The North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority (RIA) has approved nine grant requests to local governments totaling $2,221,694. These grants are for projects that have committed to creating 191 jobs and will attract more than $49.5 million in private investment.
The Rural Infrastructure Authority is a 17-member board that awards Rural, Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), and Utility grant funds, which include the Building Reuse Program and the Industrial Development Fund – Utility Account program. 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 healthcare facilities that will lead to the creation of new jobs in Tier 1 and Tier 2 counties and rural census tracts of Tier 3 counties. The RIA approved seven grant requests under this program in the Vacant Building and Existing Business Building categories:
Vacant Building Category
- Cleveland County: A $75,000 grant will support the reuse of a 237,000-square-foot building in Kings Mountain. The building will be occupied by ACTEGA North America, a manufacturer of specialty coatings and chemicals for the printing and packaging industries. This project is expected to create 12 jobs, with an investment of $8,524,014 by the company.
- Greene County: A $50,000 grant will support the reuse of a 6,300-square-foot building located in Snow Hill. The building will be the home of Heritage Family Health, which is a primary care facility for children and adults. The company will create five jobs and invest $210,000 in the project.
- Transylvania County: A $200,000 grant will support the reuse of a 41,000-square-foot building in Brevard. Textile manufacturer and woman-owned company, Siscovers Enterprises, Inc., will use the building to manufacture decorative bedding, pillows, curtains and futon covers. The company expects to create 26 jobs and invest $1,444,550 in the project.
Existing Business Building Category
- Scotland County: A $125,000 grant will support the renovation of a 1-million-square-foot building in Laurinburg. The building is currently occupied by Pilkington North America, Inc., a glass manufacturer for the architectural, automotive, and creative technology industries. Overall, this project is expected to create 20 jobs, with 14 jobs and an investment of $11,810,530 tied to this grant.
- Davidson County: A $100,000 grant will support the renovation of a 1-million square-foot building occupied by EGGER Wood Products, LLC. in Linwood. The company is a manufacturer of wood-based materials for the furniture and interior design, flooring and building products industries. The company will create 21 jobs and invest $21,505,000 in the project.
- Duplin County: A $170,000 grant will support the renovation of a 150,000-square-foot building located in Faison. The building is the home of Cottle Strawberry Nursery, Inc., which supplies strawberry tips, plugs and bare root plants for growers. In this project, the company plans to add a new product line to its operation, creating 19 jobs while investing $1,677,000.
- Yadkin County: A $400,000 grant will support the renovation of a 128,000-square-foot building in East Bend that is occupied by Cross Technology, Inc., a provider of quality precision components, heat shrink products, wire harness assembly, and injection molding. The company expects to create 82 jobs and invest $3,439,685 in this project.
The Economic Infrastructure Program provides grants to local governments to assist with infrastructure projects that will lead to job creation. The program gives priority to jurisdictions in the 80 most economically distressed counties (Tiers 1 and 2) and can help build water and sewer lines, wastewater treatment plants, natural gas lines, public broadband infrastructure, roadways, rail spurs, and other infrastructure allowed under program guidelines. The RIA approved one request under this program:
- Town of Dillsboro (Jackson County): A $104,000 grant, which includes a previous award from February 2023, will support the completion of water system improvements to provide enhanced fire protection, water flow and pressure to serve The Jarrett House/Mount Beulah Hotel, an adjoining restaurant, and the Town of Dillsboro. The company plans to create 12 jobs, which represents an increase from the previous award, with an investment of $966,370.
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 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. The RIA approved one request under this program:
- Craven County: A $1,077,694 grant will assist the county with the construction of an access road at the Coastal Carolina Corporate Aerospace Development Park in New Bern.
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. The Governor, Speaker of the House and Senate President Pro Tem appoint its 17 voting members. 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, visit www.nccommerce.com/rd.