Editor's Note: Portions of this story have been updated.
There were 80 business licenses renewed or newly issued in the city of Myrtle Beach for the month of December. In November, there were 120 new or renewed licenses.
Here are some of the new businesses in December:
Pixel Fixer opens near downtown Myrtle Beach
Pixel Fixer, a computer, phone and tablet repair shop, obtained its business license in December. It has a name that just caught my eye as a creative one, but then I realized there was a slightly bigger story there.
Checking out the background on Pixel Fixer, the company recently moved to 417 Broadway Street — just close enough to the downtown area where the city has been concentrating some of its improvement efforts.
Pixel Fixer owner David Ballard credits his parts manager as mentoring some of his moves.
"He said go to your downtown area and just look at all the spaces, even the ones that don't have 'For Rent' signs on there, and just see if there's anything down there that's feasible," Ballard said. "The space that I found was not for rent. The door was actually walled off on the inside and it was part of the neighboring salon (Salon 314)... I found that space. It wasn't available. I made it available."
Ballard said he is appreciative of Salon 314 owner LeShara Holmes, who worked with him to sublet the property.
Ballard said he had always loved downtown areas and felt the move would put him at a great advantage to being the only repair shop downtown.
"I know it's not great, but I want to be a part of it and make it great," he said of Myrtle Beach's downtown. "And then I discovered the redevelopment plans that were in the works for at least Phase 1, and I thought, 'THis is going to be great. If they're going to revamp that part, they'll surely revamp Broadway Street.
"I hit the ground for three months trying to find something in the downtown because I was determined to be a part of it, now and later."
Pixel Fixer is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The company’s recently coined slogan, “Who’s next?” is not only appropriate for its customers, but fitting for its near-downtown location: Who’s next to move down there?
Waxing the City opens Myrtle Beach location
Waxing the City, a franchise, opened a Myrtle Beach location in December in the affluent 82nd Parkway area at 811 82nd Parkway in the Publix shopping center. From brows to Brazilians, Waxing the City — with locations in Columbia and Mount Pleasant — offers a full range of professional facial and body waxing services for women and men, “in a friendly, comfortable studio environment,” per its website.
Carolina company Bradford Construction and Design built the new facility that houses Waxing the City.
Earth Cafe to bring fresh menu to Myrtle Beach
It’s time to get fresh, Myrtle Beach, and what better time of year for an organic food restaurant to open than January.
Earth Cafe is opening at 3811 N. Kings Highway, Unit 31, and will offer fresh, organic food at its restaurant.
El Cerro closes one Myrtle Beach location permanently; another location closed temporarily
El Cerro Grande, located at 108 S. Kings Highway in Myrtle Beach, permanently closed recently.
The property was roped off Thursday as workers were cleaning out the restaurant.
Another El Cerro location at 1002 29th Ave. N. announced in December that it was temporarily closing.
"We have made the difficult decision to close TEMPORARILY due to COVID-19 precautions," the company wrote on its Facebook page. "Like always our top priority is our Customers and staff. #willbebacksoon."
El Cerro did not return a request for comment.
El Cerro opened its 29th Ave. N. location in 2016. It is housed at the former Mykonos and Bullwinkle's locations.
CVS Pharmacy closes its South Kings Highway location in Myrtle Beach
The CVS pharmacy at 512 S. Kings Highway in Myrtle Beach closed its doors on Jan. 2 and redirected all pharmacy records to its Socastee location just 6 miles away.
The sign on the door told customers that prescription records were sent to the Socastee location, about 1 1/2 miles further than the 24-hour CVS/pharmacy at 1303 38th Avenue North.
Matthew Blanchette, manager of retail communications for CVS, said the transfer to Socastee was a move that coincided with the lead pharmacist and pharmacy tech from South Kings Highway chose to relocate there. He said it "will provide customers with a friendly and familiar face."
"Of course, any customer who wishes to have their prescriptions relocated to 38th Avenue North may absolutely do so," Blanchette said in an email.
He said CVS is currently offering free 1-2 delivery on prescriptions and select everyday essentials to customers.
More than $600K available in grants for Myrtle Beach businesses
The city of Myrtle Beach received more than $600,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds to help businesses in the city with 25 or less employees.
The city announced the grant Jan. 4 and will take applications through Jan. 29. The grants, which will range between $1,000 and $25,000 per business, are aimed at low-to-moderate income small business owners who were impacted by the economic effects of COVID-19.
