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Author: Julie Scott

Source: SC Chamber Press Release

February 6, 2015

The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce's Small Business Council continues to address the complicated system of business licensing in cities and towns across South Carolina. As we learned in the most recent episode of CEO Corner with Ted Pitts, president and CEO of the South Carolina Chamber, for a small business, a business license fee in a small municipality can often outstrip any profit margin associated with doing business in that rural area.

Tia Williams of SERVPRO gives an example from Lexington County. “We actually have nine current licenses right now to work in those municipalities,” explains Williams, who runs a water and fire mitigation company that handles natural or manmade catastrophes. “That’s nine different processes to go through to be able to do work just in one county.”

“You could pay more in business license fees than you would actually make in an area?” asks Pitts. “It’s very possible,” explains Williams. “We have some little towns where we do just a couple of small jobs here and there.”

Different rules across municipalities make it difficult for businesses to comply across various locales. “Many times we aren’t able to keep track of jobs performed in the Town of Lexington or Lexington County because of the obscurity of the district line. It’s not easy. Having a unified, streamlined system is what we want,” says Williams.

Rep. Samuel Rivers (Berkeley) and Rep. Rick Quinn (Lexington) have each proposed to reform and streamline the business license fee process. For many years, the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce has supported reforming the business license fee structure so rates are competitive and the process streamlined, allowing companies to grow. The Chamber applauds their work and is hopeful that these proposals will bring local governments to the table to help resolve this issue for businesses.

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The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, the nation’s first state chamber Accredited with Distinction by the U.S. Chamber, is South Carolina’s largest statewide broad-based business and industry trade association representing more than 18,000 businesses and more than one million employees. As the unified voice for business and industry, the Chamber is a catalyst for increasing wealth and enhancing the state’s global competitiveness in order to improve the quality of life for all South Carolinians.

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