As the flood waters rise in Horry and Georgetown Counties, so do the efforts of The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce (MBACC) to keep visitors informed and assist local businesses in this time of crisis.
Since the formation of Hurricane Florence, the MBACC has been working with Horry County Emergency Management, the City of Myrtle Beach, Horry County and other entities to stay informed and assist with planning and communications efforts.
“While we feel very fortunate that there was minimal damage to our coast, we know that so many of our neighbors have not been so fortunate. It will be a challenging week as we see the continued catastrophic flooding in surrounding areas and the impact it has on our families, employees, and community,” said Karen Riordan, President and CEO of the MBACC. “We're implementing our recovery plan and will continue to refine it for changing conditions.”
As Florence the Flood continues to pour into outlying communities, the MBACC staff is working nonstop to keep MBACC investors and the community updated on Florence. Here are a few highlights:
Assisting visitors both in and out-of-market with information and updates.
Updating businesses on storm information, preparation and recovery, including posting business openings, delays, road closures/openings, etc.
Collecting special offers from businesses to help evacuees.
Assisting and rebooking groups and meetings.
Providing support services to the Area Recovery Cooperate (ARC), which the chamber helped establish in 1989. ARC is a private-public cooperative to revitalize economy post-hurricane.
Working closely with the Waccamaw Community Foundation and ARC to promote "Help the Grand Strand" disaster recovery fund to provide relief and recovery support for our community. • Promoting local, regional and national relief funds and related efforts.
Updating investors/community on business disaster assistance.
Regularly communicating with the state emergency management center and governor's office regarding visitor population, the impacts of evacuation, and the status of the tourism industry.
Serving as a business representative at the Horry County Emergency Management Operations Center (EOC) and serving as liaison between the EOC and local businesses.
Assisting with accommodations for evacuees, contractors, first responders and state personnel.
Assisting with food donations for EOC and first responders.
Like most Grand Strand business owners and their employees, the MBACC and Visit Myrtle Beach want to welcome guests to the Myrtle Beach area once it is safe to travel here. However, with the continued flooding, we are proceeding with a phased approach to post-storm recovery marketing efforts.
“We are not encouraging visitors to drive here right now, but we are working to increase visits via air travel,” said Riordan. “We will also do limited awareness-building marketing in select markets to keep top-of-mind awareness with visitors for later this fall and winter. Of course, we need visitors to plan spring and summer vacations here in 2019 as well.”
Our CVB is also communicating with potential visitors in a variety of ways:
Assisting potential visitors with planning guidance.
Providing real-time updates online.
Responding to potential visitors via social media.
Our goal is to keep our community and potential visitors informed and safe at this time.