Business Resources

For questions about COVID-19 regulations, please email:   covid-19businessinquiry@charleston-sc.gov

This guide contains information on:

  • Reopening Business
  • Supporting Local
  • Financial Assistance
  • Best Practices & Guidance
  • City Support
  • Restaurants 
  • Nonprofits
  • Other Free Resources

Reopening Business - Signage 

Free downloadable 8.5 x 11 flyers to display for your business. The following checklists provide guidance for operating under heightened hygiene & cleaning standards. Businesses should implement reasonable steps to comply with sanitation guidelines published by the CDC, DHEC, or other state or public health officials. 

Click through to access multiple flyers available in English & Spanish. 

Face Mask Policy

Face Mask Policy

Maximum Occupancy

PNG Occupancy Flyer

Attention - Suppliers & Vendors

PNG Attention Flyer

Actions to Stop the Spread:

PNG Actions Flyer

Protect from COVID-19:

PNG Reopening Flyer

Spanish - Face Mask Policy

Spanish Face Mask Policy

Food & Bev Signage Checklist

PNG Food Bev Signage.pdf (2)

Spanish - Business Actions:

Spanish - Business Actions Flyer

Spanish - Protect from COVID:

Spanish Reopening Flyer

Reopening Business - Resources

Organization Contact
Face Mask Ordinance FAQs The emergency ordinance requiring face coverings in public areas throughout the city of Charleston to reduce risk of exposure to COVID-19.  Review these FAQs for more information. 
Health & Safety Requirements for Retail Businesses   Effective Thursday, April 23, 2020, all retail businesses in the City of Charleston that are open for access by the public shall follow the following procedures for the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the City, its employers, and employees.
DHEC Restaurant Reopening Toolkit DHEC, in conjunction with SCRLA, is developing this toolkit to assist restaurants and the public with successful re-opening in response to COVID-19. Phase I, effective May 4, 2020, focuses on outdoor dining. This toolkit provides voluntary resources including signage, templates, a checklist, and ​educational materials for facilities. 
SC Restaurant & Lodging Association  Restaurant reopening guidelines & outdoor dining guidelines. 
SCDHEC Guidance on Reopening  As businesses continue to operate and/or start back up, it remains critical to both the state's
public health as well as our economic health that we all individually and collectively continue to
follow guidelines that will minimize the spread of COVID-19.
OSHA Guidance on Preparing Workplaces  The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) developed this COVID-19 planning guidance based on traditional infection prevention and industrial hygiene practices. It focuses on the need for employers to implement engineering, administrative, and work practice controls and personal protective equipment (PPE), as well as considerations for doing so. 
SC COVID19 Emergency Supply Collaborative  Companies looking for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for your employees, please complete the online form to provide a list of needs.
CDC Business FAQs How to maintain healthy business operations, cleaning in the workplace, reducing the spread of COVID-19 and more. 
Ready to Reopen Playbook A guide to helping businesses of all types and in all regions navigate the complex process of reopening and evolving post-coronavirus pandemic.
One Region Ready Business Toolkit  As you prepare to welcome your employees, customers and clients back into your business, the Chamber is committed to providing you the tools you need for a safe return to work, including: Directory of member companies who can provide needed supplies and services, One Region Ready Plan and Guidelines, One Region Ready Pledge, Reopening Webinars and Additional Resources.
MUSC Back2Business MUSC Health has launched Back2Business to help business owners and organizations reopen smoothly and seamlessly, and follow the latest evidence based guidelines for maintaining a safe environment. Our health professionals will provide area businesses with customized services and resources from preparations for reopening to implementing and managing maintenance and mitigation strategies.
Plastic-Free Reopening Guidelines The Oceanic Standard Plastic-Free Reopening Guidelines for Restaurant & Hotel Food Service. A set of free industry guides for adopting sustainable practices. 
RightCycle PPE Program The RightCycle Program by Kimberly-Clark™ Professional turns hard-to-recycle PPE into new consumer goods. Items to recycle include: Gloves, disposable cleanroom and lab apparel, and safety eyewear. These everyday items get a second life when they are recycled. 
National Small Business Association COVID-19 Resources PPP Lending & Relief; FAQs of Loans, Labor Rules, and Taxes; Fact Sheet on CARES Act; and more. 

Support Local

Organization Service
ImpactHub CHS Charleston's very own commerce platform allowing residents to buy local products and services knowing exactly what percentage of the money they spend will remain in our economy.
Black-owned Restaurant Map KJ Kearney, creator of Black Food Fridays, made a map of Black-owned restaurants in the Charleston area a couple months earlier that has since grown to feature about 80 businesses. 
SC Buy Black Locally Online resources to find and support Black-owned businesses listing about 250 businesses in the state.
Local PPE Supply Hub Lowcountry Local First created a Local PPE Supply Hub for personal protective equipment (masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, and cleaning services). Does your local business provide PPE? E-mail jordan@lowcountrylocalfirst.org to submit your business for inclusion.
Lowcountry Local First Directory for local businesses. Delivering resources, programming, networking, mentorship and more to local businesses of all shapes and sizes.
The Post & Courier Business Guide  To better support the resilient and creative businesses during this unprecedented time we are offering a free way for businesses to connect with their customers and share how to continue to shop and offer support.
MUSC Support Local Guide  How to buy local food during quarantine. Local producers, distributors, and pick-up locations. 
Charleston Farmers Market  While the Charleston Farmers Markets may be closed until further notice, fresh local produce is still available. Follow this page to stay up to date on ways to shop local produce and products. 

