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Hospitality Tax Grant

Grants to South Carolina Nonprofits to
Promote Tourism in Eligible Locations

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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City of Columbia

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

07/02/21 12:00 PM Receipt


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Grants to South Carolina nonprofit organizations to promote tourism in eligible areas. Grant funds may be used for programs, events, attractions, and organizations that attract visitors and encourage local dining. Funded programs, events, and organizations must be in the City of Columbia limits.

South Carolina State Hospitality Tax Eligible Uses

Expenses must be directly in support of one of the 6 purposes of hospitality tax funding:

  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, 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.

Eligible Expenses

City of Columbia H-Tax grant funds must be used for tourism related expenses in the following categories only:

Examples of generally eligible expenses are:

  • Advertising/Marketing/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 employee’s salary hired to perform eligible function (e.g., marketing manager.) Funding for salaries of any kind will be determined on an individual basis and cannot be requested for the full salary of the paid employee.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 168937

Term of Contract:

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

All requests for funding and/or requests to carry forward funding must be received by May 30th of the funding year. If May 30th falls on Saturday or Sunday, the deadline will be the following Monday.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

In order to receive H-tax funding, organizations/projects/events must meet the following eligibility requirements:
- Organization or fiscal agent must provide proof of their non-profit status with documentation from the South Carolina Secretary of State Office or be exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(C)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code whose primary goal is to attract additional visitors through tourism promotion (letter of exemption from the IRS must be provided).
- Organization/Project/Event must be in the City of Columbia limits.

For a list of Ineligible Expenses, see

Pre-proposal Conference:

Application Workshop ‐ virtual: June 24th time TBD

Pre-Application Information:

Completed applications must be submitted in ZoomGrants no later than 12:00 p.m., Friday, July 2, 2021. Late/incomplete applications will not be considered. Applications that are received on time and deemed eligible will be considered for grant awards.

Award notifications regarding funding results will be emailed to applicants during the first quarter of the fiscal year (July-September.)

H-Tax Grant Timeline:
- Application Cycle: June 14, 2021 to July 2, 2021
- Application Workshop ‐ virtual: June 24th time TBD
- Applications Due: July 2, 2021‐ no later than 12:00 p.m.
- Award Notifications: July 22, 2021 (following Council approval)
- Approved Grants Reimbursement Cycle/Fiscal Year: July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022
- Deadline for FY 21/22 Reimbursement Request: May 30, 2022

Grants are paid on a reimbursement basis.

The City of Columbia will encourage a mentorship program for organizations funded through the Hospitality Tax. If your organization is interested in mentoring or being mentored, please let the Funding Source know.

The city also provides an online calendar as additional marketing for organizations funded. For more information about the calendar or to add your event, email Leisure Fun.

Contact Information:

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


If you have any questions or concerns about the Hospitality Tax Grant funding, please contact the Budget and Program Management Department ‐ Columbia Grants Office (803) 545‐3048 /

Leisure Fun:

Grant Coverage Areas:

City Information Viewer (shows whether a project/event address is located within the city limits):

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Geographic Focus:

USA: South Carolina: City of Columbia

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