City of Aiken Development Incentives

City of Aiken Economic Incentives

Incentives from the City of Aiken are now available to assist businesses by reducing the startup costs of new projects.

The program, approved in August, offers rebates of City fees paid by new or existing businesses over a five-year period. Those fees include business licenses, utility impact fees, building inspection and permitting expenses. To take part in the program, the business must apply with the City prior to beginning the project and be able to show a benefit to the community in the form of added jobs, new future tax revenue, increased retail sales, or any other combination of positive potential outcomes.

The City of Aiken offers rebates of as much as 50 percent of certain fees (building permits, business license, utility impact fees) payable to the City over as many as five year’s. Each new project is considered on a case-by-case basis by the City Manager’s Office. The projects are evaluated based on their potential contribution to the economy and well being of the City as a whole. To see if your project qualifies for the potential reimbursement of such fees, please apply with this form.

Once the City Manager’s office has reviewed the application and made an agreement regarding the benefits available to the new project in exchange for benefits to the City as a whole, an agreement will move before City Council in the form of an ordinance for approval. Once approved, the rebates would be paid at the end of each year that the new project achieves the goals outlined in the incentive agreement.

If you are interested in applying or learning more, please contact Assistant To The City Manager for Business Development Tim O’Briant at 803-502-4997 or by our online Contact Form to discuss project details and begin the process.

Other Incentives

Special Tax Assessment for Rehabilitated Historic Properties
Owners of property listed on the local or national historic register who plan to invest at least 20% of the appraised value of the property in improvements may be eligible to take advantage of this program, which freezes taxable property value at the pre-improvement amount for a period of ten years. Interested applicants should receive preliminary certification from the Design Review Board prior to commencing work. After approved work is completed, the Design Review Board and Planning Dept. Staff will verify compliance with all conditions before issuing final certification and alerting Aiken County to apply the special assessment to the property.

Facade Improvement Program
The City of Aiken’s Facade Improvement Grant Program exists to improve the appearance of downtown buildings. Eligible properties qualify for a lifetime maximum reimbursement of $10,000. The program is a 50/50 matching reimbursement program. To be eligible, properties must be zoned DB (Downtown Business) and located in the Old Aiken Overlay District. Please see this map for the complete area of eligibility. Additionally, work must first be approved through the Certificate of Appropriateness process. For more information and a list of qualifying improvements, please see this program fact sheet. Please contact Planning Dept. staff to verify your eligibility and available property balance.