Waccamaw Community Foundation Supports Myrtle Beach Area Chamber Launch of Partnership Grand Strand Foundation

Waccamaw Community Foundation Supports Myrtle Beach Area Chamber Launch of Partnership Grand Strand Foundation

Initiative Will Accelerate Area’s Economic Prosperity and Enhance Quality of Life

On Feb. 24, 2022, Waccamaw Community Foundation joined Horry and Georgetown area business and community leaders and the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce (MBACC) to launch a $3 million campaign for Partnership Grand Strand, a new 501(c)(3) foundation and economic and community development initiative aimed at accelerating economic prosperity and enhancing quality of life for businesses and residents across the Grand Strand over the next five years.

The initiative will lead or support efforts that will strengthen four equal and interconnected pillars of success:

  • Prosperity: Diversifying the region’s economy and growing small business opportunities.
  • Talent: Attracting, developing and retaining employees.
  • Place: Supporting the revitalization of Myrtle Beach’s downtown and oceanfront areas.
  • Infrastructure: Scaling up transportation infrastructure.

Campaign Co-Chairs Dr. Michael Benson (President, Coastal Carolina University) and Clay Brittain (Chairman, Brittain Resorts and Hotels) joined MBACC Chair Alex Husner (Chief Marketing Officer, Condo World Resort Properties) to welcome over 200 business and community leaders at a kickoff breakfast at the Sheraton Myrtle Beach Convention Center.

MBACC President and CEO Karen Riordan unveiled details of the initiative and Dr. Benson and Mr. Brittain shared why the foundation and initiative are needed now and how leaders can become among the first early investors in the campaign. Jeff McKay, Executive Director of the North Eastern Regional Economic Alliance, also shared a regional economic development update and thoughts on the importance of strong economic development partnerships.

“Partnership Grand Strand will benefit every business and resident from across Horry and Georgetown counties,” Dr. Benson said. “By creating a more resilient and diverse economy and vibrant quality of place, businesses will prosper and readily find the talent and resources they need to thrive.”

“Through the collaborative efforts of our business and community leaders, we are pleased to announce that Partnership Grand Strand has already secured $1.615 million in five-year private sector and foundation pledges – an impressive 54 percent of our campaign goal of $3 million in just a few months. We are grateful for the support of our early investors and look forward to new investors joining us in the coming months,” Brittain said.

“With the investment by the private sector, we will be able to launch some exciting and bold projects targeting the specific needs of Grand Strand businesses,” said Riordan. “Just a few examples include helping small- and mid-sized businesses overcome obstacles to growth through a new business retention and expansion program; funding a workforce development professional to launch and coordinate talent attraction, development and retention campaigns in partnership with our educational and workforce partners; supporting the new Myrtle Beach Downtown Business Alliance’s efforts to revitalize downtown and the oceanfront; and adding capacity to our transportation infrastructure to reduce congestion.”

The initiative and capital campaign were created over the past year by the MBACC with the help of national capital campaign management firm POWER 10 to raise and leverage new resources to comprehensively tackle the biggest challenges business and community leaders said were threatening the region’s long-term economic prosperity and quality of life.

Waccamaw Community Foundation is one of a team of investors in Partnership Grand Strand that includes:

Founder – Brittain Resorts & Hotels

Diamond  – Carolina Cool, Coastal Carolina University, Condo-World, Founders Group International, Gay Dolphin Gift Cove, HTC

Gold – Burr Forman, Conway Medical Center

Silver – Waccamaw Community Foundation, Best Western Ocean Sands, Elliott Coastal Living, Myrtle Beach Seaside Resorts, Myrtle Beach Area Golf Course Owners Association, Coral Beach Resort & Suites

Bronze – Myrtle Beach Pelicans, First Reliance Bank, Duke Energy, Seacrest Resort, Holiday Inn Oceanfront Resort at the Pavilion

Partner – The Meeting Institute

Anyone interested in learning more about the initiative are encouraged to visit PartnershipGrandStrand.com.