Richland County makes funding available for commercial upgrades

April 17, 2023

Richland County is accepting applications for a program aimed at improving business facades along designated corridors.

Created by the County’s Community Planning and Development Department, the Commercial Facade Improvement Program encourages businesses to upgrade the exterior appearance of their buildings, storefronts and signage. The program is designed to retain and attract businesses, strengthen the commercial corridor, increase traffic to existing businesses, restore economic vitality and enhance property values.

The program, which runs until Friday, April 28, provides up to $14,999 per activity for exterior improvements such as signs, painting or resurfacing at a commercial building or site. Eligible projects do not require a funding match – Richland County covers 100 percent of the cost.

“We have had success with the program in the past along Broad River Road, Parklane Road and Shakespeare Road, where we have been able to fund various improvements for local businesses, from new signage to helping repair roofs and parking lots,” said Matthew Smith, comprehensive planner for the County.

For an application, email Richland County’s Neighborhood Improvement Program (NIP) at [email protected], visit the Neighborhood Planning webpage, or visit the NIP office on the first floor of the County Administration Building, 2020 Hampton St., Columbia. Applications will be reviewed until April 28 or when all program funding has been expended, whichever occurs first.

Eligibility Requirements

Commercial businesses fronting Bush River Road (201-911), St. Andrews Road (813-1223), Decker Boulevard (1615-2768), Percival Road (1001-1909) and Two Notch Road (10149-10617) are eligible to apply for a Commercial Facade Improvement grant. Applicants must be the owner or tenant of a commercial, retail or professional business or property with a current structure.

Applicants of multiple properties may receive funding for more than one business, but they must submit a separate application for each location. All applicants must be currently registered and licensed with the Richland County Business Service Center and be up to date on all County taxes.

The program allows for any combination of eligible facade improvements, including but not limited to:

  • Exterior painting
  • Exterior signs
  • Outdoor lighting upgrades or installation
  • Parking lot resurfacing or repaving
  • Pressure washing cleanup
  • Security feature upgrades or installation
  • General facade work

Richland County aims to open the program to other areas as funding allows. Questions about the program should be directed to Neighborhood Planning staff at [email protected] or 803-576-1340.