When your rural community needs help attracting businesses, call on the Rural Economic Development Division. That’s because we provide expert advice based on a community’s specific needs and can connect you with the funding your area needs to make things happen. The Rural Economic Development Division heads up a growing number of grant programs, and we provide planning services, analysis and identification of resources needed to strengthen rural economic and community development projects.
Our 2022 Results
Our Programs & Services:
- Community Strategic Planning – Create a technical economic development plan for your community | SERVICE
- Downtown Development Planning – Build a sound plan to strengthen or revitalize your downtown area when you work with our experts in the N.C. Main Street & Rural Planning Center | SERVICE
- Western N.C. Technical Assistance and Funding – N.C.’s Office for the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) provides community capacity and economic growth support for 31 counties in Western North Carolina | SERVICE & PROGRAM
- Public Infrastructure: State - Rural Grants – Develop or improve the public infrastructure that’s necessary to attract businesses, such as water, sewer, and gas lines. We grant local communities this money | PROGRAM
- Public Infrastructure: Federal - CDBG Grants – Develop or improve the physical structures necessary to attract businesses, such as water, sewer, and gas lines. We grant local communities this money | PROGRAM
- Public Infrastructure: Utility Fund — Develop or improve utilities in counties ranked as either Tier 1 or Tier 2. We grant local communities this money | PROGRAM
- Building Reuse: State - Rural Grants - Renovate old or vacant buildings to attract new or expanding businesses. Funds are granted to local governments. | PROGRAM
- Building Reuse: Federal - CDBG Grants - Renovate old or vacant buildings to attract new or expanding businesses. Funds are granted to local governments. | PROGRAM
- Building Demolition: State - Rural Grants – Clear off old buildings from promising industrial sites with these grants | PROGRAM
- Building Demolition: Federal - CDBG Grants – Clear off old buildings from promising industrial sites with these grants | PROGRAM
- Shell Buildings - Federal - CDBG Grants – Build a shell building in your community with supporting funds available to local governments from this program | PROGRAM
- Rural ReadySites – Prepare industrial sites in your Tier 1 or Tier 2 community using funds from this new program. | PROGRAM
- Downtown Development: Grants – Support small businesses and downtown development agencies with a grant from the Main Street Solutions Fund | PROGRAM
- Disaster Recovery: State Rural Grants and Federal (CDBG) Grants — Secure funding for the repair, replacement or construction of new infrastructure. Available to local governments dealing with the aftermath of various natural disasters | PROGRAM
The Rural Economic Development Division Team
The Rural Economic Development Division (REDD) remains committed to our mission of engaging, enhancing, and helping transform rural communities. As our state continues to recover in a post-pandemic environment, REDD is focused on advancing the Commerce mission and building strong partnerships supporting rural North Carolina. Our top priorities are building a solid foundation for economic development success and expanding rural prosperity. That focus is critical as we help communities recover, increase resiliency, and prepare for economic growth.
The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) works to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth for the people in the thirteen-state Appalachian region. Thirty-one counties in North Carolina are eligible to receive ARC funds for economic development activities. ARC counties are Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Cherokee, Clay, Cleveland, Davie, Forsyth, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Stokes, Surry, Swain, Transylvania, Watauga, Wilkes, Yadkin, and Yancey.
The State of North Carolina's Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program is administered by the Rural Economic Development Division (REDD) within the Department of Commerce. The CDBG Infrastructure Program is administered by the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality. CDBG funding is available to local government units to spur job creation, job retention, infrastructure, and housing activities. The CDBG Program prioritizes low to moderate-income households and is available to non-entitlement communities in our state.
The Industrial Development Fund Utility Account (IDF) provides grants to support economic development in the 80 most distressed counties in North Carolina. Grants support publicly owned infrastructure projects that are expected to result in the creation of jobs. Utility Account projects include water, sewer, industrial access, natural gas, and rail. The Utility Account allows the Department of Commerce to consistently invest in rural communities and build a stronger infrastructure grid across our state. The Utility Account is funded by the Jobs Development Investment Grant (JDIG) program.
The N.C. Main Street & Rural Planning Center works in regions, counties, cities, towns, downtown districts, and in designated North Carolina Main Street communities, to inspire placemaking through building asset-based economic development strategies that achieve measurable results such as investment, business growth, and jobs.
Rural Grant Programs (RGP) administers the Rural Building Reuse, Infrastructure, and Demolition grant programs authorized by the North Carolina General Assembly. Grants to local governments support economic development projects that will transform buildings and develop public infrastructure leading to job creation and private investment. RGP also manages the Housing Infrastructure, Disaster Recovery, Legislatively Directed, and Community Enhancements for Economic Growth grant programs.
The Rural Transformation Grant Fund provides local governments with grants and expert guidance to improve economic vitality and overcome the unique challenges many rural communities face. Open to local governments in the state's Tier 1 and Tier 2 counties, as well as qualified census tracts in Tier 3 counties