Myrtle Beach City Government met with the Oceanfront Merchant Association (OMA) today to promote a new tax the city wants to charge all business owners along Ocean Boulevard.
The Oceanfront Merchants Association is a collection of more than 42 business owners in the former Pavilion area. These owners include: The Gay Dolphin Gift Cove, The Bowery, Abraham’s Gyros, Oceanfront Bar & Grill, Boardwalk Café, LandShark Bar & Grill, Peaches Corner, New York Style Pizza, 2nd Ave. Pier Restaurant, Myrtle Beach Skywheel, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, Myrtle Beach Thrill Rides, Ripley’s Haunted Adventure and many more.
City Government is promoting a new tax it calls the mid tax. As with all costs incurred by any business, we can only assume the costs of this tax will simply be passed on to tourists and locals who shop in that area. MyrtleBeachSC.com has been reporting on the city’s soon plans to completely redevelop the Ocean Boulevard area in downtown Myrtle Beach. As many of the shops in the downtown Ocean Boulevard area have Israeli, Greek, and similar owners, the plan being implemented by the City of Myrtle Beach, using code enforcement as a weapon to force OMA merchants on the plan, has drawn the attention from representatives of the Anti Defamation League.
Reports are that, moving forward, two local corporations will have a larger say in the area’s downtown commerce, with financing of the redevelopment provided by Chinese Nationals. IntelTrak, an International Chinese investment monitoring firm, provides the below video to alert average citizens of suspicious Chinese National and Russian investments world wide.
ChinaBusinessReview.com reports, “China’s direct investment spree started in the mid-2000s. From an annual average of below $3 billion before 2005, OFDI (Overseas Foreign Development Investment) flows grew to $20 billion in 2006, and more than $50 billion by 2008. In 2010, China’s annual OFDI reached $60 billion amid declining levels of global FDI, making China one of the world’s top 10 exporters of direct investment in the post-crisis years. By the end of 2011, China’s total global OFDI stock stood at $365 billion.”
In a CBS report of today, “Veteran China watchers say that as the mainland commits to moving to a free market, with less intervention from Beijing, authorities are also clamping down on reporters trying covering whether Chinese officials are delivering on these commitments.” China is, in fact, not a free market. Those who recently purchased golf courses from Burroughs and Chapin Corporation and who will also finance the downtown Myrtle Beach pavilion area, were required to get approval from the Chinese central government. As we have reported, Mayor John Rhodes and Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce President, Brad Dean made ongoing trips to China to lure Chinese investment into Myrtle Beach.
As journalism is in a clamp down in China concerning Chinese investments in America, the same is true for Myrtle Beach journalists here in our area. The CBS news report of today stated, “”Nobody inside China wants to do news or documentaries anymore because the politics are so unsettled,” said Peter Kwong, a documentary filmmaker and professor of Chinese-American history at Hunter College in New York. “They are doing very safe things. People are intimidated.”
As we now prepare for our report tomorrow, we are finding merchants and journalists here in Myrtle Beach just as intimidated.