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Small Business Grants In South Carolina

Written by: Jody Adams
Last updated: January 31, 2024

Your small business may qualify for a small business grant from the South Carolina Business Grant program in 2022 if it has suffered substantial revenue losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Small business owners, local communities, and families can benefit from these grants. We strive to assist South Carolina small businesses, communities, and families by providing information and resources. In light of this, business planning and education are vital aspects to ensure the proper utilization of these grants for sustainable business growth.

South Carolina is home to $9.25 billion in grants and $6.86 billion in additional business financing options from local governments. Under this system, the bulk of the federal budget in government grants is devoted to the business sector every year, as small businesses and large corporations are the basis of South Carolina's economic growth. More than 26,000 farms are located in South Carolina, with 445,000 business establishments and nearly 831,000 people employed, making job creation a significant outcome of such funding.

In the September Global State of Small Business Report, Facebook shows that 73% of small business owners in South Carolina feel confident that their business venture will remain open for at least 12 months. This is a testament to the impact of financial assistance programs such as business loans and government grants in fostering a conducive business environment.

There are several reasons that small business loans and lines of credit can be extremely useful to business owners; whether it's to hire more employees or offer more competitive pay, repair or buy equipment through equipment financing, invest in marketing campaigns, or fill any gaps in cash flow during challenging times.

The state of South Carolina alone pays more than $51.72 billion in salaries and payroll, indicative of a broad range of business activity. Additionally, more than 9,657 business concerns file for bankruptcy yearly in the state. Business grants from the federal government are not available to start or expand new businesses. Despite this, South Carolina grants are provided to business owners who wish to start or expand their business, and the Federal government does not require repayment. This is why you might consider business financing options like applying for small business grants or bank loans to fund your business.

What Is a Grant?

A government agency typically gives grants to develop a new product, service, or project. The government may not guarantee a grant as it does with a secured loan. Small eligible businesses will benefit from grant programs as they are not required to repay the money, unlike bank loans.

Securing grants, including the administration of those grants, can be a great source for low-cost growth, despite being lengthy and time-consuming. The application process for grants can be complex and lengthy. Application guides are crucial resources that assist businesses in submitting their application packet within the application window. You need to demonstrate that you have the resources to build your business and that it fits the criteria of the grant-giving institution if you want to apply for a small business grant. Many local governments, foundations, and nonprofit organizations offer grant programs.

State Grants

In South Carolina, many grants are available for various purposes to the residents. The following list of Small Business Grants for 2022 may interest you if you are a small business owner. Those interested in participating will be able to apply for the next round in September 2022, ensuring the application on time.

CommunityWorks - Spartanburg Back The Burg Program

In partnership with CommunityWorks, the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce has established the Bringing Back the Burg Small Business Fund to assist Spartanburg area businesses that have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 disaster. This loan aims to help qualified small businesses in the city and the county by providing low-interest and forgivable loans to assist them in becoming successful. If your business was negatively affected by COVID-19 and you meet the criteria, you may apply for a $10,000 loan, with the possibility of 50 percent of the loan being waived after the first year.

Free Business Training: SC CompTIA IWT Scholarship Program

Interested employers in the state of South Carolina can apply for a scholarship that will pay their employees to enroll in either a 12-week A+ program or an 8-week Security+ program through CompTIA that will provide them with both a mentored learning certification preparation package, valued at over $5,000.

These programs also include the following details:

  • Dedicated to Employees of South Carolina Businesses
  • Scholarships for employees to help them upskill
  • Access to the CompTIA learning management system for 16 weeks and 1:1 mentoring
  • Employees can earn a CompTIA IT certification by passing the certification exam

Microbusiness Pandemic Relief Program

The Charleston County Housing and Neighborhood Revitalization Microbusiness Pandemic Relief Program, funded by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, offers assistance to small neighborhood businesses affected by the COVID pandemic. The grant is intended to minimize past and present perils posed by COVID-19 on workers and businesses. By limiting access to capital and promoting the capacity building of neighborhood-scale businesses through the injection of federal funding, the program aims to support neighborhood-scale businesses. Businesses that qualify can receive up to $25,000 in funding from the program.

