The Support Services Department provides support to the Mayor and City Council, the City Administrator, all City departments, and most importantly, to the citizens of Lancaster.
It provides assistance in the areas of procurement, equipment and contract bidding, insurance-related matters, business licensing, hospitality tax, records management, risk management, grants management, tourism, and downtown revitalization. The department includes, Risk Safety Management, and See Lancaster SC.
For more information, click on the links above.
Every person engaged or intending to engage in any calling, business, occupation, or profession, in whole or in part, within the City of Lancaster is required to obtain a business license and pay a license fee.
Such fee, for each business subject to a business license fee, must be paid on or before May 31st of each year.
For more information call 803-289-1462 or e-mail.
Your guide to doing business in the City of Lancaster, SC
Facade Grant Program
The City of Lancaster, in its continuing effort to support the development of the Downtown Business District, has created a Façade Grant Program for all business owners and operators within the designated District. The Façade Grant Program will encourage economic growth and help create a more inviting character for the downtown area.
Hospitality Tax Grant Program
The Hospitality Tax Grant Program utilizes Hospitality Tax funds for projects that develop and promote tourism in the City of Lancaster. Each application for project funding is reviewed to determine the potential impact it will have for tourism.
HOSPITALITY TAX GRANT APPLICATION (Currently being revised)
Hospitality Tax is a two percent (2%) local hospitality fee tax upon the gross proceeds derived from the sale of all prepared foods and beverages served within the City of Lancaster by any establishment. In addition, the tax is imposed on all prepared foods and beverages sold in establishments licensed for the consumption of alcoholic beverages, beer, or wine within the City of Lancaster.
Prepared foods means food prepared or modified by an establishment that at the time of sale is ready for consumption by the public, regardless of the food’s actual quantity, presentation, or packaging.
Establishment means any business within the City of Lancaster that sells prepared meals and beverages.
What items are taxed?*
All food and/or beverages prepared or modified for immediate consumption, such as:
- Produce (vegetables, fruit) cut, sliced, cored, etc., or prepared/modified on site
(vegetable/ fruit trays)
- Meats and cheeses cut, sliced, or prepared on site (meat/cheese trays)
- Salads made on site
- Sandwiches/subs prepared on site
- Bakery items cooked/baked on site
- Coffee brewed on site
- Popcorn made on site
- Ice cream prepared on site
- Seafood steamed/cooked on site
- Grilled hamburgers and hot dogs, pizza, nachos, chicken, etc.
- Packaged dinners cooked on site (Thanksgiving dinners, etc.)
- Fountain drinks
- Any food prepared, modified, or cooked on site by an employee or contractor
- Any prepared foods or meals that are subject to South Carolina Sales Tax
- Any served beverage, inclusive of beer, wine, and liquor
What items are exempt from the tax?*
- Cold, canned or bottled drinks in a vending machine on site
- Consolidating fruit into a basket (fruit baskets)
- Prepackaged items (not prepared or modified on site) consolidated into a larger
container to make one package (gift baskets)
- Prepackaged, ready-to-consume meats, cheeses, and deli salads
- Packaged dinners that are not cooked or modified on site
- Items cooked or baked off site without modifications on site
- Ready-to-eat prepackaged food a customer re-heats on site
(customer makes the food consumable)
- Prepackaged cans, boxes, or jars of food
- Bags of chips, pretzels, nuts, candy, or other prepackaged food items
If you have any questions, please call 803-289-1462.
* This list serves as an example only and is not an all-inclusive list of exempt items.