MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact our economy and way of life, the city of Myrtle Beach said the virus is making planning for 2021 more difficult, but not impossible.
“We kept our foot on the gas pedal with our plans,” Myrtle Beach Mayor Brenda Bethune said.
Still, incoming City Manager Fox Simmons said, revenue losses due to the pandemic will make budget discussions for the 2021 to 2022 fiscal year a challenge.
“We were rocking and rolling and we were doing really well, we were having a great year in January, February, and the first half of March and then the faucet turned off,” he said.
But Simmons said it won’t take away their ability to focus on public safety and economic development.
He thinks a lot of what the city accomplished in 2020, is going to continue to impact people in 2021.
“You know some things that people don’t see that are underway that people will benefit from in 2021 is the transfer station improvements and the expansion of the transfer station. We have the opioid study that we were able to get funding and help with that,” Simmons said.
On top of that, Bethune said more progress on downtown revitalization is coming in the new year.
“Those things will continue, now is the perfect time to continue with those types of endeavors, especially with revitalization.
In 2020, the first new business, Grand Strand Brewing Company, moved into the arts and innovation district. They’re expected to open up in the coming months, along with the renovation of Nance Plaza. The rest of the project will take a few more years.
“I think we’re going to see some exciting projects next year,” Bethune said.