Metro Fort Lawn, Engineered Electrical Solutions is here to serve you.
We have completed hundreds of commercial electrician projects for companies like Blue Oyster Restaurant, Shell Gas Stations, Flex Warehouses, Dentist Offices, and many more. With the most up-to-date equipment and years of professional experience, our team is ready to tackle your electrical problem, no matter how large.
Here are just a few of the common electrical issues that we solve for Lowcountry business owners:
Your businesses' electrical system will trip when it has too much electricity running through it. These problems are very common in commercial properties and usually stem from one of three culprits: circuit overloads, short circuits, and ground fault surges. Obviously, when your circuits are tripped regularly, your business operations suffer. To help solve your circuit breaker problems, our commercial electricians will come to your location for in-depth troubleshooting. Once we discover the root cause, we'll get to work on repairing your circuit breaker, so you can continue working and serving your customers.
Like tripped circuit breakers, dimming or flickering lights are among the most common commercial electrical problems in South Carolina. These issues typically stem from poor electrical connections. These poor connections will usually cause sparks, which can start fires and wreak havoc on your commercial building. While dimming lights might seem minor, if you leave this problem to fester, you could be looking at permanent damage to your businesses' electrical systems. Given the danger involved in fixing this problem, it's important that you work with a licensed business electrician like Engineered Electrical Solutions as soon as you're able to.
Dead power outlets aren't always dangerous, unlike other recurring commercial electrical issues. They are, however, disruptive to your company's productivity. Dead outlets are common in older commercial buildings and are often caused by circuit overloads. Connecting multiple high-wattage devices and appliances to the same power socket can cause overheating. When the power outlet overheats, it can lead to tripped circuit breakers. In some cases, the live wire catches fire and burns until it is disconnected. For a reliable solution using high-quality switches, sockets, and circuit breakers, it's best to hire a professional business electrician to get the job done right.
Finding a real-deal, qualified commercial electrician in South Carolina is harder than you might think. Whether it's due to availability or budget, you might be tempted to hire a residential electrician for your commercial electrical problem. While it's true that great residential electricians can help solve commercial issues in theory, it's always best to hire a business electrician with professional experience.
Unlike their residential colleagues, commercial electricians are licensed to deal with different materials and procedures suited specifically for businesses. Commercial wiring is much more complex than other wiring and is strategically installed with maintenance, repair, and changes in mind. Additionally, commercial properties usually use a three-phase power supply, necessitating more schooling, skills, and technical ability to service.
The bottom line? If you're a business owner with commercial electricity problems, it's best to work with a licensed commercial electrician, like you will find at Engineered Electrical Solutions.
Engineered Electrical Solutions has built its reputation on a simple formula: give our customers the highest-quality commercial electrical services, the most helpful customer service, and the best prices available in town.
As a veteran-owned and operated business, we take pride in good old-fashioned hard work and dedication to our craft. No upselling. No misleading fine print. Only quality electrical work and reliable commercial electricians in Fort Lawn, SC.
We want to be sure every one of our customers is satisfied, which is why we offer a three-year guaranteed on our labor. If you're in need of a commercial electrician for your business or organization, give our office a call and discover the Engineered Electrical Solutions difference.843-735-2275
E. & J. Gallo plans to build a new bottling plant in South Carolina, a facility that would serve as Gallo’s main hub east of the Mississippi, according to various reports.The world’s biggest wine company plans to build the plant on more than 600 acres in Fort Lawn, Chester County, in an area once known for its textile mills, according to the multiple sources. Fort Lawn is about 45 minutes south from Charlotte Douglas International Airport and an hour north from Columbia, SC.Modesto-based Gallo plans to invest mo...
E. & J. Gallo plans to build a new bottling plant in South Carolina, a facility that would serve as Gallo’s main hub east of the Mississippi, according to various reports.
The world’s biggest wine company plans to build the plant on more than 600 acres in Fort Lawn, Chester County, in an area once known for its textile mills, according to the multiple sources. Fort Lawn is about 45 minutes south from Charlotte Douglas International Airport and an hour north from Columbia, SC.