Financial Assistance

Organization Contact Services
American Rescue Plan Act   Everything you need to know about the American Rescue Plan Act and the Restaurant Revitalization Fund.
Black Female Founder Startup Grants   SoGal Foundation has teamed up with Winky Lux, bluemercury, twelveNYC, Twilio, and other sponsors to make a small step towards progress by providing several $10K and $5K cash grants to Black women or nonbinary entrepreneurs.
James Beard Food and Bev Investment Funds   The application period for the second round of the James Beard Foundation Food and Beverage Investment Fund for Black and Indigenous Americans is now closed.
Sign up for updates to be the first to find out when the next round of funding opens.
Restaurant Revitalization Fund   This program provides emergency assistance for eligible restaurants, bars, and other qualifying businesses impacted by COVID-19. What you need to know about the latest round of grants for restaurant owners.
Chic-fil-a Charleston  Nonprofit Grants   Chick-fil-a says they will be giving away $5 million to black-led nonprofits and organizations serving communities of color. The grants are called the Chick-fil-A True Inspiration Awards and they range from $50,000 to $350,000. The goal is for Chick-fil-a to help organizations that are making an impact in the areas of hunger, homelessness and education.
Shuttered Operator Venue Grant   The Shuttered Venue Operators (SVO) Grant program includes $15 billion in grants to shuttered venues, to be administered by the SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance. Eligible applicants may qualify for Grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue, with the maximum amount available for a single grant award of $10 million. $2 billion is reserved for eligible applications with up to 50 full-time employees.
Stimulus Round 2: What Small Businesses Need to Know   YouTube recording of a Stimulus Round 2 workshop hosted by the City of Charleston's business Services office, the SBA, and SBDC. Listen to information on PPP, Applying for Forgiveness, EIDL, Shuttered Venue Grants, Revolving Loan Funds, Upcoming Events, and Other Local Resources. 
EDA Small Business Revolving Loan Funds   The Charleston LDC & City of Charleston were awarded $850,000 in revolving loan funds to small businesses in the Charleston area. 
Sisters of Charity of SC  

The Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina offers grants for use by non-profits, foundations and others. They fund: General operating expenses, Program-specific expenses, Costs associated with capacity-building (including strategic planning, program evaluation, staff training, board development, etc.)

US Chamber   A breakdown of all the federal programs and aid for small business coronavirus assistance. Updated 12/28/2020. 
PPP Loan Forgiveness Resources   Several resources including guidelines and videos that can help businesses obtain and understand PPP loan forgiveness. 
Small Business Administration  1-800-659-2955; disastercustomerservice@sba.gov SBA provides low-interest disaster loans to businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners, and renters. SBA disaster loans can be used to repair or replace the following items damaged or destroyed in a declared disaster: real estate, personal property, machinery and equipment, and inventory and business assets.
SBA Lenders in SC   This page contains a list of SBA 7(a) Lenders, 504 Certified Development Companies, and SBA Micro-lenders. For more information about programs or to start the application process, please contact the lenders directly.
Charleston LDC (843) 973-7298 Business and Social Service Resources. The LDC Helps Entrepreneurs and Communities by Providing Small Business Lending Throughout Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, and Dorchester Counties. You can email them at: info@charlestonldc.org
Guide to Small Business Emergency Loans   The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has issued this step-by-step guide to help small businesses and self-employed individuals check eligibility and prepare to apply for a loan. Here’s what you need to know. 
Funding Female Founders    From how to access SBA Disaster Recovery Loans, to grants and relief packages, this guide is a frequently-updated list of everything women-led businesses will need to weather the impacts of Coronavirus.
BCDCOG Revolving Loan Fund   BCD Council of Governments: The Revolving Loan Fund’s (RLF) primary goal is job creation and protection. Eligible uses for loans include the purchase of equipment and land and the improvement of real estate and building facilities.
SCCLF Working Capital Loan shelley@sccommunityloanfund.org.

Efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 have created unprecedented challenges for South Carolina nonprofits and small businesses. Based on feedback from current SCCLF borrowers, SC nonprofits, and community partners, we created a working capital program designed to alleviate some of the financial strain created by this uncertain time. 

Small Business Grants available to Female Entrepreneur   AABRS guide to finding small business grants that are available only to female entrepreneurs. 
Increasing Hope Financial Training financetraining@increasinghope.org Small business financial training programs. This program will help you learn the skills to transform a dream into reality by finding customers and managing people, material, equipment, and money. 

