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Press release from the N.C. Rural Economic Development Center, shared March 12:
Total award reaches $9.14 million for 84 North Carolina grants
The N.C. Rural Economic Development Center has awarded 84 grants totaling $9.14 million to create jobs, improve the availability of health care, and plan water and sewer improvements in rural communities. The grants are projected to create or retain 1,169 jobs and assist projects in 44 counties.
The center’s board of directors approved the grants Feb. 29. The grants were made possible by appropriations of the N.C. General Assembly and a grant to the Rural Center from the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust.
The board awarded 38 grants worth $6.3 million for projects that lead directly to job creation. Economic infrastructure grants enable new business locations or expansions through water and sewer improvements, broadband expansion, natural gas line extensions, construction of access roads and other infrastructure improvements. Building reuse grants prepare vacant buildings for use by job-generating businesses and support the expansion and renovation of occupied buildings if that work leads to new, permanent jobs in the manufacturing sector. The Rural Hope initiative spurs job creation in the health care sector while improving the availability and quality of health care services in rural communities.
Town of Clayton, $99,722 to assist with water, natural gas and road improvements for a new manufacturing company. The grant represents an increase to a $400,278 grant previously awarded to this project in the Johnston County town. The new grant will create 19 additional jobs, bringing total job creation for the project to 100.
Cleveland County, $445,500 to build a rail spur for an expanding paper products company. The project will create 90 jobs.
Duplin County, $150,000 for sewer system improvements and a rail spur to assist with the location of a new salvage company in Warsaw. The project will create 30 jobs.
Henderson County, $317,979 in two grants for water and wastewater improvements for a new brewery. One grant will extend a public water line to the site. The other will assist with onsite water and wastewater systems. The project will create 54 jobs.
Town of Indian Trail, $300,000 for road improvements for a new retail development. The project will create 30 jobs in the Union County town.
City of Kinston, $1 million to upgrade water and sewer service to an expanding food processor. The project will create 100 jobs in the Lenoir County town.
City of Locust, $150,188 in two grants to assist with the location of a new medical office. One grant will extend public water and sewer to the office site. The second will assist onsite water and sewer improvements and access road construction. The project will create 23 jobs in the Stanly County town.
Town of Maysville, $150,000 to build an access road for a new recycling center and landfill. The project will create 30 jobs in the Jones County town.
Mitchell County, $112,338 to extend water and sewer lines to a new renewable energy facility. The project will create 24 jobs.
City of Sanford, $290,000 to improve water, sewer, storm drainage and road access for an expanding warehouse and distribution facility. The project will create 58 jobs in the Lee County town.
City of Shelby, $137,190 for sewer system improvements for a new manufacturing facility. The project will create 14 jobs in the Cleveland County town.
City of Trinity, $20,000 to build a storm water retention pond for a new restaurant. The project will create four jobs in the Randolph County town.
Caldwell County, $480,000 to renovate a vacant Lenoir building for use by a manufacturer of pet treats. The project will create 40 jobs.
Columbus County, $120,280 to renovate a vacant Whiteville building for use by a fabric manufacturer. The project will create 15 jobs.
Town of Creswell, $40,000 to renovate a vacant building for use by a restaurant and catering company. The project will create five jobs in the Washington County town.
Town of Faison, $200,000 to support the renovation of a building used by a strawberry nursery. The renovation will upgrade a refrigerated warehouse to meet accreditation standards and improve building security. The project will create 40 jobs in the Duplin County town.
Henderson County, $240,000 to renovate a vacant building in Fletcher for use by a kayak manufacturer. The project will create 30 jobs.
Town of Jonesville, $93,292 to renovate a vacant building for use by a tire and automotive center. The project will create 12 jobs in the Yadkin County town.
Town of Maysville, $48,000 to renovate a vacant building for use by three start-up companies: a flea and farmers market, an industrial cleaning company and a woodworking company. The project will create six jobs in the Jones County town.
McDowell County, $240,000 to renovate a vacant building in Marion for use by a machine shop. The project will create 20 jobs.
City of Mocksville, $480,000 to renovate a vacant building for use by a plastics company. The project will create 40 jobs in the Davie County town.
City of Morganton, $72,000 to renovate a vacant building for use by a foam fabrication company. The project will create six jobs in the Burke County town.
Town of Pittsboro, $128,000 to renovate a vacant building for use by a technology service company. The project will create 16 jobs in the Chatham County town.
Robeson County, $80,000 to renovate a vacant building in Lumberton for use by a company that will operate a convenience store, insurance agency and cell phone store. The project will create 10 jobs.