Modesto-based Gallo plans to invest more than $400 million over the next eight years and hire nearly 500 employees, Rob Donoho, head of Gallo’s global chain functions, told South Carolina state legislators on March 9. It would only be the first of five phases, Donoho noted.
“This is really intended to be our East Coast home for the Gallo enterprise for decades and decades to come,” Donoho said.
The plant, which could be reached by rail, would be designed to bottle wine in different formats, including glass, cans, bag-in-box and small plastic bottles, according to Donoho. It will also be a warehousing and distribution center for wine bottled in California and shipped to Chester County, according to Donoho’s presentation. The company could also produce its own cans on site, Donoho said.
Gallo, an importer and exporter, also plans to “double or triple” its operations at the Port of Charleston, according to Donoho.
No timeline has been given. Still Donoho and other representatives spoke of the company’s commitment.
“We do actively want to come to South Carolina. There has been a tremendous vetting process,” Donoho told the South Carolina Senate Judiciary subcommittee which is considering a bill to allow Gallo to have up to four satellite tasting rooms for educational and marketing purposes. “We’re very close to closing the deal,” he said.
Donoho cited the economic and environmental benefits of having the plant in South Carolina, given that about 70 percent of its customers are on the East Coast.
“Being a wine grape producer on the West Coast puts us at a logistics disadvantage to getting products to our consumers,” Donoho said. Shipping “heavy” glass bottles and cardboard cross country, he said, was “very expensive.”
Instead, it is “much cheaper“ for the company to ship its wine to the East Coast and source the glass and other packaging locally, Donoho said. “There is a tremendous logistics advantage to doing that.”
Donoho also noted the “sustainability” benefit of “not burning as much fuel to get the product to the consumers.”
The state’s other benefits would include supply chain revenues and the demand for trucking services, according to the presentation. In addition, the satellite tasting rooms Gallo wants to open could spur tourism, Donoho and others said.
Minimum wage in South Carolina is $7.25/hour.
Among the factors that led Gallo to choose South Carolina to build its “East Coast home,” Donoho cited South Carolina’s business-friendly climate, its location to the port of Charleston, and S.C. Ready, a state-sponsored job training program. “It’s truly one of the things that attracted us to the state,” he said.
Donoho addressed the subcommittee as the state Legislature considers S. 619, a bill that would allow Gallo to have up to four satellite tasting rooms in the state. Gallo’s representatives have called the provision a “critical” point to the company coming to the state. The tasting rooms will be a marketing and educational tool and will build brand awareness, Donoho said. Their locations for the tasting rooms, which could be 800 to 1,200 square feet, according to Donoho, were not specified.
South Carolina’s top elected officials, including Gov. Henry McMaster, have strongly backed the Gallo project in Chester County.
In a March 9 letter to the state legislators, McMaster urged support for S. 619. Gallo was “very close to announcing a once-in-a-generation $400 million capital investment in Chester County that will create nearly 500 jobs,” McMaster wrote. The investment will “transform the community and contribute greatly to South Carolina’s economic prosperity.”
E. & J. Gallo, he wrote, “is a well-respected, family owned company with products that are distributed across the globe.”
South Carolina State Sen. Brad Hutto, D – Orangeburg, voiced support for Gallo, noting the jobs that could be created. “We look forward to having them,” Hutto said, referring to Gallo.
The Senate Judiciary subcommittee was scheduled to meet again Thursday regarding S. 619. Current state wine law does not address satellite tasting rooms. The legislation was drafted after the South Carolina’s Department of Commerce, which is helping Gallo come to the state, approached the Department of Revenue to figure out the next steps, according to testimony before the state’s Senate Judiciary subcommittee.
The state Department of Commerce has submitted an application to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to seek a permit to build the plant. Construction would require filling about 1 acre of wetlands and about 8,000 feet of tributaries, according to the public notice. The environmental evaluation of the project is under way, according to the federal agency.
Gallo’s name was not mentioned as the applicant behind the Fort Lawn project until recently.
The financial agreement between Gallo and local officials has not been unveiled either. The Chester County Council has discussed the project, code named “Project Magma,” in closed-door sessions.
The secrecy did not sit well with Michael McLain who lives near the site where the proposed Gallo facility may be built. He found the identity of his potential new neighbor through the U.S. Corps of Engineers, he said. “You’re not watching after us,” McLain told the Chester County Council early March.
The plant is going to “squash the value of my property and my home and is going to be annoying the crap out of me every morning and every evening by being right across the street from me, shining lights in and out of my house,” McLain said.
This week, however, a manager at The Wagon Wheel restaurant in Fort Lawn said the Gallo plant would bring jobs to the community.
The South Carolina Department of Commerce and a Gallo representative declined to give more specifics on the company’s South Carolina plans.
“E. & J. Gallo Winery is constantly reviewing the strategic options of its business in order to meet growing global demand; toward that end, we are exploring potential operational investment opportunities on the east coast. Nothing is finalized at this stage and we don’t have specifics at this time, however we are continuing to explore strategic options within our business as we plan for the future,” Gallo representative Natalie Hoch Henderson said in an email.
FORT LAWN — A bottling, canning and distribution company believed to be affiliated with the Gallo wine empire wants to build a plant of more than 5 million square feet on a wooded, 630-acre tract on the edge of this tiny Chester County town where textile mills once flourished.A spokeswoman for Ernest & Julio Gallo Winery said the Modesto, Calif.-based company has been reviewing its strategic options to meet global demand for its products, including exploring potential investment opportunities on the East Coast.“...
FORT LAWN — A bottling, canning and distribution company believed to be affiliated with the Gallo wine empire wants to build a plant of more than 5 million square feet on a wooded, 630-acre tract on the edge of this tiny Chester County town where textile mills once flourished.
A spokeswoman for Ernest & Julio Gallo Winery said the Modesto, Calif.-based company has been reviewing its strategic options to meet global demand for its products, including exploring potential investment opportunities on the East Coast.
“Nothing is finalized at this stage, and we don’t have specifics at this time,” Natalie Hoch Henderson said.
Code-named “Project Magma,” the project has been moving through the incentive phase at the county level, where Chester officials have given initial approval to a plan to allow the company to pay a set fee instead of property taxes, an arrangement commonly used throughout South Carolina to attract jobs.
The Post and Courier requested a resolution about the tax breaks, which was discussed during the open session of a public meeting earlier this month. The county required the newspaper to file a Freedom of Information Act request, which it said was forwarded to legal counsel Feb. 26.
The number of jobs and the investment amount for Project Magma have not been disclosed.
Meanwhile, lawmakers in Columbia led by Sen. Luke Rankin of Horry County have filed a bill that would attract and benefit wineries in South Carolina. In a report published on onlineChester.com this week, Sen. Mike Fanning of Fairfield acknowledged the work and “due diligence” underway in Fort Lawn while stressing that the deal hasn’t been finalized.
“This could include the establishment of an industrial project that would bring significant investment and several hundred jobs over a period of time,’” said Fanning, whose co-sponsors of the winery bill include Sen. Hugh Leatherman of Florence. “The project would be internationally recognized, and considered to be an extremely clean operation with state-of-the-art production capabilities.”
Plans filed by the S.C. Department of Commerce with the Army Corps of Engineers show a three-phased building approach with more than two dozen structures, with the largest containing 800,000 square feet of space.
Rail spurs will have to be built to tie into the Lancaster and Chester Railroad, which runs along S.C. Highway 9 on the north side of the property. Several rail lines also are slated on the interior of the property between the larger buildings for loading and unloading materials.
The property is behind two large textile plants once operated by the Springs family. They are now used for logistics and storage and employ a fraction of the workers who once toiled in the mills that proliferated throughout the Upstate. Most of them were mothballed as textile production moved to cheaper labor in foreign markets.
As part of the planned development, which touches the Catawba River, slightly more than an acre of freshwater wetlands and about 1½ miles of tributaries that carry water away from Fort Lawn toward the river will have to be filled and rerouted.
One of the main tributaries that will be disturbed runs under U.S. Highway 21 adjacent to Sandra McLain’s house, which sits directly across from the proposed plant site.
