MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — There were three million requests for an employer ID across the United States this year, which is what you need to start a business. That’s up from 2.7 million requests in 2019, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Coin Galleries of Myrtle Beach is one of those many businesses who just got started one week ago.
When the owners of Coin Galleries started looking last year, there were no vacancies along Hackler Street in Market Common.
Now, there are a few empty stores, and owners Brad Johnson and Joe LaBarbera took that opportunity to open up shop.
“Store fronts are opening up. Landlords are being very fair with rents, and again, the opportunity for us. We’re both seasoned professionals and the time was right for us,” said Johnson.
Their business application for coin galleries of Myrtle Beach was one of more than 1,300 in South Carolina this year, up by 36% since 2019.
Horry and Georgetown counties are seeing the increase too. Conway Innovation Center’s director Jan Silverman says since mid-summer, they’ve seen an increase in clients interested in starting businesses, and in some cases, they are people who lost jobs or income due to the COVID-19 crisis, and are bravely jumping into business ventures they had been thinking about for years.
“These people are seeing opportunities and they’re capitalizing on them,” Conway Chamber of Commerce Director of Economic Development and Government Relations Devin Parks said.
For Johnson, the road to entrepreneurship was delayed in 2018, after a diagnosis of stage 4 large B cell lymphoma.
Johnson is now in remission, hoping to help people affected by the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, by buying coins and jewelry from people to help pay their bills and feed their families.
Silverman also says she’s also seen people starting businesses related to COVID-19, like making masks or ones helping to diagnose the disease.