The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce’s Director of Government Affairs is Jimmy Gray. His role is to develop communications and grassroot strategies to support the Chamber’s legislative priorities at the local, state and federal level. Mr. Gray works directly with elected leaders, officers and staff at all levels of government to improve the business climate in the Myrtle Beach area and to help Chamber members use public policy to achieve their goals. Part of that effort is to mobilize the business community to take an active approach in local, state and federal government. Please click here to receive progress updates on important legislative priorities for the Myrtle Beach area. You may also contact Jimmy directly at Jimmy.Gray@visitmyrtlebeach.com.
The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce has prepared an aggressive advocacy agenda for 2019. Here’s a brief preview of what we have in store for 2019.
The Myrtle Beach Area business community has much to be thankful for this holiday season. 2018 was a year of transition for the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce. Let’s reflect on some of our successes with advocacy for 2018 at the National, State, County and City levels.
When proponents of Interstate 73 talk about our area’s need for interstate access, it’s easy to focus on the obvious economic benefits, but the interstate will also bring much needed diversification to our tourism-based economy, with more year-round jobs for residents. It will also boost our tourism industry by 7.1 percent, which translates into an additional $909.9 million direct tourism spending in the Myrtle Beach area.
South Carolinians have grown accustom to waiting years, sometimes decades, for infrastructure projects to become a reality. The timeline from when a new road concept is designed to when the first car drives on the fresh asphalt is long, complex and redundant. It doesn’t have to be this way. We can balance growth and new infrastructure projects with protecting precious natural resources in a timely manner. This past Spring, the South Carolina General Assembly and Governor McMaster did just that by passing S 105 into law. This legislation, known as “automatic stay reform,” will help pave the way for new infrastructure projects to move forward in a timely fashion, while giving appropriate legal consideration to environmental concerns.
U.S. Census Bureau information indicates that for the third year in a row, the Grand Strand was the second-fastest growing metropolitan area in the entire country. Yearlong residents and visitors alike have no-doubt experienced some of those growing pains, but it hasn’t deterred people from coming to our destination for their vacation, or from calling the Grand Strand home. In fact, 45 people move to the Myrtle Beach area every day, according to the same Census Bureau information. In 2017, the Myrtle Beach area had 19.6 million visitors – up from a little over 18 million in 2016.
The 60 miles of pristine beaches and white sand that make up the Grand Strand are our most important and treasured resource. As such, the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce and our local elected delegation, understand the importance of protecting and preserving our number one attraction. These beaches support our local economy and bring millions of tourists to the Grand Strand year-after-year. Our beaches also serve as a barrier to protect over $3.5 billion worth of oceanfront property and provide a habitat to sea turtles, shore birds and marine wildlife.