She’s all for new jobs coming to the area, but not at the expense of being stuck with a view of the truck parking lot that’s proposed across from her house and the prospect of flooding on her side of the road if the wetlands work is somehow botched.
“Having industry come into the area is a fabulous thing,” she said. “People need to work. But we don’t want a parking lot across the street from our front yard.”
McLain forwarded her comments to the Army Corps of Engineers, which in February sent letters seeking public feedback from neighboring property owners. The federal permitting agency is involved because the project includes the realignment of streams and wetlands.
“There is nothing showing a buffer on the plans they sent us,” McLain said from her front porch while staring at the site beyond her manicured yard. “Who wants to stand here and look at a parking lot? I want them to at least put in a 50-foot tree buffer over there.”
CHESTER COUNTY, S.C. — A 79-year-old woman who was reported missing on Sept. 13 from Helms-Gordon Residential Care in Fort Lawn has been found alive, the Chester County Sheriff’s Office said.ALSO READ: Fight involving parents, students on Chester County school bus leads to arrest, officials sayAuthorities said Thursday a dron...
CHESTER COUNTY, S.C. — A 79-year-old woman who was reported missing on Sept. 13 from Helms-Gordon Residential Care in Fort Lawn has been found alive, the Chester County Sheriff’s Office said.
Authorities said Thursday a drone spotted Judy Pate in a wooded area along Cemetery Road, which had already been searched.
“Around 11 a.m., a group of guys looked at that map again that was reviewed a thousand times and said, ‘This is what we’re going to do,’” said Chester County Sheriff Max Dorsey. “They got our drone operator and said, ‘Let’s go down and do this,’ and it happened. There’s no doubt God led them down there.”
Family members were relieved.
“It’s really emotional because you expect the worse, but here today, we’ve come to realize that God had a plan,” said David Elliot, Pate’s nephew.
“She’s in good spirits,” Elliot said. “She was moving a little. She was found at the bottom of a ravine. A creek bed. She was talking.”
Volunteers, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division helicopter and multiple agencies helped with the search.
Pate’s pastor, Rev. Trent McLaughlin, helped with the search.
“She is a strong lady,” McLaughlin said. “She trusts God. She has faith in God and that is what we’re putting our hope and faith in that. That she’s going to be found alive and safe.”
An ambulance rushed her to a medical helicopter that flew her to the hospital to be checked out.
On Tuesday, Sept. 26, the Pate family announced that DHEC was launching an investigation into Helms-Gordon Residential Care.
They issued a statement regarding the investigation saying:
“The Pate family has received and reviewed the results of the initial investigation into the Helms-Gordon Facility performed by DHEC. To say they are disgusted and upset with the findings would be an understatement. Helms-Gordon was cited multiple times for violations of the State imposed standards of care. The investigation indicates that Ms. Judy was missing for hours before anyone at Helms-Gordon was even aware. Furthermore, the investigation states that upon discovering that Ms. Judy was missing, Helms-Gordon waited hours before contacting the Chester County Sheriff’s Office. This delayed response to authorities is abhorrent, and unforgivable. We intend to pursue every avenue of justice to ensure that no other person or family has to undergo this type of nightmare due to the inactions of an irresponsible facility.”
VIDEO: Chester County Schools makes safety changes
Construction of a California wine giant’s facility in Chester County, SC, will begin Wednesday. State officials say the project is a significant step toward revitalizing a poor former mill town.Gov. Henry McMaster and the South Carolina Department of Commerce announced Tuesday E&J Gallo Winery, the largest family-owned winery in the United States, is officially coming to the small Chester town of Fort Lawn.The facility will provide bottling and canni...
Construction of a California wine giant’s facility in Chester County, SC, will begin Wednesday. State officials say the project is a significant step toward revitalizing a poor former mill town.
Gov. Henry McMaster and the South Carolina Department of Commerce announced Tuesday E&J Gallo Winery, the largest family-owned winery in the United States, is officially coming to the small Chester town of Fort Lawn.
The facility will provide bottling and canning as well as warehousing and distribution. It is the company’s first facility on the east coast.
The project is on track to be completed by October of 2022, a press release from the South Carolina Department of Commerce said.
