Below are things you should know or take action on right now as a local-independent business owner or leader:

Charleston County Relief *GRANTS* for Small Biz — Deadline is May 6th!

This is a one-time relief grant intended to help mitigate past and present perils of COVID-19 on workers and businesses. The goal of this program is to support neighborhood-scale businesses by providing access to capital and facilitating capacity building through the injection of federal funds. Qualified businesses can receive up to $25,000 per business. Eligible applicants include: 

– Businesses with a primary physical location within Charleston County.
For-profit businesses which were in operation prior to March 16, 2019.
– Businesses with 10 or fewer employees and annual revenue under $500,000 dollars.
– Businesses who have not received any previous pandemic relief assistance such as PPP.
– Businesses must remain located in the county and not sell the business for at least one year after receipt of grant funds.

View more info or access the application

Regional ‘Vanpool’ for Employee Group Transportation

Lowcountry Go Vanpool is a program offered by the Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments to provide employers or groups of employees with flexible access to a fleet of 11 vehicles (four 7-passenger and seven 15-passenger) available to lease. This option is ideal for groups of employees who commute 15+ miles from a similar area and/or travel to work locations with difficult parking.

Learn more or contact Lauren Gellatly to be connected to this program. 

Business License Renewals are here! 

The Business License Tax Standardization Act officially went into effect on January 1, 2022. These changes apply to both businesses subject to a local business tax and the localities that levy such tax. First, all local business licenses must now be issued for the same 12-month license period (May 1 to April 30) across the State. During this period, businesses may renew their licenses upon payment of the business license tax, which is based on gross income for the calendar year preceding the due date, or, for a new business, estimated gross income for the balance of the license year.

Learn more here or contact your local jurisdictions for assistance. 

Time Running Out to Pass SC Hate Crimes Law

With only two weeks left in the current legislative session, groups are urging last-minute action to pass a hate crimes bill. South Carolina is one of two states that doesn’t have a statewide law against hate crimes. The City of Charleston, Charleston County, and Lowcountry Local First have signed on in support of this legislation, as well as more than 50 businesses in the state found here on Stamp Out Hate South Carolina.

Take action now.

Lauren Gellatly
Director of Operations at Lowcountry Local First