Thursday, April 18, 2024

Eight rural N.C. counties share $1.4 million in grants for economic projects

Eight local governments in rural areas will get state grants totaling $1.4 million, which are tied to business expansions. The grants approved by the North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority will range from $25,000 in Boiling Springs and Bryon City to help restaurants open new places to $500,000 for Thomasville to expand a sewer line to Nucor’s $350 million steel product manufacturing plant now under construction.

The requests include commitments to create 270 new jobs and $365.6 million in private investment.

Seven of the grants come under the state’s Building Reuse Program in three categories. 

Vacant building category

  • Boiling Springs will use its $25,0000 grant to support the reuse of an 800-square-foot building, where Hannah’s Coffee plans to open a second location. Hannah’s Coffee has been selling coffee and sweet treats in Shelby for 10 years. Opening a second location in Cleveland County will create five jobs and includes a private investment of $37,369.
  • Lexington will use a $200,000 grant to help Millwork Brands move into a 65,000-square-foot building that had been vacant for six months. Millwork Brands is a retailer and wholesaler of doors, frames and hardware for commercial construction. The company plans to create 27 jobs and invest $1.2 million in Davidson County with this project.
  • Lenoir County will use a $450,000 grant to help InfinityLink Communications put a new facility in a 26,820-square-foot building in Kinston. InfinityLink is a high-speed internet, telephone and television provider in Lenoir, Greene, Wayne, Pitt and Edgecombe counties. It plans to install more than 700 miles of fiber in unincorporated areas of Lenoir County in a project that will create 51 jobs and include $46.5 million in private investment. In 2022, the U.S. Department of Commerce gave the Global TransPark Authority a $29.9 million grant to provide broadband service to 15,200 homes in Lenoir County. Global TransPark chose InfinityLink as the provider.
  • Swain County will get $25,000 to help Wise Guyz Grille open a fourth burger and pizza restaurant in Bryson City. The project is expected to create five jobs and include a $352,250 private investment. Wise Guyz has had a restaurant in Cherokee since 2012.

Existing Business Building Category

  • Burlington will get a $100,000 grant to support the 60,000-square-foot expansion of Matthews International’s facility near the Burlington-Alamance County airport, reports The Alamance News. Pittsburgh-based Matthews International is a manufacturer of high-tech custom energy storage, marking, coding and industrial automation technologies, with over 11,000 employees in 200 locations worldwide. The project in Alamance County expects to create 14 jobs and include a $4.9 million private investment.
  • Stanly County will get a $90,000 grant to help a family-owned business, Flexrtol, complete a 4,000-square-foot expansion of a building in Locust. Flextrol currently occupies the building. The company specializes in fabrication of jacketed valves, pipe flexible metal hoses, and PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) hose and expansion joints. The company expects to create 11 jobs and invest $329,645 in the project.

Rural Health Category

  • Spencer will get a $75,000 grant to support a 2,366-square-foot expansion of the Cabarrus Rowan Community Health Centers. The primary health clinic expects to create seven jobs and invest $2.1 million in this project.

The RIA approved one request under the state’s Industrial Development Fund – Utility Account program:

Industrial Development Fund

  • Thomasville will receive a $500,000 grant that will enable the city to extend sewer capacity to Nucor’s steel product manufacturing facility that will open in 2024. The Charlotte-based company plans to create at least 180 jobs and invest $350 million in the overall project, with 150 jobs and an investment of $310 million tied to this grant.

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