Myrtle Beach Chamber launches foundation aimed at accelerating local economy

Published: Feb. 24, 2022 at 11:26 PM EST
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce is looking to accelerate the Grand Strand’s economic prosperity and enhance the quality of life for businesses and residents through a new foundation focused on four main pillars.

Partnership Grand Strand is the name of this foundation with those four pillars being Prosperity, Talent, Place and Infrastructure.

To get this campaign off the ground they’re looking to raise $3 million through pledges.

Coastal Carolina University President Dr. Michael Benson and Brittain Resorts CEO Clay Brittain are each co-chairing the campaign until a board is officially formed.

MBACC Chair Alex Husner says it will go towards the four pillars over the next five years.

“We’ve modeled this by looking at other cities with the same hurdles and put a plan together to make it happen,” said Husner.

As local business leaders work together to bring new diverse jobs to the area they also hope to retain future workers graduating from schools like HGTC and Coastal Carolina.

“We’re losing them to other state,” said MBACC President and CEO Karen Riordan.

The new personal income will be spent in Horry and Georgetown County through 2026. Partnership Grand Strand is also looking to address the area’s lack of economic diversity, worker shortages, aging population and congestion on roads.

“Due to our lack of diversity in an overindulgence of tourism hospitality and retail, this accounts for 73% of our employment. As one leader said, we are one hurricane Katrina away from economic disaster,” Benson said.

With help from the North Eastern Strategic Alliance, the chamber was able to address what our region’s main challenges are when it comes to competing for businesses looking in surrounding cities.

“Every community has challenges, what’s going to set you apart is how you address these challenges and all these pillars will help you,” said Jeff McKay, Executive Director of North Eastern Strategic Alliance.

In just 14 weeks Partnership Grand Strand raised $1.6 million, 54% of their goal.

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