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Sullivan’s Island business sees bump in sales after restrictions ease, Labor Day weekend

Updated: Sep. 7, 2020 at 2:55 AM EDT
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SULLIVAN’S ISLAND S.C. (WCSC)- Labor day weekend is bringing a much-needed boost to businesses along Lowcountry beaches.

Some on Sullivan’s island say they’ve also seen an increase in visitors this weekend after the town lifted restrictions on the beach.

As of Tuesday, visitors can now bring beach chairs, coolers and shade devices back on the beach.

The owner at Dunleavy’s Pub, Bill Dunleavy, said the restrictions greatly impacted the amount of people coming onto the island and into his restaurant. He said it’s been more than four months since he’s seen business like this weekend.

“Most people because of the restrictions went to the isle of palms,” Dunleavy said. “So, we lost a lot of businesses so we’re very happy that they lifted the restrictions.”

But he also said he’s worried the increase could be short-lived as the town continues discussions on future paid parking island-wide.

“The business district out here just went through one of the worst years we’ve ever had,” Dunleavy said. “Between COVID and restrictions and now to put paid parking in, it’s just going to be another deterrent for people not to come out here and we depend on off-island people.”

Thursday, town leaders discussed plans for potential paid parking as early as 2021.

Mayor Pat O’Neil said there are still many options or changes to consider before making any decisions on paid parking.

“I hope it will not be a very abrupt decision but one that will be very studied and cautious,” O’Neil said. “If Folly and Isle of Palms are initiating paid parking programs of their own, then I think if we do it as well you will expect the impact, whatever it is, to be pretty evenly distributed among the three communities.”

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