MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. - The U.S. Small Business Administration has named the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce the 2014 South Carolina Small Business Ally of the Year.

The new Ally award honors a non-profit organization that has provided outstanding support to the state's small businesses through outreach, education and advocacy efforts.

The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce is a membership organization supported by more than 2,500 businesses and non-profit organizations. The organizations and the individuals representing them join together for the purpose of promoting the civic and economic progress of the community.

"We are honored to have been chosen by the SBA for this great award," said George Mims, chairman of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce's Small Business Council. "Most of our businesses are small businesses, and we take the utmost pride in helping them grow and develop. That, in turn, benefits the economic landscape of the entire Myrtle Beach area. Our mission will always be providing community leadership in the promotion of economic development, including tourism."

"The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber has a long history of assisting small businesses and helping them develop," said Elliott Cooper, district director of the SBA's South Carolina District Office. "The chamber is a vital asset to the small business community, and this is an award they truly deserve."

The SBA will recognize all award winners during the annual Salute to Small Business event on Wednesday, May 7, 2014, in Columbia.

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