With unique and appealing business districts, a downtown convention center, 50,000 college students and a culinary scene that’s taking off, this friendly southern city is surging with opportunity.

A retail mix that includes major national brands and local businesses, with distinctive shopping areas including Devine Street, Five Points and the BullStreet District.

A restaurant scene that’s winning attention and accolades from national media and making Columbia an up-and-coming foodie destination.

Food producers and distributors that include a Starbucks roasting facility, innovative farms, a weekly market that hosts over 150 local artisans and an heirloom grain producer delivering to top chefs around the country.

Eight distinct business districts with strong customer bases, supported by city development plans and funding to attract new business and help existing businesses grow.

Learn more about Columbia’s Business Districts!

Hospitality & Retail Stats


City for millennial movers



Great Places to Live



Workforce in the nation



State for business

Chief Executive Magazine

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Resources & Incentives

Opportunity Zones
Eight zones around the city provide tax incentives and include acreage and buildings in highly desirable locations, including the east’s largest downtown rehabilitation project, the BullStreet District.

City of Columbia Financing
Businesses can apply for funds for building construction or rehab, business conversion or expansion, and to purchase real estate, equipment, supplies or working capital.

Soda City Market
This market attracts thousands to Main Street every Saturday, providing a low-cost way for food producers and retailers to test products and develop a customer base.

DER Kitchen 
The state's first shared commercial kitchen; gives bakers, caterers and food truck operators an affordable, DHEC-approved base of operations.

College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management
At the University of South Carolina; produces a talent pool of skilled and experienced graduates, plus market research and analysis.

Operated by the S.C. Department of Agriculture; business development pitch program similar to Shark Tank for agribusiness entrepreneurs.

Benedict College Business Development Center
Office space, training, networking, funding and support for minority entrepreneurs.

See more resources and incentives!


Connect With Us

Columbia is a great place to do business. Our team is here to make it easy, too. We can help you with:

  • Site visits
  • Finding flexible retail or restaurant space
  • Negotiating incentive packages
  • Logistics and transportation expertise
  • Working with service providers and government offices
  • Connecting to the talented, skilled workforce you need

Contact Us!