Thursday, May 27, 2021

Standardizing Business License Due Dates and Applications

eginning January 1, 2022, Act 176, the SC Business License Tax Standardization Act, will require municipal and county governments with a business license tax to all use the same payment due date and accept a standard business license application. 

Standard due dates 
  • April 30: The new law requires each taxing jurisdiction to use the standard business license tax payment due date of April 30.
  • May 1: Beginning each May 1, jurisdictions may assess penalties for those businesses that missed the April 30 deadline. The law allows each city, town or county to set the amount of a late penalty, if the local government has one. 
The standard due date in Act 176 aims to create an easier process for businesses, as it allows them to pay their license taxes to all of the jurisdictions where they work within the state at the same time. Previously, businesses had to keep track of various business license due dates set by taxing jurisdictions that fell throughout the year. This led to confusion and missed payments. 

Standard application 
Act 176 requires that all taxing jurisdictions accept a standard business license application beginning January 1, 2022.

Originally developed by the SC Business Licensing Officials Association in 2014, the standard business license application allows businesses to use the same form anywhere they do business in the state. Having been developed by business licensing officials, the standard application contains all of the information any city or town needs to help a business start operating in its jurisdiction. 

The standard application saves businesses time when they start to operate in a city, town or county. Rather than complete a unique business license application for every city or town, business owners may fill in their business’s information on the standard application, duplicate the application and then fill in the job-specific information for the cities or towns as they work across the state. 

More resources 

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Historic Preservation Saves Assets and Saves Character

by Jenny Boulware, Main Street SC Manager 

Resiliency — the ability to overcome challenges and bounce back stronger, wiser and more capable. How has your city or town shown its resilience, during the pandemic and through other challenges? One key resiliency indicator is whether a community recognizes and maintains its historic places. The preservation investments and initiatives taking place in our cities and towns are inspiring. 

Each year, the National Trust for Historic Preservation designates May as National Preservation Month. What initially began as National Preservation Week in 1973 became a month-long celebration in 2005 to celebrate the nation’s diverse and unique heritage. 

Awareness of historic preservation has proven to be integral to community and economic development efforts across South Carolina. From restoring historic buildings to a place where they can be used again to hosting preservation education series, Main Street South Carolina’s communities actively celebrate powerful preservation work at a local level. 

Main Street Walhalla is facilitating one such preservation awareness event. 

“We have reached out to the local paper to highlight preservation efforts in town. We have a series of social media posts that will encourage the community to share their memories of some of our buildings on the ‘wish list’ for renovations,” said Libby Imbody, Main Street Walhalla director. 

The Verner Building in downtown Walhalla dates to 1925. 

In Main Street Laurens, Executive Director Jonathan Irick has been documenting the numerous physical renovations taking place downtown. 

“Our old buildings are getting a second, and sometimes, a fourth chance at a new life. In the past six months, six substantial renovations have been completed or are underway, including the county courthouse,” he said. 

Irick said he sees the value of historic preservation because it celebrates the history of Laurens and helps connect its present to its past. 

“Our buildings are architecturally significant and should be preserved for that reason alone,” he said.
Jonathan Irick, left, meets with Wade Meetze, the owner of Palmetto Brothers Dispensary owner, during the recent renovation of the building that now houses the bar. 

In Downtown Florence, Development Manager Hannah Davis is coordinating social media posts related to Historic Preservation Month. They are also actively working on restoring the downtown’s historic Carolina Theatre. Originally constructed in 1919, the theater fell into disrepair decades later as focus shifted to multiplexes located outside of the downtown that offered modern amenities and movies.

“What started as a plan to gut the building and create essentially a black-box performance space for mid-level music shows has evolved into a historic preservation project as selective demolition began to uncover the theatre’s treasured and storied past,” Davis said. “At present, the project’s goal is to retain as many historic elements as possible in the expansive building, restore those that can be restored, and bring the jewel of Downtown Florence back with the Carolina’s neon marquee. The facility will be used as a music venue and restaurant space with the adjoining Florence Pharmacy. The project is expected to be complete over the next 18 months.” 
The Carolina Theatre operated for decades in downtown Florence before its closure.
Photo: City of Florence.
One of the theater’s historic sconces awaits restoration

Downtown Florence is also developing a “mini brief” series, to be published in print and online, for property owners, detailing the importance of ongoing maintenance to the long-term health of historic buildings. 

Preservation is for everyone. Start by learning more about your community’s story — the buildings, the people and the significant historic events. Spend time walking the historic districts. Be sure to look up and take in the architectural details not readily seen when driving by in a car. Appreciate and celebrate your community’s unique historic attributes, and unique architectural treasures.