“The Chamber of Commerce does absolutely no political work. We advocate for issues. We never advocate for candidates. We do not have any budget to do that.” – Karen Riordan, CEO MBACC
The above words were spoken by Riordan during the regular meeting of county council Tuesday night in response to questions from Horry County Council member Al Allen about the Chamber’s financial contributions to the Grand Strand Business Alliance.
Riordan explained about the Chamber accounting with respect to public and private money. The public money comes from local and state governments from 30% of accommodations tax revenue, approximately 80% of tourism development fee revenue and various state grants, approximately $51 million per year in recent years.
Private money comes to the Chamber in the form of membership dues, ad sales on the VisitMyrtleBeach.com website and other sources.
Riordan said when member organizations pay their annual dues, they can “voluntarily” elect to have 18% of the annual fee given to the GSBA. She did not mention but it is known that a percentage of the money from the ad sales also goes to the GSBA.
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