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      Valentine's Day good for Grand Strand businesses

      For most of us, Valentine's Day is about loving thoughts and romantic deeds, but for some, it's also about working hard and doing business. Some Grand Strand businesses are hoping that on February 14th, we'll reach deep into our wallets as well as our hearts.

      The Valentines holiday is the single busiest day of the year at Greenskeeper Florist in Pawleys Island, accounting for up to ten percent of the shop's annual business.

      "We'll go through probably close to 3,000 roses," said shop owner Gary Marks.

      Marks said red roses will sell well, but just about anything with a stem will do. "We got pink roses, white roses, yellow roses, peach and again a lot of people like just cut flowers, the tulips, hydrangeas, calla lilies."

      Greenskeepers will have four delivery trucks running non-stop on Valentine's Day, from Myrtle Beach to Georgetown. "So it's big for us, all aspects," Marks said.

      Meanwhile, at Croissants Bistro in Myrtle Beach, baked sweets are a specialty year-round, but especially on Valentine's Day.

      "We do heart-shaped cookies, heart-shaped rice Krispie treats, heart-shaped brownies," said owner Heidi Vukov.

      Anything pink or shaped like a heart will sell, Vukov said, and of course, "Chocolate is very big. And strawberries are big, too."

      Valentine's Day is what allows Croissants to keep a full staff working during what would otherwise be a slow time of year.

      "Since it comes in February, and we don't have a lot of tourists here, we depend on this little bump that we get from Valentines Day to kind of get us through the entire month," said Vukov.

      It's men who spend the most on Valentine's Day, she said, and as we all know, men usually wait until the last second to do anything, so having the holiday fall on a Tuesday this year isn't good. "It's much better if it's towards the end of the week, because it gives people a little bit more time to think about it."

      The Croissants staff will be kept busy all day, from breakfast through the dinner hours, Vukov said. "Tomorrow morning, it will be all those people on their way to work who want to pick something up for their co-workers and then on the way home all the husbands will be coming in to pick up something to take to their wife."

      Americans are projected to spend nearly $18 billion this Valentine's Day, about 8 percent more than last year, according to the National Retail Federation.