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Tourism is Ocean City’s number one industry. Guests are drawn here all year long, with the majority coming in the warmer months.

When visitors head into town, they bring towels, sunglasses, beach reads, suntan lotion and, of course, their wallets. Ocean City businesses rely on tourist dollars to remain viable throughout the year, but it’s the locals who continue to support them in the off season.

Ocean City is an entrepreneur’s dream. While you’ll see some familiar franchises on the island, this is the exception, not the rule. One stroll along Asbury Avenue or the Boardwalk will show that Ocean City is an ideal spot for success. Small companies thrive here due to the constant influx of vacationers during the summer months and the steady stream of locals all year long.

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The 2.5-mile Boardwalk is home to hundreds of shops, amusements and eateries to feed and entertain the 120,000 summer population. New wood planks were recently installed on a portion of the Boardwalk to keep it safe and looking good for all.

Downtown Asbury Avenue has been undergoing a strong resurgence for several years now. The businesses are unique and sophisticated, with personal, friendly service. Recent improvements downtown include new sidewalks, teak benches, pots for blooming flora all year long, new artistic murals at intersections and beautiful old-fashioned street lights. These enhancements increase the visibility of the downtown and attract more and more people each day. Special events both downtown and on the Boardwalk attract crowds as well.

Businesses in Ocean City have a solid support system in the Chamber of Commerce. Located in the heart of the city, the Chamber and its staff work for business owners on a daily basis. More than 500 members take advantage of the range of services offered. This year the Chamber launched a brand new interactive website for members, locals, and visitors. The website, www.oceancityvacation.com, contains vacation information, weekly specials, event listings, loads of helpful and fun facts, and employment opportunities.

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And there are plenty employment opportunities here in town. The unemployment rate in Ocean City is approximately 4.8 percent compared with a county average of 7 percent.

Though hospitality and tourism dominate Ocean City’s industry, in nearby Somers Point, healthcare is a major focus. Shore Memorial Hospital is one of the areas leading employers, along with AtlantiCare. Both facilities are hiring on a daily basis. The casino industry in Atlantic City is approximately 15 minutes away and home to many diverse job opportunities.

With its endless opportunities for shopping, entertainment, eating and recreation, Ocean City will always be a major tourist attraction. From the bustling summer months to the shoulder seasons, this beach town has continuous revenue throughout the year.

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