NC Commerce: Governor Cooper announces Grants to Rural Communities to attract 446 New Jobs and more than $32 million in private investment
The North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority (RIA) has approved 11 grant requests to local governments totaling $3,702,500, Governor Roy Cooper announced today. The requests include commitments to create a total of 486 jobs, 40 of which were previously announced. The public investment in these projects will attract more than $32 million in private investment.
“Rural Infrastructure grants help speed up recovery across our state,” Governor Cooper said. “Stronger, more resilient buildings and water and sewer systems attract good jobs for North Carolinians and greater investment by innovative companies.”
The North Carolina Department of Commerce’s team of rural economic development professionals supports the RIA’s work. RIA members review and approve funding requests from local communities. Funding comes from a variety of specialized grant and loan programs offered and managed by N.C. Commerce’s Rural Economic Development Division, led by Assistant Secretary for Rural Development Kenny Flowers. Grants can support a variety of activities, including infrastructure development, building renovation, expansion and demolition, and site improvements.
“Through these new grants, we will help support the resiliency of North Carolina’s rural areas, so that they can attract jobs and build for the future,” N.C. Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders said. “Our Rural Economic Development Division and the RIA are proud to continue working with local communities to create the conditions for economic growth.”
The RIA approved six grant requests under the state’s Building Reuse Program in two categories:
Vacant Building Category
Existing Business Building Category
The Building Reuse Program provides grants to local governments to renovate vacant buildings, renovate and/or expand buildings occupied by existing North Carolina companies, and renovate, expand or construct health care facilities that will lead to the creation of new jobs in Tier 1 and Tier 2 counties and in rural census tracts of Tier 3 counties.
The RIA approved one request under the state’s Rural Demolition grant program:
The Rural Demolition program provides grants to local governments to support the demolition of a publicly-owned, persistently vacant building to encourage site rehabilitation and site availability for economic development purposes. Eligible applicants are units of local government located in either a Tier 1 or Tier 2 county, or a rural census tract in a Tier 3 county.
The RIA approved two requests under the state’s federally-funded Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) - Economic Development program:
The Community Development Block Grant program is a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) program administered in part by N.C. Commerce. CDBG’s economic development funds provide grants to local governments for creating and retaining jobs. Project funding is based on the number of jobs to be created and the level of economic distress of applicant communities.
The RIA approved two requests under the state’s Industrial Development Fund - Utility Account program:
The Industrial Development Fund – Utility Account provides grants to local governments located in the 80 most economically distressed counties of the state, which are classified as either Tier 1 or Tier 2. Funds may be used for publicly-owned infrastructure projects that are reasonably expected to result in new job creation. The IDF – Utility Account is funded through a process tied to the state’s signature Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) program. When JDIG-awarded companies choose to locate or expand in a Tier 2 or Tier 3 county, a portion of that JDIG award is channeled into the Utility Account.
In addition to reviewing and approving funding requests, the N.C. Rural Infrastructure Authority formulates policies and priorities for grant and loan programs administered by N.C. Commerce’s Rural Economic Development team. Its 17 voting members are appointed by the Governor, Speaker of the House and Senate President Pro Tem. The North Carolina Secretary of Commerce serves as a member of the Authority, ex officio.
For additional information about N.C. Commerce’s Rural Economic Development Division, click here.