MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Myrtle Beach's downtown Superblock is among six areas in Horry County nominated as federal "Opportunity Zones."
The six areas nominated include Aynor's Cool Spring Business Park, the Loris Industrial Park, two in downtown Myrtle Beach from Withers Swash to 21st Avenue North, which includes the Superblock, and two in Conway to include the Racepath area and Main Street to Culture Road.
"It's designed to encourage private investment in areas which are struggling. It's either a low income or is just not doing well economically, and it gives those private investors a break after a certain period of time on their capital gains taxes - so they make an investment in the area and down the road, they don't have to pay the capital gains taxes. So it's a better deal for them, plus it's a good deal for the local community because you get more private investment," city spokesperson Mark Kruea said.
The program also gives federal tax incentives for taxpayers who reinvest capital gains.
"Right now, there's new stuff coming and some are successful, but it's slow and growing, but this is going to accelerate the whole thing," said Rik Dickinson, who owns Encore Video Productions in the Superblock.
Kevin Andrews is the owner of one of those new businesses, Good Day Café.
"Any type of growth that can bring new business and new blood to the downtown area is great for Myrtle Beach," Andrews said. "It's good for the businesses that are here."
But for people like Dickinson who've been in business for 38 years, questions are still unanswered.
"One of the concerns is we don't know if there are any limits to people who may invest in the area," he said. "That will be something we'll have to find out. I would rather see local investors instead of outside money because the money that comes locally stays local. Outside businesses care about wherever their home office is, and their shareholders. I want to keep Myrtle Beach local."