MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The second annual Taste of Surfside Beach started Monday. The event helps local charities and promotes local business.
Customers can purchase passport discount cards for $10 and they can present those cards at more than 70 participating businesses in Surfside Beach to receive a discount during the event.
The Surfside Beach Business Committee, decided to make Taste of Surfside Beach an event a month-long this year. In 2015, the event was only a week and it did not leave customers a lot time to patronize all of the businesses involved.
Sammy Truett, President of the committee said ticket sales are not as strong as last year. Truett said the event exceeded its goal selling about 475 passports, but he said so far for 2016, about 200 tickets have been sold. Truett said he is not sure why sales are off to a slow start this year, but he hopes it will gain momentum over the next few weeks.
Tim Bradford, owner of JerriBob's Printing in Surfside Beach, participated last year but he did not see a lot of customers because one week was not enough time.
"We had a lot of merchants that were participating but not a lot of people had the time to get out and see all of those merchants within that one week period.," explained Bradford.
Taste of Surfside ends March 15 and it will be supporting the local Red Cross Chapter, the South Strand Helping Hand Food Bank, and local Lion's Club. All passport sales will be distributed to the charities.
Bradford said it is a great opportunity to help local businesses and support a good cause. "That new customer that walks in the door one, they get a deal for buying that passport and then two, we get a new customer, or, we get an existing customers that gets a deal as well. So it works out really good, it's a win-win," said Bradford.
Truett said the number of businesses participating last year and this year is steady, but new businesses are always encouraged to participate. Discounts are offered at grocery stores, hair salons and barbershops, auto body shops, and even law firms.
Joe Cotter, owner of Hairazors Barbershop said the event gives the customers a new incentive to shop with local businesses. "It's not just the restaurants, any business can be in it, like here I got like a little bottle of shampoo to go with your haircut, it's just a little extra something," Cotter said.
Truett said the slow start will not discourage them from continuing the event, they plan to have back next year.
For more information and find out which merchants are participating in Taste of Surfside Beach click here.