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 fourth in a series of four articles addressing the four key pillars which make up the PGS Initiative.
Horry County alone is projected to grow from a population of 354,800 in 2020 to 584,500 by 2040 and over 20 million tourists are forced to drive on local, state, and county roads each year. Lack of interstate access and national connectivity also threatens our area’s tourism industry and future economic development and job growth. Additional road capacity and routes in and out of Myrtle Beach and Horry and Georgetown counties will also provide up to 12 hours or more of additional clearance time for evacuees during future hurricane events.
We must ensure transportation infrastructure keeps up with dramatic population & visitor growth.
Goals & Solutions
Partnership Grand Strand will create and lead a comprehensive, multiyear grassroots and marketing and communications campaign to secure all funding necessary for current and future regional transportation priorities.
Strategy #1: Strengthen Local Advocacy efforts
In partnership with the Grand Strand Business Alliance and others, we will:
- Significantly increase communication and advocacy efforts with the governor’s office, the state legislature, and SCDOT to ensure I-73 and other regional transportation projects are top funding priorities
- Create high-profile educational events at the state and federal capitols to raise awareness about the benefits of funding high priority regional transportation projects to elected officials, business leaders and the general public
- Contract with leading advocacy firms and consultants with proven track records of success to enhance and boost existing staff efforts
- Update and create new economic impact studies for the region's priority transportation projects
Strategy #2: Launch Grassroots and PR Campaigns
- Launch regional media and digital marketing campaigns to inform, increase and sustain local public support for RIDE programs, I-73, U.S. 501 improvements, the Southern Evacuation Lifeline (SELL) and other regional projects
- Launch and publicize a speakers' bureau to proactively educate homeowners’ associations and civic groups on the benefits of transportation investments
- Recruit transportation-funding grassroot activists to be called to action when needed
Strategy #3: Build Strong Coalitions & Alliances
- Create and manage new coalitions and alliances — multi-city, multi-chamber, etc. — for future transportation projects crossing city & county lines
- Host collaborative events for partners including elected officials, regulatory agencies, chambers, homeowners’ associations and civic groups
- Mentor communities along the I-73 corridor on the project’s benefits to residents and businesses
- Proactively Lead National I-73/I-74/I-75 Corridor Association efforts
- Create a congressional caucus to promote full funding of I-73 at the federal level