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Will there be changes in service or tourism now that Brunswick is part of Myrtle Beach’s MSA?

Jason Gonzales
Brunswick County's move to being part of Myrtle Beach's MSA probably won't affect tourism in Oak Island or other locations. StarNews file photo.

Brunswick County’s move to being part of Myrtle Beach’s MSA probably won’t affect tourism in Oak Island or other locations. StarNews file photo.

Q. Now that Brunswick county has been moved to the Myrtle Beach metro statistical area from Wilmington’s, will there be any changes in service, tourism, etc.?

A. Quite simply, the answer to this question is, “no.”

But there should be an asterisk placed by that answer because the move to the Myrtle Beach Metropolitan Statistical Area does mean some changes for the way others look at the county.

The changes are in the numbers. The decision to shuffle the metro areas came after the 2010 Census. Metropolitan statistical areas, or MSAs, help the Census Bureau calculate population, income and demographics for regions and are determined through a number of factors.

On one hand, the county’s industrial recruiter, the Brunswick County Economic Development Commission, will have a harder time explaining to prospective industry employers that Wilmington is a part of the county’s culture. The MSA data only relates to statistics and now the county has a stronger correlation to Myrtle Beach than Wilmington. Jim Bradshaw, economic development commission director, has said it will be harder recruiting businesses.

On the other hand, the county did move into a more retail-heavy statistical area.

Bradshaw and the commission recently contracted an independent firm to conduct a $30,000 study on how the county can bring retail to the area. And Bradshaw has said the change puts more eyes from the retail industry on Brunswick County.


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