Study ranks Myrtle Beach area first for most at-risk businesses during COVID-19

Myrtle Beach ranked number one
Myrtle Beach ranked number one(wmbf)
Updated: Apr. 30, 2020 at 8:26 AM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - A recent study ranked the Myrtle Beach area the number one spot for places with the most at-risk businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.

The lendingtree study looks at industries like retail, food and entertainment. Most of the local economy is based on those industries, in addition to tourism.

The study shows which metro areas have the most vulnerable businesses. For Myrtle Beach, 35.4% of local businesses fall into the categories mentioned above, taking home the top spot.

With the summer season approaching, there are many questions surrounding if and when visitors will return to the area.

Renee Wikstrom, the director of communications and events for the Better Business Bureau of Coastal Carolina, said something that will help is the fact that the Grand Strand is a driving destination.

“People are going to drive to the beach, and it may be a day trip but they are going to eat in our restaurants, they’re going to shop," Wikstrom said. “By the summer, retail will probably all be opened, so it’s going to be a change. But I think while the season won’t be as strong as probably past seasons, I think it’s going to be a good season.”

Karen Riordan, president and CEO of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, said this study shows how the Grand Strand is made for tourism. She added the chamber is working on several ways to help local businesses right now.

“We’ll be featuring the faces of local businesses where they’ll be talking, directing, to our community and talk about how much they miss everyone and how hard this has been," Riordan said.

Riordan added these promos are still being produced, and you can expect to see this support local campaign around mid-May.

In addition, the Accelerate Myrtle Beach Recovery Task Force announced Wednesday guidelines to help businesses.

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