Thursday, April 21, 2022 - 00:00

Governor Cooper Announces 15 Grants to Rural Communities to Attract 434 New Jobs and over $351 Million in Private Investment N.C. Rural Infrastructure Authority approves more than $3.8 million in funding

Raleigh, N.C.
Apr 21, 2022

The North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority (RIA) has approved 15 grant requests to local governments totaling $3,840,156, Governor Roy Cooper announced today. The requests include commitments to create a total of 649 jobs, 215 of which were previously announced. The public investment in these projects will attract more than $351 million in private investment.    

“These Rural Infrastructure grants attract new, innovative businesses, allow existing businesses to expand, support health care, and bolster water and sewer service in our rural communities,” Governor Cooper said. “All of these investments are key ingredients in creating and sustaining a strong, resilient economy.”

The North Carolina Department of Commerce’s team of rural economic development professionals supports the RIA’s work. RIA members review and approve funding requests from local communities. Funding comes from a variety of specialized grant and loan programs offered and managed by N.C. Commerce’s Rural Economic Development Division, led by Assistant Secretary for Rural Development Kenny Flowers. Grants can support a variety of activities, including infrastructure development, building renovation, expansion and demolition, and site improvements.

“Through these grants, rural North Carolina communities are solidifying their paths to post-pandemic recovery,” N.C. Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders said. “We are proud to partner with rural counties, cities, and towns to help fortify their ability to compete economically on a global scale.” 

The RIA approved 13 grant requests under the state’s Building Reuse program in three categories:

Vacant Building Category

  • City of Burlington (Alamance County): A $120,000 grant will support the reuse of a 34,425-square-foot building in Burlington. The building will be occupied by National OnDemand, Inc., a technical service provider that specializes in residential and commercial installation and underground or aerial construction for broadband and telecommunications industries. This project is expected to create 15 jobs, with an investment of $1,297,400 by the company. 
  • City of Morganton (Burke County): A $200,000 grant will support the reuse of a 350,000-square-foot building in Morganton. The building will be occupied by Vanguard Furniture, a case goods and upholstery manufacturer. The overall project is expected to create 100 jobs, with an investment of more than $5.9 million by the company, while 65 jobs and an investment of $2,785,000 are tied to this grant. 
  • Town of Edenton (Chowan County): A $500,000 grant will support the reuse of a building in Edenton. The building will be occupied by Hermes Marine, LLC, a new subsidiary of Daedalus Alliance that manufactures advanced technology sports boats. This project is expected to create 136 jobs, with an investment of $879,755 by the company. 

Existing Business Building Category

  • Town of Edenton (Chowan County): A $200,000 grant will support the 13,000-square-foot expansion of a building in Edenton. The building is occupied by Regulator Marine, Inc., an offshore sport fishing boat manufacturer. This project is expected to create 25 jobs, with an investment of $671,713 by the company. 
  • Davidson County: A $320,000 grant will support the 65,000-square-foot expansion of a building in Lexington that is occupied by McIntyre Manufacturing Group. The company is a manufacturer of custom point-of-purchase displays, floor displays, store fixtures and components, specializing in displays at “big-box” stores. The project is expected to create 40 jobs, with an investment of $6,626,150 by the company.
  • Davidson County: A $60,000 grant will support the 10,000-square-foot expansion of a building in Lexington occupied by Printcraft, Inc. The company specializes in the production of many different forms of tags and labels, such as garment bag tags. The project is expected to create 15 jobs, with an investment of $721,916 by the company.
  • City of Lexington (Davidson County): A $50,000 grant will support the 120,000-square-foot expansion of a building in Lexington. The building is occupied by Border Concepts, Inc., a manufacturer of lawn and gardening products, from steel landscaping edging systems to plant stands. The project is expected to create 10 jobs, with an investment of $8,502,415 by the company.
  • City of Archdale (Randolph County): An $85,000 grant will support the renovation of a 58,101-square-foot building in Archdale. The building is occupied by Aeolus Filter Corporation, a manufacturer of filtration products, primarily for the HVAC industry. The project is expected to create 17 jobs, with an investment of $1,735,000 by the company. 
  • Randolph County: A $140,000 grant will support the 9,600-square-foot expansion of a building in Ramseur, occupied by Kraftsman, Inc. The company manufactures and sells open trailers, from single-axle utility trailers to flatbed equipment trailers. The project is expected to create 20 jobs, with an investment of $250,063 by the company.

Rural Health Category

  • City of Burlington (Alamance County): A $300,000 grant will support the reuse of a vacant, 10,000-square-foot building in Burlington. The building will serve as a new location for ChenMed, LLC, a primary care provider specializing in senior adult care. This project is expected to create 30 jobs, with an investment of $1,250,000 by the company.
  • City of Fayetteville (Cumberland County): A $300,000 grant will support the reuse of a 9,500-square-foot building in Fayetteville. The building will serve as another new location for ChenMed, LLC. This project is expected to create 30 jobs, with an investment of $1,182,500 by the company.
  • City of Greensboro (Guilford County): A $300,000 grant will support the reuse of an 8,200-square-foot building in Greensboro. The building will serve as a new location for ChenMed, LLC. This project is expected to create 30 jobs, with an investment of $1,042,370 by the company.
  • City of High Point (Guilford County): A $300,000 grant will support the reuse of a 13,219-square-foot building in High Point. The building will serve as a new location for ChenMed, LLC. This project is expected to create 30 jobs, with an investment of $1,684,565 by the company.

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 health care facilities that will lead to the creation of new jobs in Tier 1 and Tier 2 counties and in rural census tracts of Tier 3 counties.

The RIA approved one request under the state’s federally-funded Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) - Economic Development program:

  • Davidson County: A $140,156 grant will assist the county in providing water and sewer infrastructure for a 70,000-square-foot mixed use hangar, shop and office facility constructed by Sky Aircraft Maintenance at the Davidson County Airport in Lexington. The company, a subsidiary of Atlantic Jet Partners LLC, currently serves the airport as a full-service aircraft maintenance operation. The project is expected to create 36 jobs, with an investment of $12,511,842 by the company.

The Community Development Block Grant Program is a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) program administered in part by N.C. Commerce. CDBG’s economic development funds provide grants to local governments for creating and retaining jobs. Project funding is based on the number of jobs to be created and the level of economic distress of applicant communities.

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

  • City of Thomasville (Davidson County): An $825,000 grant will assist the city in providing a sewer extension for a new facility operated by Nucor, a steel product manufacturing company. As previously announced, the 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. 

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 reasonably 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.
 
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. Its 17 voting members are appointed by the Governor, Speaker of the House and Senate President Pro Tem. 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, click here
 

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