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Accommodations Tax (A-Tax) Grant

Grants to South Carolina Nonprofits, Agencies, and Churches
for Activities that Promote Tourism in Charleston

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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City of Charleston

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

07/25/19 3:00 PM Receipt


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Grants to South Carolina nonprofits, religious organizations, governmental units, and associations for projects that strengthen the tourism industry in Charleston. Funding will be primarily provided for tourism advertising and promotion, arts and cultural events, and civic and cultural facility operation, construction, and maintenance.

These funds are awarded to nonprofit organizations and can only be used for activities related to tourism including:

-Advertising and promotion of tourism so as to develop and increase tourist attendance through the generation of publicity;
-Promotion of the arts and cultural events;
-Construction, maintenance, and operation of facilities for civic and cultural activities including construction and maintenance of access and other nearby roads and utilities for the facilities
-The criminal justice system, law enforcement, fire protection, solid waste collection, and health facilities when required to serve tourists and tourist facilities. This is based on the estimated percentage of costs directly attributed to tourists;
-Public facilities such as restrooms, dressing rooms, parks, and parking lots;
-Tourist shuttle transportation;
-Control and repair of waterfront erosion;
-Operating visitor information centers.

The City of Charleston grant program generally provides support for the first three items above. The other items, in most cases, would not be applicable to non-profit applicants for this funding.

Interpretation of “Tourism Related Expenditures”:

The State of South Carolina’s Tourism Expenditure Review Committee (TERC), which has oversight of these funds, has provided some guidance and interpretation of the state law. Tourism is defined in the state law as the activities of people taking trips outside their home communities for any purpose, except daily commuting to and from work. The law does not provide a definition of “home community”. The tourism industry has offered the commonly accepted definition of travel as being 50 miles or more, one way, from the traveler’s origin or home. However, TERC has found that this mileage standard does not sufficiently address the realities of patterns of visitation and the economic benefits derived from visitation to communities in South Carolina. Therefore TERC, in addition to considering the 50 mile test, takes into consideration the following guiding principles:

- The expenditure must be used to attract or provide for tourists.
- The expenditure cannot be used for an item that would normally be provided by the county or municipality.

For more specific guidelines, see the Guidelines document in Supporting Documents below.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 172686

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

These funds are awarded to Non-Profit organizations. Applicants must choose from the following tax status list on the application:

- Tax-exempt charitable organization 501(c)(3)
- Other Tax-exempt
- Church/Religious organization
- Governmental unit
- Unincorporated association
- Other

Pre-proposal Conference:

June 11, 2019 at 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM - Pre-Application workshop at 2 George Street, 1st Floor Public Meeting Room. Attendance is not required, but for all groups intending to request a grant it is highly recommended. The application forms have changed and will be discussed at this workshop.

The workshop is your chance to hear all relevant information and ask questions. City staff will not be able to provide individualized assistance to applicants outside of this workshop.

Pre-Application Information:

Key Dates:

- June 11, 2019 at 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM - Pre-Application workshop
- July 25, 2019 at 3:00 PM - Deadline for submissions of applications for the 2020 budget year are due at 75 Calhoun Street, Suite 3500.
- July 31, 2019 - Interim reports are due from all 2019 CASAT grant recipients.
- TBD - Accommodations Tax Advisory Committee Meeting held at 2 George - Public Meeting Room (#1403)
- Grant awards for the 2020 budget year are finalized by City Council in late December.
- Grant award notification letters are mailed in late February.
- February 21, 2020 - Final reports are due from all 2019 CASAT grant recipients.

Contact Information:

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

Return applications to:

City of Charleston
Attn: Grants Committee
75 Calhoun Street, Suite 3500
Charleston, SC 29401

Or mail to:

City of Charleston
Attn. Grants Committee
P.O. Box 304
Charleston, SC 29402

Kathy Mercer, Director of Budget & Management
(843) 724-3715

Cherrie-Ann Caton, Grants Compliance Manager
(843) 965-4055

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: South Carolina: City of Charleston