MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Businesses along Ocean Boulevard say last year's Fourth of July holiday was significantly busier. Several businesses are reporting that the weekend got off to a slow start and Friday night was not as busy as most anticipated. Employees said that Saturday night was better for business, but still not close to the numbers they've seen in previous years.
"I wouldn't have been able to do this interview last year - I would have been in there working making sure everyone got their food," said Ben Pond of Peach's Corner.
Several business owners say they think this change may have something to do with the incident on Ocean Blvd on June 18, when seven people were injured after a gunman opened fire.
"The fact that I've had at least ten calls in the last two weeks asking if it's safe and these are people that are patrons that come every year. The fact that they're calling that makes me think some of this has to do with the shootings," said Pond.
The violence in the city has made national headlines, and was recently featured in the Wall Street Journal.
"It's not that it's not safe but everyone keeps talking about it. And these things happen late at night when no one's out. And it has put business down this year for sure," said Pond.