Best Department of Commerce Website: South Carolina

While every state has a department of commerce, or its equivalent, not all of these departments have their own functioning websites containing useful information.  Some have no website at all, while others have a website including only the bare minimum of functionality, therefore being of very little use to the common person.  As the general function of a department of commerce is to promote economic growth, it is important that a good DOC website provides information on its prominent industries, promotes the state as a worthy place to do business, and offers resources to current and prospective business owners.

The South Carolina website for its DOC fits this bill in every respect, which is why it receiving the award for Best Department of Commerce Website. With a section entirely devoted to “The SC Advantage,” the website highlights plenty of reasons why South Carolina should be the first choice for your next business venture.  There is also a large and easily navigated resource section, in addition to a business network area.  Between the two, they house an extremely comprehensive overview of the many resources South Carolina has to offer a potential businessperson, as well as useful tools for current business owners who the state hopes to retain.

However, setting them apart from the crowd and earning them the first place spot are their separate microsites for the most prominent industries, including the aerospace and automobile industries.  The aerospace industry microsite includes a list of every airport in the state, while the automobile site features all of the manufacturers in the area, with a spotlight on the three biggest contributors to the state economy. These bonus features go above and beyond the call of duty for a DOC website and earned South Carolina the top spot.

Runner Up: Washington

Earning an honorable mention in the runner up position was the DOC website for the state of Washington, which also has a great many features and resources.  Although the Washington website holds an even more thorough database of resources than South Carolina, along with a myriad of services and programs for the current business owner, they are doing little to attract new business.  By not promoting their state, they are crippling future economic growth in favor of maintaining current relations.  The lack of industry-specific information also made the website less desirable as an official Department of Commerce website.