BEAUFORT CO., SC (WTOC)
South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster and other officials met with local business owners to discuss Lowcountry business and address questions regarding standardized business licenses after some municipalities expressed concerns about the idea.
The state proposed the standardizing of the business license process, which would designate the state as the accountant for business fees because having more than one license can put a strain on some businesses, especially small ones.
"As a small business owner, business licenses are a real strain when you have to get more than one. They're due at different times, you have to complete different forms, and they have different calculations, but they are a tax because they are based on your revenue," said Rep. Shannon Erickson, 124th District of South Carolina.
The system currently in place creates plenty of confusion for both local government and business owners.
"We have had this legislation for three or four years now. I've got a local company that has 86 different licenses. It's a security company and they do business all over the state," Rep. Erickson said.
In fixing this process, the goal is to not only simplify the business process but to keep cost low enough that businesses want to come to Beaufort.
“As long as we have an expanding economy, more jobs, keep taxes low, keep regulations very low and only those regulations that are necessary, we will continue to have economic growth in the next number of years and enhance that," Gov. McMaster said
"We need to have a dramatic tax reform at the federal level but we must always be pushing our taxes down keeping them low or otherwise we won't have the growth,” Gov. McMaster said.
The next piece of the puzzle brought up in regards to stimulating the economy here and retaining the workforce is affordable housing, which has been top priority for Hilton Head, Bluffton and Beaufort.