OCEAN CITY, MD. - For most business owners in Ocean City advertisement is the key to getting customers into their restaurants and stores. But how you go about *promoting* your business can determine whether or not you face a hefty fine.
"For this handbill ordinance it's up to $1000 repeated violators could face possible suspension to their business license," said public information officer for the Ocean City Police Department Lindsay Richard.
Currently, the Ocean City Police Department is investigating the distribution of restaurant menus at several hotels throughout the resort town, prompting the department to send out a reminder to businesses that handing out these types of fliers and handbillls is illegal.
"Basically that spells out that businesses cannot put flyers either in around of hotel rooms on the hotel room door on cars and that is mainly for the purpose to prevent littering," said Richard.
Some businesses in the area say they don't agree with the departments' ordinance.
"I don't think that that's a wrong thing, no, we need to have options and the advertising allows the other people to find out where they can go and what they should do," said PGN Crab House employee Michelle Boca.
While residents and visitors are siding with the police department.
"Littering is bad and if they have to pay a fine for it that might make them stop," said one visitor Chris Turner.
"I wouldn't want to visit and have somebody come knock on my door or dropping material or putting it in my mailbox so it's wrong it's wrong but the police department is doing a great job," said another visitor Mary Stern.
But officials say the ordinance is simply a way to make sure the town continues to thrive.
"Just about every summer businesses trying to get the word out about their business but you have to remember that this is a city ordinance and we do want to prevent littering in town so that's why that's in place," said Richard.
Officials add that if you're a property owner and you experience this type of ordinance violation you can contact the Ocean City Police Department at 410-723-6600.
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