MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – It is one of the hottest shopping districts at the beach, but local businesses around the Market Common area say they are having to close their doors because customers are not coming their way.
"I've had four neighbors move in on one side," said Murray Stahler, owner of Murray and Mike's Cafe. "I've had four neighbors on the other side."
Stahler and his brother, Mike, have run their gourmet cafe for two years, but says because they do not fall within the limits of the shopping center, it is tough to attract customers.
"We can't put up signage," he said. "We aren't on any maps because we don't pay for their advertising."
Other business owners in the section of brick townhomes say they are struggling for customers. In many cases, they say they have seen shoppers walk to the end of the shopping center at the King Street Grille, look down the road, then turn around.
"I just assumed they were townhouses and rental properties," said shopper Stephanie Fred. "I had no idea there were shops there."
Stahler says the main issue is simply his business, and the others on his side of Howard Avenue, are not a part of Market Common, so they do not receive the benefit of advertising and promotion.
But some shop owners say the situation is more complicated, and are met with stiff resistance from Market Common's property manager.
WMBF News contacted the Market Common management office for a comment on the matter. While they returned our calls, they did not issue an official statement.