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Camden, S.C. experiencing significant economic resurgence

City of Camden
Shawn Putnam
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City of Camden

After their population had been shrinking for four decades, our state’s oldest inland city has reversed its fortunes over the past 15 years, and that has resulted in more commercial investment over the past five years than in each of the prior 25. Mike Switzer interviews Shawn Putnam, planning and development director for the City of Camden, S.C.

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After almost 20 years, Mike Switzer retired from Wells Fargo Securities in 2001 as Senior Vice President/Investment Officer and Certified Portfolio Manager. In 1999, he and his wife, Maggie, purchased and operated for eight years the Baskin Robbins ice cream store on Forest Drive in Columbia. They grew the store from a bottom-tier operation in the Baskin Robbins franchise system to one in the top 5% nationwide within three years, tripling sales along the way. While operating the ice cream store, Mike and Maggie received patents for a portable ice cream sink and fold-down sneezeguard they invented and in 2002 started Magnolia Carts, an ice cream cart manufacturing company, which they sold in 2013.