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Columbia Business Monthly

S.C. Governor Opens Public Beach Access, Limited Retail Businesses

Apr 20, 2020 04:44PM ● By David Dykes

By David Dykes

Gov. Henry McMaster removed restrictions on public access points to the state’s beaches, public piers, docks, and wharfs, while delegating to local officials the authority to restrict access.

The governor's executive order also re-opens retail stores that were closed due to an earlier order, including:

  • Furniture and home-furnishings stores
  • Clothing, shoe, and clothing-accessory stores
  • Jewelry, luggage, and leather goods stores
  • Department stores, with the exception of hardware and home-improvement stores
  • Sporting goods stores
  • Book, craft, and music stores
  • Flea markets
  • Florists and flower stores.

All other businesses previously ordered closed will remain shuttered until further notice, state officials said.

Under the governor's order, retail stores could reopen Monday, April 20, at 5 p.m., but must adhere to social distancing requirements, operating at 20 percent occupancy or five customers per 1,000 square feet, whichever is less, state officials said.

In addition, businesses must not knowingly allow customers to congregate within six feet of one another, excluding families, and follow relevant CDC and DHEC guidelines, the officials said.

Recognizing the impact of COVID-19’s impact to South Carolina’s economy, McMaster also announced the creation of accelerateSC, a coordinated economic revitalization plan involving small and large business leaders, healthcare professionals, local government officials, and education professionals.

State officials said the plan consists of five components of analysis and effort: response, protection, governance, resources, and information. 

James Burns, a partner at the law firm of Nelson, Mullins, Riley and Scarborough, will be as accelerateSC’s executive director. Burns and the rest of the membership will work in a voluntary capacity, state officials said.

McMaster and Lt. Governor Pamela Evette will attend and lead the first meeting of accelerateSC on Thursday.

Meanwhile, public beach access points, piers, docks, and wharfs can reopen Tuesday, April 21, at noon. Public boat ramps and boat landings were previously reopened under a governor's executive order.

All other executive actions, including the governor’s “Home or Work” order, remain in effect, state officials said.

They said South Carolinians should maintain social distancing practices and avoid large groups of people.

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