City of Columbia Office of Business Opportunities

City of Columbia Commercial Loan Programs

  • The Office of Business Opportunities (OBO), through the Commercial Revolving Loan Fund (CRLF), has funds available to lend to qualifying small businesses located in the City of Columbia. The goal of the commercial revolving loan program is to foster economic development and improve the number and caliber of job opportunities in the City of Columbia. OBO offers assistance to start-up and existing businesses for expansion, creation, or retention of jobs.
  • Bret Whiting, Commercial Loan Officer (803-545-3259, (

Columbia Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program

  • The City of Columbia’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program ensures that disadvantaged businesses are able to fully participate in City procurement processes. Eligible businesses are able to bid on City opportunities in several broadly targeted categories, including business services, engineering and more.

Columbia Empowerment Zone

  • The Columbia Empowerment Zone encourages small business growth through a portfolio of ready-to-lease properties and qualified vacant properties for development.
  • Felicia Maloney, Executive Director (803-748-0964, (

Permitting & Licensing Assistance

  • Columbia Economic Development (CED) serves as a catalyst for businesses, developers, investors and partner agencies who are focused on growing the local economy and high-value industries. We are a community collaborating to support an innovation economy based on technology and talent. We have the knowledge and resources to help your business succeed. It goes beyond a skilled workforce, prime location and high quality of life. Columbia Economic Development is ready to help.
  • Ryan Coleman, City of Columbia Economic Development Director ( (