NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – On Thursday, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster had a busy agenda while in the Grand Strand.
One of his stops was North Myrtle Beach's Annual Chairman's Luncheon.
During his speech to the group of business leaders, the governor made one thing very clear - the Grand Strand is on its way up.
Before McMaster could get down to business, he had to mention this past weekend's violence, assuring everyone in the room that action is being taken.
"(There is a) greatly enhanced police presence starting tomorrow and it will continue as long as necessary. Some of it will be highly visible, and some of it won't be visible at all," he said.
The governor then moved on to what this community should be proud of - its economy.
"We are doing so good. We've had so much great leadership over the years," McMaster said.
Hearing the governor make those comments was a humbling feeling for those working to make North Myrtle Beach what it is today.
"I think the governor recognizes the strength of the tourism dollar here in Horry County as well as here in North Myrtle Beach and what it can provide to the state. He also knows we have to diversify our industry here in northern Horry County and especially here in North Myrtle Beach," said Scott Ellis, the chairman of the North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce.
This brought the governor to what he believes is the driving force behind this growth.
"I have determined, in my own mind, what comes first the chicken or the egg? What comes first, this or that? I believe it's a job," McMaster said. "The business leaders are, of course, the ones who provide the jobs for everyone and right now we are on an upward path of enormous prosperity if we just don't mess it up."
McMaster said the two ways to make sure the Grand Strand continues to rise is to keep taxes low and regulations scarce, creating more and more opportunities for big-name industries to call the state home.
Ironically, this very point brought the governor back to what he opened with - ending violence.
"I've seen families, I've seen law enforcement, and I know when you have people who have hope, they have jobs, they are happy, what happens? Domestic violence goes down. Criminal behavior goes down. Marriages go up, divorces go down. Everything gets better," he said.
Business leaders, as well as local city and county leaders in the room, all made it clear to thank the governor for his support.
They, too, are ready to continue this growing trend.