An email sent from Myrtle Beach Police Chief Amy Prock to Myrtle Beach City Manager John Pedersen and Downtown Redevelopment Corporation Executive Director Lauren Clever on April 10th has caused some concern among Ocean Boulevard merchants.
In the email Prock reports to both Clever and Pedersen that many downtown merchant employees are not wearing uniforms. MyrtleBeachSC.com shared the email with several downtown business owners asking for their response. We also reached out to City Manager John Pedersen for his response on the matter.
City Manager, John Pedersen told MyrtleBeachSC.com, “When we met with the local merchants to discuss how we could work together, the merchants asked that we back off the barricades. In return we asked the merchants to do several things including to give a simple uniform to their employees so that they could be more easily distinguished from the customers. You can confirm this with anyone who attended the meeting at Ground Zero.
Since we have police on the Boulevard every day, I asked the Chief to let me know if the merchants were following through on their end of the bargain. This was her response. The police are not enforcing this agreement. It does not, after all, have the effect of law. My understanding from Larry Bond is that the majority of the merchants have agreed to this request in the spirit of working together.”
We then spoke with several ocean boulevard merchants, who informed us that Larry Bond, owner of Art Burger and The Chemist, did have a meeting with Mayor Bethune and the City Manager. A public meeting was also held at Myrtle Beach’s Ground Zero with some merchants in attendance. According to merchants we spoke with, Mr. Bond did promise the city of Myrtle Beach that he would work to ensure that all business employees (of all business owners) would be dressed in uniforms starting in 2018. Bond then promised these merchants that per the city’s agreement with Bond, they could avoid having barricades placed, by the city, in front of their stores during the Summer 2018 if every business owner promised to mandate employee uniforms.
We attempted to contact Mr. Bond several times, but were not able to reach him as of this publication.
We did reach out to the following, concerning mandated business uniforms:
Emily at City Of Myrtle Beach City Services stated employees at Myrtle Beach city services dressed business casual. She was unaware of any request from the city for staff to wear uniforms.
City of Myrtle Beach City Hall: Sandra at 843-918-1012 told us: “We don’t wear uniforms.”
We also reached out to private businesses at Broadway at the Beach:
Boardwalk Winery said: We do not wear uniforms and have not been asked by the city to wear uniforms.
CROCS: We spoke with Michael who said, “Crocks does not require uniforms. Employees dress business casual. To my knowledge the city has made no request we wear uniforms.”
Other businesses we reached out to:
We spoke with Kara at Better Brand who told us: “Employees wear office casual in the office. Truck drivers are required to wear uniforms.”
We got the following responses from retail stores located at Market Common
Bath & Body Works: Caitlyn told us. “We prefer jeans and a white shirt, but there is no specific dress code. It’s just business casual.” She was not aware of any request from the city on wearing uniforms.
Southern Living: Tina told us employees of Southern Living at Market Common were not required to wear uniforms. She said it was business casual wear. She also was not aware of a request from Myrtle Beach City Government asking company employees to wear uniforms.
ORVIS at Market Common: We spoke with Susan who told us Orvis employees did not wear uniforms. She said dress at Orvis was business casual.
COASTAL GRAND MALL BUSINESSES
BELK at Coastal Grand Mall said employees dressed business casual.
Payless Shoes at Coastal Grand Mall: Sierra told us uniforms are not worn at Payless Shoes. It is just business casual she told us. “We like jeans with blouses,” she said. She was not aware of any request from the city that uniforms be required.
OCEAN BOULEVARD MERCHANTS
Ocean boulevard merchants we spoke with, however, were either informed of the request or vaguely informed. Many told us the request was made by the city as an exchange for not putting barricades in front of their stores.
In checking, we were able to confirm that Larry Bond is appointed to the board of the Downtown Redevelopment Corporation, as well as, the board of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce.