HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – Owners of biker businesses are reacting to a new event planning ordinance that affects vendors for the fall bike rally.
SBB in Murrells Inlet is a business that is grandfathered in, meaning it gets one of the first opportunities to apply for vendor permits.
However, the general manager said it wasn't until this past Thursday that he learned of a new deadline.
"I was actually sitting at my desk when it came in. Doing paperwork and stuff and all of the sudden ... bing, and I looked at it and said, 'Oh no, what are we going to do?" said Bill Barber.
The ordinance says, in part, that:
It's dated July 12, and lists this Thursday, July 20, as the deadline for the grandfathered or reserve permits to be picked up and paid for.
"We expected to get something like that right after the spring rally, not four days before the vending permits go on sale," Barber said.
County officials said there were three readings topped with public hearings before this ordinance passed last Tuesday.
Explaining the ordinance is intended to give businesses more time to plan, not less, it brings the process from 30 days out up to 90 days out.
This is something Barber agrees may help in the long run, but certainly isn't helping in time for the fall rally.
"There's $800 for the permits, $100 for the clerk of courts and that's 900 bucks a piece and we want eight or nine vendors. You do the math. That's a lot of money to come out of our pocket without getting a chance to get a deposit from our vendors," he said.
Barber said his business usually doesn't start to reach out to vendors until Aug. 1. He added that, on top of that, because of the nature of the job, these vendors are not easy to get in touch with.
As for the email Barber received, it goes on to say the grandfathered or reserve permits will be up for grabs if this deadline is not met.
With only so many permits available in the first place, Barber is worried.
"If somebody scoops them up and sets up in front of a mall and having vendors, and now they aren't available for us, it's a tough situation," he said.
Barber added the vendors are what hold the rallies together and hopes the county will push back this deadline once it realizes how it affects the businesses organizing the fall rally.
County officials said they are willing to help with parts of the process, such as listing the names of the vendors right away.