Bert's Market owner says business is struggling since Folly alcohol ban

FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCIV) - According to the{}owner of Bert's Market on Folly Beach, business on the Island has struggled since the alcohol ban on July 10. With a permanent ban in place after last night's council decision, it is uncertain how businesses will fare.

Omar Colon, owner of Bert's, says his business should be able to survive the changes on Folly Beach, but other businesses might not be as fortunate.

"We had to let two year-round people go that have been with us two years. We as a store, you know, can adapt. There are some businesses on the Island that I think don't have a plan B. Their business plan doesn't allow them to adapt to the changes," said Colon Wednesday afternoon.

Colon says he and his accountant compared year-to-day data from July 11, the day after the temporary alcohol ban, to August 12 this year versus last year and 2012. Additionally, they looked at January 1 to July 10 numbers and what the history of growth has been.

"There is a clear fulcrum point at the July 10 ban where we have been consistently almost four percent in the red, where 33 days prior to the ban, we were ten percent above. So that's a swing of 14 percent, and that's conclusive data. That's not based on what I think traffics doin' or what it looks like in my store. Those are facts."

Colon says the ban has affected sales of all products in his store. The only product sale that was not in the red after number-crunching Tuesday was wine.

The Folly Council decision Tuesday made the alcohol ban permanent. Other proposals called for a vote by Folly residents in the upcoming election.

"When government has a decision, they have{}a responsibility to asses the pros and the cons, And the cons have been completely overlooked and only the positives have been brought to light," says Colon. "And they voted on a very small minority of people on the Island that only accept those things. There's a lot of people on the Island who want their vote to be heard and they also want all the pros and cons to be looked at and that hasn't been done."