Small businesses must meet a list of criteria, including being located within the city limits, have less than $5 million in gross revenue for the past 12 months, must be current on fees and taxes owed to the city, and a host of other requirements.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development allocated supplemental Community Development Block Grant Program funds to Horry County and Myrtle Beach to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Small businesses that receive assistance through the relief program must commit to create or retain one full time equivalent position held by a low to moderate income household for a period of at least 90 days.
Funds will be disbursed by reimbursement to the applicant for documented eligible project expenses.
Grants may be used for rent, accounts payable, payroll and other working capital.
Applications are available for download on the Horry County Community Development website at https://www.horrycounty.org/Departments/CDBG.
More information can be obtained by contacting the Horry County Community Development department at SB.Assistance@horrycounty.org.
New Tavern in Surfside projected to open in February, will hire between 40-50 employees
Tavern in Surfside, which comes from the owners of the popular Tavern in the Forest in Carolina Forest, is slated to open in February and will employ up to 50 service industry workers.
Drew Doss, general manager of both locations, said the company plans to make an announcement soon about when it will begin hiring interviews for Tavern in Surfside, which will be at the former Lincoln Park Bar & Grill location at 8739 US Highway 17 Bypass South.
Lincoln Park closed in February 2019.
Doss said excitement for the new location has been building among customers and staff at its Carolina Forest property.
"To open a second location in a year's time is pretty unheard of, for a small business like us," Doss said. "With the climate and everything, we're just excited to be able to do something like this. We wouldn't have bee able to do this without the support of the community we have in Carolina Forest."
Doss said plans call for hiring between 40 and 50 people for the new location. He said some of the Tavern's current leadership team are residents of Surfside Beach already.
"We're excited to be part of a new community also," he said. "We try to hire local to the community, or at least focus on that. We intend to staff with people from that community and become a part of that community also."
He said there isn't a big concern opening during the region's offseason.
"We're excited to bring those jobs to the community in the middle of the offseason and with COVID going on, we're hoping that'll be something that will help out the area."
Doss said the food and drink menus will be the same as the Carolina Forest location. So will many of the live music and game nights the Carolina Forest location hosts, though on different nights. He said the 14-mile difference between locations will help the Tavern brand open up to a new demographic.
"Our big focus is always going to be the local community," Doss said. "Regardless of where we go, and we do still plan for more locations, we always want to have a focus on 'For locals, by locals.' If there are tourists who come there, that's great. We actually have people drive from some of the resorts on the oceanfront to check out Tavern in the Forest. We expect to see more of that being on 17 Bypass."
Spine Pain Center opens in Surfside Beach
SURFSIDE BEACH — Spine Pain Center, led by Drs. Joseph and Karen Carew, opened a new location recently in Surfside Beach.
The company officially opened its location at 400 U.S. 17 Business with the addition of Dr. Patrick Martin.
The Spine Pain Center has been in business for more than 40 years and provides complete chiropractic care, including treatment for back pain, neck pain, lower back pain and headaches.
It has offices in North Charleston and Mount Pleasant.
Longtime barbecue restaurant and buffet in Murrells Inlet closes 'until further notice'
MURRELLS INLET — Prosser's BBQ Restaurant and Buffet announced Friday it's closing its doors after nearly 30 years in business.
"It is with very heavy hearts that we will be closing until further notice," read a post on the company's Facebook page. "2020 was a very stressful year for our world and our family business was hit hard. We are so very thankful for the many friends and memories we have made in our almost 30 years. We have appreciated your business and pray for blessings in the New Year. We will miss you! The Prosser’s Family."
The post then directed anyone with a gift certificate to contact the company via email at firstname.lastname@example.org for a refund or suitable trade.
The post indicated that Prosser's sauce and barbeque will be in local stores.
Prosser's was known for slow smoking its barbecue over hickory coals, as well as its fried chicken, country-fried steak and chicken bog. It was also well known for its buffet-style offerings.
The company's social media posts showed how Prosser's tried to maneuver its way around COVID challenges in 2020, offering takeout Thursdays through Saturdays beginning in April.
In August, it posted, "We at Prossers want to thank our customers for staying loyal to us over these harsh and confusing times do(sic) to the “pandemic." Its(sic) been difficult to figure out what works for everyone..."
They stayed open Thursdays through Sundays.
Word slowly began spreading throughout the inlet earlier this month that the longtime area staple was closing its doors. Its announcement on Facebook had nearly 900 reactions and more than 1,300 shares within hours.