Best Practice & Guidance

Organization Contact Services
CO: Restaurant Revitalization Guide   Who is eligible for RRF grants? How can you apply? What do you need to apply & when? How much can you get?
IRS   Read about the relief bill and how it will be implemented for small and mid-size businesses.
Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce (843) 577-2510 Guidance and resources for businesses to prepare your workplace and communicate with employees about the COVID-19 Event.
Envolve Entrepreneurship   Resources for the startup community. Tools and best practices for startups and entrepreneurs including teleworking, workshops, discounts, and surveys. 
Charleston Small Business Development Center (843) 740-6160 The Charleston Area SBDC provides no-cost, one–on–one consultation to prospective and existing business owners. Consultants at your local SBDC are ready to assist with the loan application process via telephone, email and online systems. As part of the CARES Act, SBDCs will be receiving additional funds to assist businesses impacted by the coronavirus, including help applying for financial assistance through the SBA.
SCORE (843) 727-4778 Free small business mentoring, counseling, and resources. 
Charleston County Economic Development (843) 958-4511 Charleston County Economic Development offices might be physically closed but are still doing business and ready to serve you. Compiled list of resources. 
US Chamber Small Business Guide   Hosted on CO—, the Chamber’s digital platform for small businesses, the Coronavirus Small Business Resources Hub features the latest step-by-step guides, infographics, advice, and resources to help small business owners access financial relief and navigate disruption. 
SCDEW COVID-19 Resources   SC Department of Employment and Workforce resources including: COVID Support Payments, Reimbursable Employers, 2021 Employer Tax rates, FAQS, and more.

City Support

Program Contact Services
Curbside Relief Program curbside@charleston-sc.gov View curbside pickup zones for restaurants; email to apply for curbside pickup outside your business or restaurant.
Non-Essential Business Exemption Application   Apply to be considered an "essential business" as part of the stay at home ordinance. 
Outdoor Dining Application covid-19businessinquiry@charleston-sc.gov The City is opening up opportunities for adding outdoor dining through a streamlined approval process. This registration allows for the temporary use of additional areas for outdoor dining on private property and public sidewalks.

Restaurants

Organization Services
RESTAURANTS Act The bipartisan bill has been reintroduced to provide $120 billion fund to provide grants for restaurants, bars, caterers, food trucks, and other food and beverage business to offset revenue losses from the pandemic. Read more on how to contact your representatives to support it. 
Pay it Forward Charleston Pay It Forward Charleston is dedicated to providing emergency assistance in the form of grants to members of the Charleston food and beverage community.  Food and beverage workers can apply for relief grants. 
National Restaurant Association Coronavirus information and resources including food safety measures and changing restaurant operations.  
James Beard Foundation: Industry Support Webinars To help navigate the challenges of COVID-19 the James Beard Foundation is hosting webinars to help provide resources for the hospitality industry and to better stay connected throughout difficult times. 
Restaurant Workers' Community Foundation  Direct funds available for individual restaurant workers, non-profit organizations serving restaurant workers during crisis, and zero interest loans for restaurants to get back up and running. 
SCRLA SC Restaurant & Lodging Association resource guide including SCDHEC, SCDEW, guidance for when an employee tests positive, diner's responsibilities and more!
US Foods Takeout & Delivery Resources If on-premise dining isn’t an option for now, you can still get great food to diners via carryout or delivery. Get the information and support you need on avoiding takeout food safety risks, reducing food waste, safety with social distancing, delivery driver trainings and more. 

Nonprofits

Organization Services
Together SC Resources for nonprofits. Financial resources, fundraising efforts, working from home, advocacy, best practices. Contact (803) 929-0399. 
Candid Candid is compiling a list of funds specifically established in the wake of coronavirus. The list focuses on funds hosted at US-based foundations that serve nonprofits, though others outside of this criteria may appear as well.
GrantWatch Search for grants available to nonprofits.
Independent Sector  How to apply for nonprofit relief funds. Navigating resources for individuals, small, and large nonprofits. 
SCACED South Carolina Association for Community Economic Development resource list including information to help you, your organization, and your family during these times. 

Other Free Resources

Organization Services
Google My Business Help Update your 'Google My Business' profile to provide the most accurate information to your customers. You can provide updates to your customers, including: hours, services, contact info, and temporary closures.
Facebook Business Resource Hub Facebook guide for businesses including quick tips, grants, free resources, and more. 
 Business Warrior Software Apply for 12 months of free software for your small business.
Charleston Legal Access The Initiative is an opportunity for South Carolina’s organizations who have suffered adversely from the impact of the COVID-19 crisis to receive free, limited-scope legal advice. 
Calendy Free access to Zoom and GoToMeeting.
Comcast Technology Guide Comcast Business is here to help. We’ve put together a Technology Guide to help you navigate the “new normal” – no matter what that normal is for your business.
Top 10 Security Tips Small business security tips: creating a security policy, performing audits, designating computer access levels, using fraud protection and more!