Federal guidelines will be followed in administering and utilizing the program. Charleston County reserves the right to request more information and documents from interested parties whenever necessary.

Applicants who are eligible to apply to include the following:

  • Businesses with a principal place of business that are physically located within the county of Charleston.
  • Businesses operating for more than six months before March 16, 2019, are eligible.
  • Small business owners with fewer than ten employees and revenue under half a million dollars a year.
  • Have not previously received the type of relief assistance provided through PPP.
  • Upon receipt of grant funding, the business must remain in the county for a minimum of one year and may not sell the business.

In addition, you need to meet the following requirements:

  • Documentation is required to prove that a business's income has been affected by COVID-19.
  • A business must have all the necessary licenses and be in good standing with the Secretary of State and Charleston County.
  • In addition to having no unpaid code enforcement or tax liens as of March 16, 2020, the business was also not operating in violation of any federal, state, or local laws.
  • No filing for bankruptcy by the owner/applicant in the past 12 months, nor has she been in bankruptcy.
  • In the last three years, there has not been a conviction for financial mismanagement on the part of any owner, officer, partner, or principal actor of the business.
  • Concerning the County of Charleston, there are no conflicts of interest.

SKIP Grant Program

All business owners and entrepreneurs are eligible for the Skip Grant Program. As of March 2020, they have been uploading videos on our YouTube channel nearly daily, providing help for companies with the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, and other SBA programs, as well as providing grant opportunities. Moreover, some of the YouTube revenue they receive from their customers has been donated back to the business owners.

As part of SKIP's new campaign announced on their YouTube channel, they will award several business owners a cash grant of $1,000 and some SKIP services of $1,000 every month (the number of grantees will vary depending on YouTube revenue).

Winners will be announced on our YouTube channel every third Wednesday of each month, but subscribe to our YouTube channel as we will announce any changes to our drawing schedule there.

SBA Assistance

In all 50 states, disaster loan assistance is provided by the Small Business Administration (SBA). The Coronavirus has caused severe economic damage to small businesses and non-profit groups. Low-interest loans are available to these businesses and non-profit groups. Click here for more information on the SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program. You can also download the EIDL Fact Sheet of South Carolina published by the SBA.

With the implementation of this Coronavirus Aid Package (CARES Act), small businesses are also eligible to apply for forgivable loans as part of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to pay employees and fund other day-to-day business operations. For more information, click here for the CARES Act and click here for the Paycheck Protection Program.

Small Business Stabilization Forgivable Loan Program (Columbia)

As a result of the Coronavirus outbreak, the City of Columbia has developed the Small Business Stabilization Forgivable Loan Program (SBSF) to assist local small businesses affected by the outbreak.

Loan Eligibility:

  • Small businesses with fewer than 100 employees at the time of loan application;
  • There will be a priority given to small, underperforming businesses with fewer than five (5) full-time employees and businesses with fewer than fifty (50) full-time employees;
  • Those businesses with a business license from the City of Columbia;
  • There are many businesses within the limits of the City of Columbia with a physical establishment;
  • In the city of Columbia, several businesses have a physical establishment within its limits;
  • SBSF loan applicants must agree to submit a verification report and a summary of how loan funds were spent when the SBSF loan funds have been exhausted. The report must also include supporting documentation (e.g., receipts, payroll records, etc.). Should these reports not be submitted, the borrower will be obligated to pay the loan back in full, and the forgiveness will be revoked.

Check the City of Columbia's SBSF information page for additional details or apply.

Facebook Small Business Grants

As a result of the COVID-19 epidemic around the world, program and event directors cannot hold open houses easily, give families tours, attend trade shows, etc., which are often the heart of their conventional marketing efforts. A digital strategy is becoming more crucial than ever as more programs and events are on hold.

Facebook recently announced that it would provide $40 million in grants to 10,000 US small businesses that have been adversely affected by the Coronavirus. The grants for the recipients in the US will be $2,500 in cash and $1,500 in optional ads credits) to help during this challenging time.

Thirty-four cities will benefit from the grants as part of the $100 million grant program announced on March 17. To apply for the program, a business does not have to have a Facebook page, an Instagram account, or a WhatsApp account.

