City waives rules to attract investors - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

City waives rules to attract investors

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CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – Kim Hardee is getting ready to open a new restaurant in Downtown Conway. Hardee is one of several new business owners who has one less expense to worry about thanks to a city initiative

"Whether it's 200 or 300 dollars, it's a huge help," said Hardee.

The idea behind waiving the city's landscaping rules was to make it cheaper to set up shop during tough economic times. City of Conway Council member Tom Anderson says the idea came straight from Conway business owners themselves.

"They suggested to hold off on the improvement landscaping and parking. Those things are important for aesthetics, but right now, people are just trying to be open," said Anderson.

The city agreed to do away with landscaping requirements for new businesses about a year ago. "You don't have to worry about site work as far as landscaping or parking which could save significant money," tells Anderson.

Anderson says the amount of money saved varies from business to business. So far 24 new restaurants, stores, beauty salons, and offices have been able to bypass the city's landscaping rules.

Alex Odum of Alphi's Seafood in Conway was one of them.

"Probably anywhere from $500 to $1500 to $2000 dollars,  it was money that I could use for other things that were necessary in just opening up," said Odum.

Now council members want to extend the landscaping initiative for another year to keep reeling in businesses and fill in empty store fronts. The proposal will be heard in front of city council for a second reading and for public hearing during the next city council meeting in December.  

As for Hardee, says she hopes to see more new shops pop up and that they too have one less hurdle to jump. "It's great for single merchants like myself. "

Copyright 2012 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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