Columbia leaders announce new Business Friendly Initiatives

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) – City leaders say starting and sustaining a business in Columbia should now be easier. Six new friendly business initiatives that were announced by city council members today. 

“I’ll say all six of them are very important but parking spaces, grease trap capacity regulations these are all things that could quickly dash somebody’s ambition to open their own small business,” says Porter Baron Jr. who is owner of the restaurant War Mouth. 

The new initiatives include eliminating water and sewer change of use fee, a new business license application and renewal process that is simplified, and the city providing additional flexibility and new financial assistance for grease capture costs.

“Startup cost for small minority women owned businesses can be a complete barrier sometimes or delay a project. So by implementing the things that we are doing today I am hoping that will allow more small minority women owned businesses to be able to open up,” says Columbia Councilwoman Tina Herbert.

The city will no longer require on-site parking or require a business to rent off-site parking for businesses that are 7500 square feet or less. Also, city leaders are making renovations and remodeling existing buildings simpler and more affordable

“Any hiccup in the process can turn off that innovative spirit and we recognize that so shortening that process, making that process less of a headache and easier is something we are continued to be committed to,” says Columbia Councilman Will Brennan.  

Lastly, the city will put new focus on attracting investments and support for small business. 

“We need to take those hurdles that are still in the way, out of the way so that people can easily start their business. As you remember today’s currency is time and time is money folks,” says Columbia Mayor Daniel Rickenman. 

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