As a result of the grants, the following areas would be supported:

  • Workforce management is essential to a company's success
  • Assistance with rent costs
  • Get in touch with more customers
  • Cover operating expenses 

Your business must meet the following requirements to be eligible:

  • Being a for-profit organization is a must
  • The company should employ between two and fifty people
  • The business has been in operation for more than a year now
  • Pandemic has negatively impacted them
  • Facebook operates in or near the location where you are 

You will need to gather your documents before applying if your business is listed in one of the eligible cities. You will need at least one of the following:

  • Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN)
  • Partnership documents
  • Business license
  • Proof of incorporation
  • Official registration

On the Facebook grant application, you'll be asked to provide your contact information, a summary of your business, and how the cash grant would be used.

Facebook has also launched its Business Hub, which features resources and recommendations to help small businesses succeed. As a member of the Business Hub, you have access to comprehensive and up-to-date information about COVID-19 to help you stay informed and proactive. You can also purchase gift cards for small businesses at the Business Hub.

You can apply for this great opportunity if your program qualifies. If it does, you should consider taking advantage of it. A long-term marketing contingency plan should include a plan for integrating digital channels as part of a long-term marketing strategy. Your team will have more free time to develop digital strategies if your managers and staff work from home.

When you take a strategic approach to digital marketing, it should not only be able to serve as an emergency response when you are faced with a disaster but also provide a long-term benefit when things return to normal. If you are ever required to deal with any future pandemics, this road map will help make your company more capable of dealing with them.

Facebook COVID-19 Community Network Grant Program

Depending on your business type, you may qualify for community network grants. In this $100 million initiative, for-profit and non-profit news organizations can apply for grants ranging from $25,000 to $100,000 to cover the coronavirus pandemic.

To qualify for the program, the business must serve a specific geographic area. Organizations that meet these requirements will be given priority.

  • You will be involved with marginalized communities, including immigrant groups, rural communities, and economically challenged groups.
  • You will be working in a particularly affected area due to the pandemic.
  • You are a family-owned business, a business owned by your community, or do you own an independent business.
  • Having an established digital business model

SheaMoisture Community Grants

With over 25 years of experience, SheaMoisture has been a part of the progress of Black communities across the globe. It has been reported that SheaMoisture has established a $1 million grant fund to provide financial support to small businesses run by minorities and women of color affected by the coronavirus pandemic. In the Black community, SheaMoisture has been investing in Black entrepreneurs and providing services for them for decades. 

Our team of experts is constantly rethinking their recipe for success so they can better serve you. Black entrepreneurs face unjust barriers, including limited access to the considerable advantages that have accrued to them through generational wealth and privilege. Supporting black and minority entrepreneurs is a crucial part of their strategy for eliminating the $11 Trillion wealth gap.

For decades, they have fought to level the playing field even though they alone can't undo 400 years of oppression on their own. For decades, they have fought to level the playing field, although they alone can't undo 400 years of oppression on their own. In addition to the economic insecurity that Black communities experience, they suffer from numerous other challenges caused by this gap. 

Lowcountry Minority Small Business Program

Businesses owned by minorities underrepresent our community. In recognition of these challenges, SCORE SC Lowcountry created the Minority Small Business Development Program to assist minorities in growing small businesses throughout the Lowcountry. The business owners in Beaufort, Jasper, Colleton, and Hampton counties are eligible to receive business mentoring and can apply for financial awards through this program.

Minority-owned businesses in South Carolina's Lowcountry can take advantage of this program through business mentoring and financial grants. You can use these awards for your company's direct operations (such as accounting services, advertising, website management, customer service tools, or equipment). Some awards can be used for the direct operations of your business (such as accounting services, advertising, website management, customer service tools, or equipment purchases).

Eligibility Criteria

  • A minority should own the business
  • Registered in South Carolina or has a business license there
  • Ownership by African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, or Native Americans
  • Minority ownership of 51% or more
  • Has fewer than 25 employees
  • Located in any of the following counties: Beaufort, Jasper, Colleton, or Hampton
  • Take part in the Awards Orientation Program (live or recorded)

Those interested in participating will be able to apply for the next round in September 2022.

