With jets that scream overhead and throngs of visitors who flock to see new Marines graduate, the military has an impact of $1.2 billion annually on Beaufort County, according to a recent study by economist Don Schunk of Coastal Carolina University.
The Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce commissioned Schunk to update the Beaufort County section of a statewide study he performed for the S.C. Military Task Force in 2004.
The results show the military rivals tourism, which chamber officials say generates more than $1 billion in annual revenue for the county.
Unlike tourism, however, the military is not as prone to fluctuation, Schunk and chamber officials said.
The area's trio of military facilities -- Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island and Naval Hospital Beaufort -- help insulate the county from economic downturns such as the recent recession, Schunk said.
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