Every January, the local business community begins a new cycle of renewing business licenses – and for the past 10 years, the County’s Business Service Center has helped assist every type of business, from small mom-and-pop shops to large companies, navigate the process.
The Business Service Center, which launched in January 2006, handles Richland County’s business license program, as well as its Local Accommodations Tax program and enforcement of the Hospitality Tax program. The Business Service Center collects business-related taxes, issues business-related licenses and permits, enforces the County’s business requirements and educates the business community regarding those requirements.
“The first 10 years of the Business Service Center saw many improvements to the County’s business license program as well as other tax programs,” said Pam Davis, who has headed the BSC since its inception. “Our efforts benefit the business community and Richland County as a whole.”
Since opening its doors in 2006, the Business Service Center’s many notable accomplishments include the following:
- Establishing online payments for business licenses payments
- Developing relationships with County and State departments for improved public safety, data coordination and compliance with multiple local and State licenses, permits, taxes and fees
- Overhauling the County’s business license ordinance in 2007 to be modeled after the Municipal Association of South Carolina’s Model Business License Ordinance
- Developing a Richland County Business Handbook in 2008 that describes the various requirements to do business in Richland County
- Being honored with a National Achievement Award in 2006, 2010 and 2012 from the National Association of Counties for its innovative programs
- Being onored with the Lighthouse Award for Excellence in 2008 by the California Municipal Revenue and Tax Association in the category of New Technological Enhancements
- Implementing a pilot project in 2010, inspecting 1,958 businesses for business licenses on 90 commercial streets throughout Richland County in three weeks, generating more than $300,000
- Implementing an ongoing comprehensive customer satisfaction program in 2011 and obtaining customer feedback from more than 1,000 customers with an average satisfaction rate of 97%
- Providing automatic courtesy renewal reminders to businesses by phone and e-mail
Davis, who was appointed to the International City/County Management Association’s Knowledge Network Advisory Board in 2014, said the Business Service Center staff enjoys helping the County’s growing and diverse business community.
“The next 10 years will see this office continue to strive for excellence in all aspects of operations,” she said.
For more information about the Business Service Center, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the BSC online at www.rcgov.us/bsc.