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update icon Latest Updates - September 21, 2020

An Update from Deputy Town Manager Josh Gruber

Here's an update on what's happening around Town:

30 Applicants Seek ATAX Funding; Town Reduces Its Funding Request
Our Accommodations Tax (ATAX) Committee will soon begin gathering to review the 30 requests made for ATAX funding, including one from the Town of Hilton Head Island. A preliminary hearing is set for Thursday, October 1. We will provide more details on this hearing once they have been confirmed.

Anticipating that there will be a lesser amount of funds available from the state this year, Town staff took it upon themselves to request less in ATAX funds to support the Town's tourism-related projects. By doing so, we hope more dollars will be available to spread among the other 29 organizations that have requested ATAX funding.

"The Town recognizes that that COVID-19 pandemic has added difficulties to our community - not only from a public health standpoint, but also from an economic standpoint," said John Troyer, the Town's Director of Finance. "We're expecting the state ATAX collections to suffer from the economic impact of the COVID-19 virus. Therefore, the Town is expecting the funds available to distribute to ATAX grant applicants to be adversely affected this year."

As a result, the Town voluntarily reduced its own ATAX grant request from an award of $1,346,941 last year to a $1 million request for 2021. The Town's grant request documents Town activities to support tourism.

Our ATAX committee will evaluate grant requests and make recommendations to Town Council within the funds available. After the ATAX Committee recommends grant amounts, Town Council will make the final determinations of funding for 2021.

Town Committee Meetings This Week
We have a couple of virtual Town committee meetings this week that may be of interest to you. Our Design Review Board meets at 1:15 pm on Tuesday, September 22, and our LMO Committee will meet at 9 am Wednesday, September 23. Both meetings will be conducted virtually in accordance with Town Council Emergency Ordinance 2020-17 and can be viewed live on the Town's Public Meeting Facebook Page at Agendas for the meeting are available on the Town's website at Following the meeting, the video record of the meeting will be made available on the Town's website.

September 22 is National Voter Registration Day
Take advantage of the day - first observed in 2012 - to get registered and to make sure your voting credentials are up to par. Beaufort County citizens who are not registered to vote and want to participate in the November 3, 2020 election have until the first week of October to get registered. Voter registration is handled by the Board of Voter Registration and Elections of Beaufort County. Here are upcoming deadlines for voter registration:

In-Person: October 2 by 5 pm You can register to vote at the County's voter registration office at 61B Ulmer Road in Bluffton.

Email, Fax, or Online: October 4, 2020 by 11:59 pm Visit or

By Mail (Must be postmarked by): October 5, 2020

Community Recognition: Hispanic Heritage Month
This month is Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15th- October 15th). This month-long recognition celebrates the contributions Americans tracing their roots to Spain, Mexico, Central America, South American and the Spanish-speaking nations of the Caribbean have made to American society and culture. We are proud of the Hispanic culture and influences that positively impacts our community and makes the Hilton Head Island a great place to live and work. Our Hispanic residents contribute to the Island's overall diversity. In recognition of this month, here are some facts our friends at La Isla magazine provided about our Hispanic community:

  • Hilton Head Island's Hispanic population makes up more than 20% of the Island's overall population.
  • The average age of Hispanics on the Island is 27 years old.
  • The average house hold size for Hispanic families is 4.7 people per household.
  • The Island's Hispanic businesses are growing faster than any other demographic and Latina ladies are leading the way as business owners.
  • Hilton Head Island schools are around 40% Hispanic; at the elementary level, the student population is close to 60% Hispanic.

Free COVID-19 Tests in our Community
Hilton Head Hospital and its sister facility, Coastal Carolina Hospital in Hardeeville, offers free COVID-19 drive-thru testing is available from 8 a.m. to noon, Monday thru Friday, at its campus. You do not need an appointment or a physician's order. Your test results typically will be e-mailed within 72 hours to the valid e-mail address you are asked to provide. You can also visit to find other testing clinics or events near you and what the requirements are for testing at those locations.

COVID-19 Cases in Our Community
For the latest figures on the number of cases of COVID-19 on Hilton Head Island, please visit or the Town's COVID-19 hub page at

Septiembre 21 de 2020 - Actualización del subdirector de la ciudad Josh Gruber pdf icon

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