City of Aiken Development Incentives

The City of Aiken offers incentives to assist businesses by reducing the startup costs of new projects.

The program, approved in 2018, 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 Economic Development Department. The projects are evaluated based on their potential contribution to the economy and wellbeing 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 Economic Development 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 Economic Development Director Tim O’Briant at 803-502-4997 or  submit email to discuss project details and begin the process.

Other Incentives

Historic Buildings Tax Credit
Owners of both residential and commercial property that is older than 50 years old may be able to take advantage of this credit against local property taxes.

Owners who commit to spending at least 20 percent of a historic property’s appraised value to renovate the property must file a notice of intent to rehabilitate with the City Manager’s office. If approved, the property tax assessment of the property will be frozen at the pre-renovation assessed for a period of ten years. The resulting savings on City property taxes can be a significant boost and help fund projects to improve and maintain buildings with historic value.

 The property to be renovated must me older than 50 years and either recognized on the City of Aiken historic register or Aiken City Council would need to be willing to recognize the property as historic based on its contribution to the community.

Facade Improvement Program
The City of Aiken’s Facade Improvement Program aims to improve the appearance downtown commercial buildings. Through this 50-50 grant program, commercial property owners and/or business tenants are able to make improvements of up to $10,000 (lifetime) to the front and other exterior portions of commercial buildings that can be seen from the public right-of-way. Once approved improvements are made, the City will reimburse half of the cost up to a total match of $5,000.