Disaster Recovery

In the span of about two years, North Carolina was hit by two 500-year storms, Hurricane Matthew in 2016 and Hurricane Florence in 2018.  In 2020, the state began dealing with the COVID-19 public health emergency.

For these disasters and others, both state and federal funding fuel the recovery programs that help North Carolina communities rebuild in a smart, comprehensive way.  Learn more about the different sources of help in the sections below.

Current Disaster Recovery Programs

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The North Carolina Department of Commerce administers certain grant programs to support businesses and communities during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

  • The Motorsports Relief Fund enables local governments to support motorsports venues in their communities negatively impacted by the pandemic.
  • A Dislocated Worker Grant program to support workers during the pandemic is currently active - more information is available below on this page.
  • The discontinued Mortgage, Utility and Rent Relief (MURR) Program was designed to help certain businesses that have experienced extraordinary disruption and not been able to open due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
  • Our agency managed the Job Retention Grant Program (JRG) supporting businesses or non-profit organizations.  Applications are no longer being accepted, however, as the law authorizing the program specified a deadline of September 1, 2020 for all applications to be received by our office.
  • The federally funded Community Development Block Grant Coronavirus Program (CDBG-CV) is no longer accepting applications, but continues to serve local governments as they respond to the pandemic in their communities.

When hurricanes or other natural disasters strike, it's not unusual for our Rural Grants team at the Department of Commerce to administer disaster recovery programs to help distribute state-provided recovery funds.

Currently, there are no active recovery programs in this category.  We update this page when new programs are announced.

For more information on state-funded disaster recovery programs, contact:

Melody Adams, Director, Rural Grant Programs 
Rural Economic Development Division 
NC Department of Commerce 
919-814-4661 (Office)

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides flexible disaster recovery grants to help cities, counties, and states recover from Presidentially declared disasters, especially in low-income areas and subject to the availability of supplemental funds.   Specialists from the North Carolina Office of Recovery and Resiliency (NCORR) help administer these federal funds during times when this money is available.

The federal funding most often arrives as additional Congressional appropriations to the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, as Disaster Recovery grants to rebuild affected areas and provide crucial seed money to start the recovery process.

Although our agency administers several CDBG programs, the disaster recovery funds are now handled by NCORR, and you can learn more at their website.

The U.S. Department of Labor awarded a $6 million Dislocated Worker Grant to help address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. The North Carolina Department of Commerce’s Division of Workforce Solutions requested this grant.

To administer this grant, DWS is partnering with 14 participating local workforce development boards (WDBs) that, collectively, serve 59 counties. These boards (with the counties they serve in parentheses) include:

  • Cape Fear WDB (Brunswick, Columbus, New Hanover and Pender counties);
  • Capital Area WDB (Wake and Johnston counties);
  • Centralina WDB (Anson, Cabarrus, Iredell, Lincoln, Rowan, Stanly and Union counties);
  • Charlotte Works WDB (Mecklenburg County);
  • Cumberland WDB (Cumberland County);
  • Eastern Carolina WDB (Carteret, Craven, Duplin, Greene, Jones, Lenoir, Onslow, Pamlico and Wayne counties);
  • Gaston WDB (Gaston County);
  • Guilford WDB (Guilford County);
  • High Country WDB (Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Watauga, Yancey, Mitchell and Wilkes counties);
  • Kerr-Tar WDB (Franklin, Granville, Person, Vance and Warren counties);
  • Lumber River WDB (Bladen, Hoke, Richmond, Robeson and Scotland counties);
  • Mountain Area WDB (Buncombe, Henderson, Madison and Transylvania counties);
  • Piedmont Triad Regional WDB (Caswell, Davie, Forsyth, Rockingham, Stokes, Surry and Yadkin counties); and
  • Regional Partnership WDB (Alamance, Montgomery, Moore, Orange and Randolph counties).

Through the federal grant, eligible residents of these counties may receive certain employment services or workforce training for industries that are hiring workers.

Workers may be eligible for participation in the grant by being temporarily or permanently laid off as a consequence of COVID-19, or by meeting certain other criteria. 

To apply to participate, residents should contact their local NCWorks Career Center. Contact information can be found at www.ncworks.gov.