The Economic Infrastructure Program is administered by the Rural Division of the North Carolina Department of Commerce; it provides grants to local governments to assist with public infrastructure projects that will lead to the creation of new, full-time jobs.

The N.C. Department of Commerce annually ranks the state’s 100 counties based on economic well-being and assigns each a tier designation. The 40 most distressed counties are designated as Tier 1, the next 40 as Tier 2 and the 20 least distressed as Tier 3. This tier system is incorporated into the Economic Infrastructure Program to encourage economic activity in the less prosperous areas of the state.

For more information about county tier designations, visit our County Development Tier Designations page.

Eligible Use

The Economic Infrastructure Program provides funding for the construction of public infrastructure to a site, in order to enable a company to locate or expand. Eligible uses include:

  • Upgrade or repair of public drinking water or wastewater treatment plants
  • Upgrade, extension or repair of public water or sewer lines
  • Extension of publicly owned natural gas lines (with an executed pipeline construction, operating and resale agreement)
  • Installation or extension of public broadband infrastructure
  • Construction of publicly owned access roads not owned or funded by the North Carolina Department of Transportation
  • Construction of public rail spur improvements

Basic Requirements for Eligibility

Eligible applicants are local governments in North Carolina. Priority is given to projects in a Tier 1 or Tier 2 county, or a rural census tract in a Tier 3 county.


For more information about the Economic Infrastructure Program, contact the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina at (919) 447-7777 or by filling out our online form.

The Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina does not award or administer this incentive. All economic development incentives are awarded and administered by the North Carolina Department of Commerce.