The Oceanfront Merchants Association will receive $130,000 in tourism-related grants from the city of Myrtle Beach, the most of the 24 applicants that applied for the money.
OMA also received the most grant money the previous year, getting $110,000 in 2011. OMA hosts activities along the boardwalk, including this weekend’s Downtown Myrtle Beach St. Patrick’s Day Celebration.
Additionally, the Myrtle Beach City Council on Tuesday approved more than $4.3 million in accommodations tax money to city entities.
“All of the available accommodations tax money goes toward the extraordinary tourism expenses we have as a city,” Kruea said. “[Organizations] go through the process but when it comes down to it they’re getting money from the general fund.”
Each year, representatives of tourism related establishments and events apply for money through the A-Tax advisory committee. The committee makes recommendations to the council members, who in turn appropriate the money, said city spokesman
All of that money the city receives from the state through the A-Tax will go toward city expenses such as beach renourishment and monitoring, convention center marketing and public safety.
The council approved all of the grants on the recommendation of the advisory committee except for two. The committee recommended the Myrtle Beach International Film Festival receive no funding but the council approved a $5,000 grant.
“The committee felt that his submission didn’t have enough information,” Mary B. Henry, chairwoman of the A-Tax Advisory Committee, told the City Council during a Feb. 5 workshop.
Film festival director Jerry Dalton argued the need for help funding his event, which, in his application, he said “not only brings tourism to the area, it also shines a bright light on Myrtle Beach for an appreciation of art and culture, which in turn makes our city more attractive to visitors and people looking to relocate.”
Councilwoman Susan Grissom Means said she was concerned that the film festival was a for profit event. Dalton said he was in the process of applying the film festival for nonprofit status. The festival received $5,000 in 2011 as well.
The council decreased the amount of money the committee suggested be given to Coastal Uncorked by $5,000, approving a $55,000 grant.
The council voted on the appropriation of $40,000 for the Beach Ball Classic separately from the other grant requests. Mayor John Rhodes, who runs the Beach Ball Classic, recused himself from the vote.