COLUMBIA, SC (WMBF) - There are several bills in the works right now that could directly affect beach living and officials with the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce want to make sure their voices are heard in those decisions.
During the chamber's annual legislative reception in Columbia, many locals met with state lawmakers to talk about the issues that affect the Grand Strand the most.
A lot of the problems surround the tourism industry, and officials want to help keep the area growing in a sustainable way.
"All that money we take in from tourism often ends up here in Columbia," said Brad Dean, president of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce. "We just need a little bit back for the Grand Strand for education ,infrastructure and other important needs."
The event was all about building relationships with the men and women who represent the Grand Strand in the General Assembly. A centerpiece at the event that was hard to ignore was a huge sand sculpture.
It was a creative way to get the point across that the Grand Strand's coast line matters, especially the tourism industry that thrives along it.
"This is considered to be one of the top events for the legislators each year, so we know (they are) going to come to have a good time, but we also know there's a huge amount of leaders from the pubic and private sector who will be here lobbying individuals for what we need along the Grand Strand," Dean said.
One topic organizers wanted to address is the start of school throughout the state.
Some argue the school year should start earlier. However, local leaders at the reception argued that that change could cut into valuable money from the tourism industry by cutting the amount of time available for families to vacation.