COVID-19 Small Business Relief Grant (Richland County)

Business owners in Richland County who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic can now apply for a new grant program. Eligible applicants are encouraged to apply for the COVID-19 Small Business Relief Grant program, which offers financial projections reimbursable expenses up to $15,000 to small businesses within the county.

Grant funding worth $300,000 for the project was provided by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. As part of the program, the Office of Small Business Opportunity (OSBO) in Richland County and the Community Planning and Development Department will work together to manage the program, offering technical assistance and business counseling to applicants.

Richland County businesses that have 50 or fewer employees and can demonstrate revenue loss due to the COVID-19 program may be eligible businesses for the grant program. Besides operating for a year before March 2021, they must have been operating since the beginning of the year. Some types of businesses would not qualify for the program (such as hotels, franchises, and financial or lending institutions).

Applications will be accepted in the order they are received until all grant money funding has been distributed. Contact OSBO at 803-576-1540 or email [email protected] if you want more information, including eligibility requirements or help completing the grant proposal.

Nebraska Business Innovation Grants

A small business grant program recently received additional funding from the Nebraska legislature. This Business Innovation Act impacts a wide range of programs that operate in the state, such as small business planning, financial assistance to small businesses, agriculture innovation, and financial assistance to businesses that make use of college facilities. To qualify for these programs, the Nebraska business must have annual revenue of no more than $1 million and a recent financial loss. Applicants will have the opportunity to make individual grants of $12,000, based upon the order of receipt of funding.

North Carolina Business Recovery Grant Program

The State of North Carolina announced the launch of the second round of its Business Recovery Grant Program on May 2. Approximately $200 million will be made available in this round. A small business in North Carolina must have suffered an economic loss of at least 20 percent due to the pandemic to qualify for assistance. There will also be a wide range of businesses included in this funding round that did not qualify during Phase 1, which was primarily focused on restaurants and hospitality businesses. Farmers will be able to participate in Phase 2, as well as gyms, salons, doctors, lawyers, some retail businesses, landscapers, and so on. It is possible to apply for a maximum of $500,000. Applicants have until June 1 to submit their applications.

VBThrive Business Relief Grant Program

The VBThrive Business Relief Grant Program supports a variety of small businesses in Virginia Beach. The Tourism and Hospitality Fund offers grants to tourism and hospitality businesses and all small businesses. Five million dollars have been set aside for each program. The value of individual grants varies from $10,000 to $50,000, based on the number of employees. Applications must be received by April 19 to be considered.

Bluffton Small Business Assistance Grant Fund

Grants of up to $20,000 are available to local small businesses in Bluffton, South Carolina. Federal funding is being used to support the operations of small businesses in Bluffton, South Carolina. If you have a business in Bluffton that had fewer than 50 employees at the beginning of March 2020 and had been in business for less than a year, you are invited to apply. There are also some additional eligibility requirements. The funds can be used for basic operating expenses, facility upgrades related to the COVID program, or company business planning services. Applicants can submit their applications until May 9.

South Carolina Grant Watch

The purpose of South Carolina Grant Watch is to provide information about grants and non-profit organizations in the state. A wide variety of grants and funding opportunities are listed in this South Carolina Grant Directory, including funding opportunities from federal, state, and local funds in every state. A subscription fee will allow subscribers access to this information. Those who buy the monthly subscription pay $18 a week, while those who purchase the annual subscription pay $199 a year. While you'll receive brief details about grants, if you're a free member, you will not be able to apply for any of them.

Are you interested in learning more about different grants and programs that can help you with your living situation? Check out the rest of Gov Relations' blog section today!

Jody Adams
Jody Adams is an accomplished editor-in-chief with a deep understanding of social care and government benefits issues. With a background in journalism and a master's degree in Public Policy, Jody has spent her career shaping the narrative around social policies and their impact on society. She has worked with renowned publications, effectively bridging the gap between complex policy analysis and public understanding. Jody's editorial expertise ensures that vital information on social care and government benefits reaches a broad audience, empowering individuals to make informed decisions.
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