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Hospitality Tax Grant

Grants to Columbia, South Carolina Nonprofits
to Promote and Attract Local Dining and Tourism

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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City of Columbia

Deadline Date:

03/15/19 12:00 PM


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Grants to Columbia, South Carolina nonprofit organizations to attract tourism through the promotion of dining opportunities within the City. Consideration will be given to events, projects, and organizations that promote the attraction of tourists and promote dining in the City of Columbia. The Columbia City Council has determined a tourist to be anyone traveling from outside of the city limits.

Expenses must be directly in support of one of the 6 purposes of hospitality tax funding under S.C. Code 6-1-730:

1) Tourism-related buildings, including, but not limited to: civic centers, coliseums, and aquariums; and/or
2) Tourism-related cultural, recreational, and historic facilities; and/or
3) Beach access and re-nourishment; and/or
4) Highways, roads, streets, and bridges providing access to tourist destinations; and/or
5) Advertising and promotions related to the development of tourism; and/or
6) Water and sewer infrastructure to serve tourism-related demand.

In a county where at least nine hundred thousand dollars in accommodations taxes is collected annually (pursuant to Section 12-36-920), revenues of the hospitality tax authorized in this article may be used for the operation and maintenance of those items provided in (1) through (6), including: police, fire, emergency medical services, and emergency-preparedness operations directly attendant to those facilities.

Examples of generally eligible expenses are:
-Marketing and Promotions (printing and design expenses for advertising materials, mailings for advertising, marketing firm in lieu of in-house marketing staff)
-Security (security used for events is allowable)
-Entertainment (Artist performances fees only, speaker fees only)

Examples of possibly eligible expenses (determined on a case-by-case evaluation) are:
-Portion of salary of employees hired to perform eligible function (e.g., marketing manager.) Funding for salaries of any kind will be determined on an individual basis.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 168937

Term of Contract:

All projects/events must be completed during the fiscal year in which they are funded. The fiscal year begins July 1, 2019 and ends June 30, 2020.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Organization or fiscal agent must have a nonprofit status with documentation from the South Carolina Secretary of States Office or be exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(C)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Organization/Project/Event must be in the City of Columbia limits.

Examples of generally ineligible expenses are:
-Non-event related security
-Artist per diems
-Rentals (e.g., stages, tents, tables, chairs)
-Staging or fencing
-Items given to tourist once they are here (tee shirts, cups, trophies...etc.)
-Administrative and operating costs of the organization
-Rent, office equipment and supplies, utilities
-Food and beverage of any kind for any purpose
-Insurance, memberships, registrations, permits, donations
-Credit card receipts without explanation of expenses
-Maintenance and upkeep of property (except tourism-related building and facilities)
-Accounting or legal expenses
-Employee benefits
-Invoices outside the funding year, transportation or accommodations.
-Activities in other events already funded by the city

Please note that this list of examples is generally applicable but there may be exceptions to each, which is why each expense must be examined individually. For example, non-event related security may generally be ineligible, but may be eligible if the security is for a tourism-related cultural, recreational or historic facility.

Pre-Application Information:

Completed applications must be submitted on Zoom Grants no later than 12:00 p.m., March 15, 2019. Late/incomplete applications will not be considered.

2020 Fiscal Year:
Grant Application Cycle: January 31, 2019-March 15, 2019 12pm
2020 Application Due: March 15, 2019 12:00 p.m.
Committee Meeting/Applicant Presentations: April or May / TBD
Council Approval & Award Notifications: First Quarter (June-August) TBD
Final Funding Request/Request to Carry Funds Forward: May 30, 2019

The process of receiving a check, after receipt of eligible back up, takes approximately 10-14 business days.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Register and apply online:

Dee Dee Fanning, Administrative Coordinator
(803) 545-3048

Mailing Address:
Post Office Box 147
Columbia, South Carolina 29217

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: South Carolina: City of Columbia