Recognizing the value of collaborating, 105 business licensing officials from 56 cities gathered in Columbia in September 1986 to organize the South Carolina Business Licensing Officials Association. As it celebrates its 30th anniversary, BLOA, which the Municipal Association of SC organized as an affiliate, continues to develop training opportunities for its members.
One of the initial benefits BLOA provided to members was a telephone referral service, in which attorney Roy Bates answered members’ questions about business licensing. Bates also wrote the original Business License Handbook, which BLOA furnished as a benefit to each member. A frequently updated version of the handbook endures as the go-to resource for licensing officials today.
"When I was a rookie business licensing official, we relied on in-house training from fellow city employees to learn on the job," said founding member and past president Brenda Kyzer, who currently serves as the Municipal Association’s manager for collection programs.
"But when we started attending BLOA meetings, I felt like the world opened up. BLOA gave all of its members the opportunity to learn from one another."
Today BLOA continues its tradition of extensive training by offering two professional certification programs, two annual training meetings, regional training by council of governments district and the most active listserve among all of the Municipal Association’s affiliates.
In 2017, BLOA members, through the Business Licensing Task Force, will continue their work on legislation to standardize business licensing processes and make doing business easier across the state.
Business licensing officials across the state have much to celebrate from their past. But their dedication and professionalism will lead them to great opportunities as they embark on another 30 years.