The Myrtle Beach community represents a diverse and growing population served by chambers of commerce, a modern international airport, and a variety of religious faiths.
As part of the South Carolina Low Country, the region is rich in natural resources and historical significance. Today’s strong business climate and social foundation of family, arts, culture, and education have positioned the Grand Strand for even more growth in the years to come.
Established in the early 20th Century as a resort destination, Myrtle Beach still values tourism as its number one job producer. Several Convention and Visitors Bureaus and Tourism Development Councils work to bring tourists to the area.
Additionally, some area Chambers of Commerce do double duty promoting and supporting local businesses as well as acting as local tourism information centers. Over 16 million tourists annually account for over $10 billion in gross retail sales for area businesses. Yes, we love our tourists.
Although there are several municipal airports in the area serving private and corporate aircraft, the Myrtle Beach International Airport (MYR) is the main commercial people mover. Seven airlines fly non-stop to Myrtle Beach from more than 30 cities, transporting over 1,000,000 passengers annually.
Churches, mosques, temples, and even a monastery make up some of the Grand Strand religious orders. The Meher Spiritual Center, St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church, the Korean Methodist Church, the Church of Latter-Day Saints, the Islamic Center, and Temple Emanu-El join dozens of Catholic and Protestant churches in serving the Myrtle Beach faithful.
The Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum serves as a focal point for the Myrtle Beach arts community. The Waccamaw Arts & Crafts Guild, a non-profit organization, promotes local artists and dozens of galleries display their works. There are also a variety of venues for musicians and other performers.
Sometimes it seems there are so many festivals, events, and activities in the area that it's hard to do them all. Various town and communities have there own festivals, like the Blue Crab Festival in Little River and the Loris Chicken Bog-off. The holidays present their own special magic with several Christmas lighting events such as Brookgreen Gardens' Night of 1000 Candles, Conway's Celebration of Lights, and North Myrtle Beach's Great Christmas Light Show.
As a resort, Myrtle Beach has traditionally catered to tourists with souvenir shops, beach wear shops, hotels and vacation rentals, seafood restaurants, and beach focused entertainments. These businesses are still at the forefront of the local business climate.
However, as the region becomes more and more focused on year-round residents, businesses reflecting the needs of residents, such as Real Estate sales, long-term health care, enrichment classes and education, financial planning, and insurance have flourished. The Chambers of Commerce and private organizations like Business Network International (BNI) help promote and encourage the growth of small businesses.