The facility will be on 650 acres between Lancaster Highway and Catawba Creek Road, said Robert Long, Chester economic development director.
Gallo has invested $423 million in the project, which is estimated to create 496 new jobs over the next eight years.
“Gallo’s $423 million investment and the 496 new jobs in Chester County will transform the region,” SC Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt said in a statement Tuesday.
Lawmakers and local officials believe this project will bring economic progress all over Chester County.
“Fort Lawn is one of those communities that was hit hard by the textile mills,” Long said, which is the story in most towns in Chester County. The small town, which was chosen for its proximity to railroads, will benefit greatly from this new venture, he said. “This is a once in a decade project.”
McMaster said in a press release that the “Gallo’s investment will transform Chester County and contribute greatly to South Carolina’s economic prosperity. Creating a business environment in which world-class brands can grow and thrive is critical to South Carolina’s long-term economic success, especially in our rural communities.
Fort Lawn Mayor Carlton Martin said the project is just what the town needed. “We are confident this will attract other companies to join in what is sure to be great things for the Fort Lawn community.”
In May, the governor signed into law a measure tweaking the state’s alcohol legislation, and green-lighting the Gallo project.
Representatives for Gallo had said they would not proceed with the project until the measure was passed, The State reported in March.
The legislation, will allow Gallo to open three off-site tasting rooms and sell customers up to six bottles of wine. The facility is required to close at 5:30 p.m. to avoid competition with local businesses.
This story was originally published June 15, 2021, 1:07 PM.
The proposed facility would make the tiny town of Fort Lawn the winemaker's east coast hub—assuming it's also allowed to open some tasting rooms.Earlier this week, the South Carolina House of Representatives approved a piece of legislation that would allow E.& J. Gallo Winery to open a bottling plant and three tasting rooms in the state. The bill's supporters say that Gallo's proposal would provide several hundred jobs for South Carolina residents, while those who oppose it worry that it will negatively affect local wineries...
The proposed facility would make the tiny town of Fort Lawn the winemaker's east coast hub—assuming it's also allowed to open some tasting rooms.
Earlier this week, the South Carolina House of Representatives approved a piece of legislation that would allow E.& J. Gallo Winery to open a bottling plant and three tasting rooms in the state. The bill's supporters say that Gallo's proposal would provide several hundred jobs for South Carolina residents, while those who oppose it worry that it will negatively affect local wineries and restaurants.
The plant—which will actually start out as a large warehouse and distribution center—is expected to employ around 500 people. It will be located in Fort Lawn (Pop. 940) a rural town in equally rural Chester County. According to Wine Searcher, one tasting room could also open in Fort Lawn, while the others are likely to be in more tourist-friendly locations like Hilton Head and Charleston.
Bringing Gallo to South Carolina requires some modifications to the state's existing liquor laws. The Johnson City Press reports that the proposed legislation, SB 619, would allow breweries, distilleries, and wineries to open "satellite locations" where they can sell their products—and that's where the tasting rooms would come in.
Each of those facilities would only be allowed to sell wine, and they would be required to close by 5:30 p.m. Although the Gallo properties would have to purchase the wines they sell from wholesalers within the state, the bill's critics say that the tasting rooms would still be detrimental to local retailers, restaurants, and smaller wineries.
"We always seem to be in a rush to fashion new laws for some shiny object coming from out of state, bend over backwards to get rid of a system that we've had in place for a number of years," Sen. Marlon Kimpson told The State. "But the local restaurants tell me that these testing rooms unnecessarily drive up the competition."
But those in favor of the bill—and of the California company's willingness to open these facilities in South Carolin—say the positives absolutely outweigh the negatives. "This is a world player choosing to locate only its second [bottling and distribution center] in this teeny town," Sen. Mike Fanning said.
The plant is expected to be constructed on around 600 acres of land in Fort Lawn, and Gallo would invest more than $400 million in the county within the next eight years. Rob Donoho, the head of Gallo's global chain functions, said that the company "actively wants" to open this facility in South Carolina. "This is really intended to be our East Coast home for the Gallo enterprise for decades and decades to come," he told legislators this spring.