Small Business Grants & Incentives


The Small Business Grants Application Period will run from January 1st to February 28th.

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.

Funding Priorities

The Funding priorities of the City’s Small Business Grants and Loan Program are as follows:

  • Building Improvements/Renovations
    • Capital Purchases
  • Projects which will result in New Business Investment and the expansion of Current Businesses
    • (The hiring of additional employees)
  • Projects which demonstrate significant private investment

Brief Overview

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, 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. 

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. 

Large Investment Incentive requires a minimum total project cost (private investment) of $750,000 into a commercial property that has been deemed to have significant economic, historical, and/or cultural value to the City of Abbeville and that without a substantial and immediate public/private investment would likely deteriorate beyond a usable condition not only rendering the commercial property in question nonviable and in a blighted condition, but also damaging  the value and viability of surrounding properties as well.

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.

Full Small Business Incentive Plan    Small Business FAQ Sheet

Example Small Business Plan            The Nest, Grant Application Guide

Application Process

(All Grants)

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 and decision notifications regarding applications will 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.  Find individual applications here:

Eligible Applicants

Eligible Applicants are as follows:

  • Small Businesses as defined by the City of Abbeville (15 Full Time Employees or less)
  • The Business must be located within the city limits of Abbeville
  • The Business must be For-Profit
  • Applicants must agree to provide all information and business records requested

Application Requirements

Physical Applications for grants will consist of:

  •  Business Plan
  • Personal Tax Statements for all principals of the business for the past 3 years
  • If an existing business, Federal Business tax returns for the past 3 years
  • Profit Loss Statement for the past 3 years, or projected profit and loss projections for new businesses
  • Project Details
    • If possible, projects will utilize local labor, contractors, etc. ensuring these funds remain in the local economy
    • Applicants need to submit cost estimates from a certified contractor to justify request
  • Given that is program done through reimbursements, applicants are strongly encouraged to demonstrate their ability to finance the project up front; through either a 3rd party lender or their own dollars.

These applications can be found online.  City staff may request additional documentation during the application process.

Selection Criteria

  • The applicant must obtain the minimum private commitment prescribed by the specific funding source
  • Business data provided by the applicant should show the business as profitable, solvent, and efficient
  • Applicant must demonstrate funding to complete the project prior to reimbursement through the grant program
  • Applicants may seek out third party lenders for interim financing
  • No conflicts of interest or perceived conflicts of interest can be present
    • The business or organizations is not owned or operated by a member or direct relative of the governing board or employee of the City of Abbeville.  Direct Relative is defined as spouses, parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, children, siblings, nieces, or nephews, whether by blood, adoption, or marriage.
  • Preference will be shown to applicants which demonstrate the following:
    • Commercial and/or business activities which have a significant economic benefit
    • Applicants with high job and private to public dollar leveraging ratios

Verification and Disbursement of Funds

(All Grants)

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.