Small Business Incentives
The City of Abbeville is seeking to encourage and induce new investment in the community that will strengthen the local economy, create new job opportunities and encourage the establishment and growth of new businesses. To achieve these objectives the Community Development Department, in conjunction with the City Manager’s Office, has prepared this Small Business Inventive Plan that identifies the goals and methods of achieving those objectives. This plan has been developed to bring about positive economic, social and cultural impacts within the City, enhance the quality of life of the City's citizens, and encourage private investment through local Development Incentives. Given the competitive nature of economic development within the State of South Carolina and indeed the entire region, an incentive strategy, as outlined in this Small Business Inventive Plan, will be critical to ensuring the long term economic vitality of the City.
The following overview will go into some detail describing the funding mechanisms of the Business Incentive Plan; which can be broken down into four distinct parts; an Energy Efficiency Grant, a Business Grants Program, a Revolving Loan Fund, and a Large Investment Incentive.
The Energy Efficiency Grant is awarded in smaller amounts than the other grant programs and there are stricter guidelines for the usage of those funds, i.e. they must be used for building improvements such as roofing, windows, insulation, etc. (Estimated Economic Impact by 2025 nearly $50,000)
The Business Grants Program consist of three separate annual grant programs, which will essentially function as “conditional grants”; meaning that if the recipient upholds their terms, they will not be required to pay the grant back. However, should they not meet the terms of the grant they would be required to repay the funds. This helps to ensure that public funds granted out in this program are able to be recouped should a recipient move their business to another town, or simply not follow the terms of the contract. (Estimated Economic Impact of the New Business Grant Program by 2025 $710,000)
The Revolving Loan Fund is an account which will be established by the City, built up over the next decade, and will allow the City to loan businesses funds at a reduced rate. This fund will function very similar to the Grant programs, with the caveat that the funds must be paid back. (Estimated Economic Impact of the RLF Program by 2025 $244,000)
The Large Investment Incentive provision will be restricted to larger businesses which have established name recognition and will make a significant economic impact from their first day in the community or to current businesses making substantial expansions. (Difficult to judge the potential impact, this incentive will be very business specific)
Justification: Having recognized that the establishment, growth, and success of a small business is first predicated on market demand for the products or services being provided, as well as sound management and financial stability; it has also been recognized by the City that the Business Incentives outlined in this plan will facilitate a business friendly climate while helping City businesses reinvest in themselves, jumpstarting new private investment, unlocking the City’s economic potential, and ensuring that the City’s socio-economic inventory continues to grow and thrive.
(All Grants & Loans)
The City will accept applications beginning in FY 2019. Eligible businesses and commercial property owners will submit an application, which will contain the intended use of Funds, to the Community Development Department by February 28th each year (Should the 28th fall on a weekend, applications will be due the following Monday). This application process will be available entirely online with paper copies available as well. Applications will then be reviewed by a selection committee consisting of the City’s Community Development Director, Assistant City Manager, and Finance Director. Three finalists will be chosen and asked to present to the committee at a to be determined date each May. Decision notifications regarding applications would be sent out by May 31st and funds would be dispersed thereafter. Priority will be determined based on need, as well as on those businesses being able to provide matching funds. Submission of an application is NOT a guarantee of Funding.
Verification and Disbursement of Funds
Businesses which apply for and receive funding must provide evidence that the submitted project has been carried out to completion in order to receive grant reimbursements. The required evidence will consist of:
- Before and after photos – (Before Photos should also be submitted with Application)
- Proof of payment (Cleared Check, Credit Card Transaction Receipt, etc)
- Signed Verification letter by Vendor or Contractor
Once awarded, funds will be disbursed in the form of reimbursements. These reimbursements can occur in increments of 25%, 50%, or 100%. As previously stated, proof of the completed work must be provided in order to receive the reimbursement.
*Loan funds will be given out up front; verification of work is still required.