Eleven North Carolina local governments will get $4.4 million in grants for economic development projects. The money comes from the North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority.
The requests include commitments to create a total of 383 jobs, including 173 that had already been announced. The public investment will attract more than $91 million in private investment, according to the state.
“We’ve been making transformational investments in infrastructure across rural North Carolina, including high speed internet and water systems and these grants will help existing rural businesses while attracting new companies to our rural areas,” Cooper stated in a release by his office.
The Rural Infrastructure Authority approved eight grant requests under the state’s Building Reuse Program in two categories:
Vacant Building Category
- Beaufort County: $200,000 to support the reuse of a 15,510-square-foot building in Washington. The building will be occupied by Elite Truck Boxes, an online retailer of truck boxes and various automotive accessories. The company expects to create 31 jobs and invest $1.9 million in the project.
- Cherokee County: $62,500 grant to support the reuse of a 2,976-square-foot building in Murphy, as the future home of Valley River Dental, formerly known as Mimms Family Dentistry. Valley River Dental will create five jobs and invest $1.1 million in the project.
- Guilford County: $100,000 to support the reuse of a 21,400-square-foot building in High Point. Specializing in off-grid energy solutions, SELS USA will use the building to develop products such as streetlights and transit lights. The company will create 13 jobs and invest $821,141 in the project.
- Granville County: $500,000 to support the reuse of a 122,085-square-foot building in Oxford. The building will be used by Auction Direct USA, which reconditions and sells vehicles to wholesale customers. The company expects to create 173 jobs and invest $2.9 million in the overall project, with $1,766,000 tied to this grant.
Existing Business Building Category
- Burke County: $200,000 to support the renovation of an 80,000-square-foot building in Morganton. Maynard Electric, a full service commercial and industrial electric company, currently uses the building. The company expects to create 25 new jobs with an accompanying private investment of $472,942.
- Lenoir County: $500,000 to support the renovation of a 254,534-square-foot building in Kinston. The building is occupied by West Pharmaceutical Services, a manufacturer of contaminant solutions that employs over 8,300 employees worldwide. This project is expected to create 72 jobs at this site, with an investment of $73.5 million by the company.
- Moore County: $160,000 to support the renovation of a 55,000-square-foot building in Robbins. The building’s occupant, Carolina Growler, designs and manufactures special purpose vehicles. The company plans to create 40 new jobs and invest $238,844 in the project.
- Robeson County: $100,000 to support the renovation of a 370,000-square-foot building in Lumberton. The building is utilized by Bast Fibre Technologies, a cleantech engineering firm that manufactures specialty fibers. The company plans to create 10 jobs and invest $3.9 million alongside the grant.
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 federally funded Community Development Block Grant program:
- Alexander County: $222,375 to assist the county with a project that supports an expansion by Paragon Films, a stretch film manufacturing company. The project involves the construction of a 70,000-square-foot warehouse and conversion of existing warehouse space to manufacturing space. Infrastructure improvements include the construction of a 763-foot-long rail spur to accommodate increased product demand. This project is expected to create 14 jobs and attract almost $8 million in private investment.
The Community Development Block Grant program is a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development program administered in part by N.C. Commerce. These 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:
- City of Gastonia (Gaston County):$2,272,275 to assist the city with the expansion of sewer capacity at the 300+-acre Apple Creek Corporate Center, supporting the growth of businesses currently at the corporate park, as well as future economic development.
- Vance County: $161,700 to be added to the county’s existing approved funding to support the county’s development of sewer and road infrastructure at Henderson-Vance Industrial Park.