Partnership Grand Strand Economic Growth Initiative was created to proactively address the Myrtle Beach area and Grand Strand’s biggest challenges facing its long-term economic growth and quality of life. This is the third in a series of four articles addressing the four key pillars which make up the PGS Initiative.
Like many communities across the country, Myrtle Beach’s downtown (“Heart”) and oceanfront (“Front Porch”) have aged and are in serious need of revitalization and redevelopment. The City of Myrtle Beach proactively launched efforts recently that have begun to turn the tide and more private sector support and resources will help. The downtown area still has high levels of economic distress including a poverty rate that is more than double the state and triple the national average.
Downtown is facing deterioration and the perception of public safety concerns (despite trends showing a drop in violent crime) that are a threat to long-term economic prosperity.
Goals & Solutions
Partnership Grand Strand will support the efforts of the City of Myrtle Beach and the Myrtle Beach Downtown Alliance (MBDA), to create a vibrant and thriving downtown district and oceanfront area through advocacy, marketing, and the funding of MBDA programs.
Strategy #1: Funding Downtown Development
PGS will contribute 25% of the Foundation’s annual distributions to the Myrtle Beach Downtown Alliance (MBDA) for no fewer than five years. Funding of the MBDA will support their work on the following objectives:
- Bolster downtown’s ability to compete for talent and investment by improving overall experience of downtown with a focus on investments in the public realm
- Create a business-friendly environment that promotes development
- Create a buzzing atmosphere in downtown Myrtle Beach year-round via unique, high-quality experiential offerings (programs, events, restaurant, and retail)
- Ensure that downtown is friendly to pedestrians of all ages and abilities by promoting the adoption of complete streets, widening of sidewalks, etc.
- Establish non-car routes between key assets and amenities in the area
Strategy #2: Support Myrtle Beach Downtown Alliance
- Foster a downtown that welcomes residents, workers, and visitors from all walks of life in its design and programming
- Advance equity and inclusion by working with non-governmental organizations to empower locals and encourage the creation of greater housing choices at all price points.
- Engage a diverse array of groups and individuals when advancing revitalization efforts
- Provide fundraising support for the MBDA, including support in seeking public or philanthropic investments, corporate sponsorships or capital campaign investments
Strategy #3: Advocate for MBDA
- Contribute foundation support to MBDA efforts to create a clean, safe, & welcoming downtown
- Align marketing and communications strategy to reinforce MBDA efforts, leveraging the investment of the Chamber and CVB
- Support the MBDA in its leadership role to collect feedback from downtown stakeholders.
- Leverage the MBACC network to help the MBDA facilitate project-specific cross-sector partnerships
- Provide advocacy support at state and federal level for MBDA and city efforts to attract public investment, enact policies & create incentives supporting downtown revitalization.