BENNETTSVILLE, SC – South Carolina’s Blue Laws are still intact in some places throughout the state.
That law prohibits alcohol sales, what stores can sell and when they can open on Sunday’s
However, at last week’s Marlboro County Council meeting the initial steps to suspend a portion of that law were taken.
Council passed first reading to an ordinance that would suspend the application of Sunday work prohibition.
“Last Black Friday a group of local small businesses downtown we went in together and set up a Sunday evening shopping experience…but because of the blue law we had to open at like 3:00. that’s how we got our extra Black Friday sales in,” mentioned Khristopher Taylor, owner of Reassigned Blessings in downtown Bennettsville.
Under the current Blue Laws in Marlboro County stores now have to wait until 1:30 pm to open and the ordinance would allow all non-alcoholic items to be sold before then too.
“I’ve walked into Walmart on Sunday to pick up a few things and find half the store taped off,” said Taylor.
Marlboro County Administrator Jim Haynes says he expects tax revenue to increase with the suspension.
I really don’t believe that buying a pair of jeans at 11:00 am violates anybody’s love of the lord and freedom to worship,” Taylor added.
It’s been almost 20 years since a referendum was held to keep the laws, with voters deciding ultimately to keep them.
The council ordinance would end the Sunday work prohibition and allow businesses to open earlier.
It passed a first reading last week.
It’ll take two more readings to approve the ordinance. The next vote is August 11th.