MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – Dozens of businesses along Ocean Blvd. are petitioning for Myrtle Beach City Council to reconsider spending half a million dollars on an ambassador program. Businesses say the need for funds to go towards public safety is greater.
Nearly 50 businesses on the boulevard are a part of the Oceanfront Merchants Association (OMA), a group of merchants and property owners, with the goal of increasing the number of visitors and the amount of revenue brought to our area.
On Thursday evening, OMA businesses met and created a petition to ask the city to reconsider a $500,000 ambassador program purchase. This comes after Myrtle Beach city council postponed their decision to approve the ambassador program this week.
Meanwhile, OMA is petitioning for the money to be spent differently. The petition includes three to four ideas focused on public safety. Some of the proposals include increased police presence, overtime programs, and officers periodically at intersections throughout the night. Business owners tell News13 they spoke with Myrtle Beach police officers and councilman Mike Lower and incorporated their ideas.
Businesses say while the ambassador program would be a good add-on, public safety is the number one priority in light of back-to-back shootings the past two weekends.
“For a business owner, this is our livelihood, this is how you send your kids to college, this is how you pay your mortgage and bills and if this area is successful we are all happy and very successful but if this area is deemed unsafe then it is a concern for all of us,” Michelle Kerscher, Gay Dolphin General Manager said.
Oceanfront businesses plan to present their proposal at the next council meeting June 9th or the budget retreat.
Here is a Facebook post from Myrtle Beach OMA: