There are a variety of business development resources available in Dorchester County.
SC Community Loan Fund
The SC Community Loan Fund (CLF) is a Community Development Finance Institution (CDFI) that provides non-traditional loans and technical assistance for developing affordable housing, healthy food outlets, community facilities, and community businesses (i.e. retail stores, service businesses, wholesalers, and small manufacturers) that serve underserved populations and neighborhoods. Eligible uses of financing may include acquisition, predevelopment, infrastructure, construction, rehabilitation, and permanent financing development costs.
State/Federal Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits
There are a number of tax incentives to assist in rehabilitating historic properties. The program allows for both income-producing buildings (commercial and residential), as well as owner-occupied homes. These incentives are coordinated through the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), and typically, require a pre-approval process before beginning any construction.
State Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit for Owner Occupied Property
Provides a state income tax deduction of 25% of repairs/renovation costs for homeowner-occupied buildings, over a 5-year period. Requires a minimum expenditure of $15,000 within 36 months.
Federal/State Tax Rehabilitation Credits for Income-Producing PropertiesProvides 20% Federal Income Tax Credit/10% State Income Tax Credit on rehabilitation expenditures of at least $5,000 during a 24-month period that are greater than the adjusted basis of the building.
Retail Facilities “Big Box” Revitalization Tax Credit
South Carolina offers tax incentives for renovating, rehabilitating and redeveloping large retail facilities that remain 80% nonoperational as a retail site for at least a year. The program offers two options: A state income tax credit equal to 10% of expenses for a period of 8 years; or A property tax credit equal to 25% of expenses for each local taxing entity consenting to the credit, up to 75% of the real property taxes due for up to 8 years. Property tax credits require public hearing, consent from affected local taxing entities, and approval by resolution from the Town and county where the site is located. Income tax credits may be combined with historic rehabilitation tax credits, making this a strong incentive for qualifying properties.
New Market Tax Credits
Two areas within Dorchester County that are located within census tracts that may qualify for the use of New Market Tax Credits to support development projects.
Low Income Housing Tax Credits
The South Carolina State Housing Finance & Development Authority, through a competitive application process, provides tax incentive to owners developing affordable multifamily rental housing within qualified census tracts. Owners of and investors in qualifying developments can use the credit as a dollar-for-dollar reduction of federal income tax liability.
Conservation easements are voluntary legal agreements that can be used to protect significant historic, archaeological, environmental or cultural resources. If certain criteria are met, an owner who donates an easement may be eligible for tax benefits. Certain areas within Dorchester County, particularly along the Ashley and Edisto Rivers, may offer opportunities to incorporate this tool within the development of adjacent land.
South Carolina Economic Development Incentives
The State of South Carolina offers various statutory and discretionary incentives to targeted industries to reduce the property tax liability of a potential investor, and/or offset the infrastructure related expenditures of that potential investor. Eligibility varies, and is typically tied to new capital investment and job creation. Under state law, counties are vested with the authority to grant these incentives, and therefore, provide oversight in the negotiation of incentive packages on behalf of the qualifying company, the County, and the State Department of Commerce.
Brownfields Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund (BCRLF)
The BCRLF is a state program that provides loans of up to $900,000 at 2% below prime for the cleanup of brownfield sites. It is administered by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) through a federal grant from Environmental Protection Agency. For more information, contact SCDHEC at (803) 896-4069.