Rockingham County, $50,000 to renovate a vacant building in Madison for use by a distillery. The project will create five jobs.
Rutherford County, $96,000 to renovate a vacant building in Forest City for use by a meat processor. The project will create eight jobs.
Vance County, $64,000 to renovate a vacant building in Henderson for use by a business that sells and repairs appliances. The project will create eight jobs.
Town of Weldon, $64,000 to renovate a vacant building for use by a restaurant. The project will create eight jobs in the Halifax County town.
Wilkes County, $135,171 to renovate a vacant Wilkesboro building for use by a textile manufacturer. The project will create 12 jobs.
City of Wilson, $56,000 to renovate a vacant building for use by a small grocery store, ice cream shop and deli, along with a workforce development center. The project will create seven jobs in Wilson County.
Duplin County, $96,000 to expand Duplin General Hospital’s emergency area by adding four exam rooms and one mental health room. The project will create 12 jobs.
Granville County, $56,000 to construct a dental office. The project will create seven jobs.
Granville County, $88,000 to expand Granville Health System’s emergency area. The plan includes a new emergency department and areas for surgical services and the laboratory department. The project will create 11 jobs.
Town of Hookerton, $48,000 to construct a dental office. The project will create six jobs in the Greene County town.
Hertford County, $78,480 to build an access road and provide utility improvements for Roanoke Chowan Community Health Center’s new building in Ahoskie. The project will create nine jobs.
Johnston County, $56,000 to expand Johnston Memorial Hospital’s emergency area. The project will create seven jobs.
The following Rural Hope projects were made possible by a $1 million grant to the Rural Center from the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust. The Reynolds grants help medical facilities in the state’s most economically distressed counties to make improvements and purchase equipment.
Bakersville Community Medical Clinic, $151,600 to build three new exam rooms, a chiropractic treatment room, check-in area and restrooms. Bakersville Community is the only medical facility in Bakersville. The comprehensive family practice provides services for low-income, uninsured patients in Mitchell County.
Cherokee County Health Department, $200,000 to build an addition to the health department’s facility in Murphy. The department provides health services to low-income, uninsured patients.
Clay Comprehensive Heath Services, $119,450 to add an examination room, nurse’s station and patient restroom. Clay Comprehensive provides medication and medical assistance to low-income, uninsured residents of Clay and Cherokee counties.
Free Clinic of Rockingham County, $19,450 to renovate offices and an educational room and to purchase furnishings, computers and printers. The clinic provides medical, dental and prescription medication resources to low-income, uninsured patients.
Good Samaritan Clinic, $159,225 for roofing improvements and equipment upgrades, including an insulin cooler and an electronic pill counter. The Burke County clinic provides medical care, labs and x-rays, specialist referral and health education to low-income, uninsured patients.
Piedmont Health Services, $67,000 to buy a wheelchair-equipped van for the Caswell County clinics. Piedmont Health operates six community health centers.
Triad Adult and Pediatric Medicine, $51,275 to renovate a home for reuse as a community health center satellite location. The Rockingham County site will provide primary and selected specialist services three days a week and education and outreach programs two days a week.
Tyrrell County Rural Health Association, $142,000 to purchase furnishings, an x-ray machine and a heating and air conditioning system for new exam rooms planned at the clinic. The clinic provides consultation, physical exams, preventative medicine and specialty expertise.
Westfield Medical Center, $50,000 to purchase medical equipment. The Surry County center provides primary care, risk management and preventative care.
This grant program assists rural governments with planning for water and sewer improvements.
City of Albemarle, $27,375 for a sewer system study in the Stanly County town.
Town of Benson, $22,850 to analyze the water system in the Johnston County town.
Town of Biscoe, $40,000 to conduct a study of the sewer system in the Montgomery County town.
Town of Cajah’s Mountain, $13,100 to update the master plan for the wastewater collection system in the Caldwell County town.
Town of Cedar Point, $15,750 to analyze alternatives for centralized wastewater collection and treatment in the Carteret County town.
Town of Clarkton, $40,000 to study the Bladen County town’s sewer collection system.
City of Clinton, $40,000 to inventory and assess the wastewater system in the Sampson County town.
Town of Columbus, $22,000 to develop a water master plan for the Polk County town.
City of Eden, $40,000 to inspect nearly 20,000 feet of sewer pipe in the Rockingham County town.
Town of Elizabethtown, $40,000 to develop plans for water system upgrades in the Bladen County town.
Town of Fremont, $8,137.50 to investigate the structural integrity of the wastewater lagoon in the Wayne County town.
City of King’s Mountain, $27,137 to plan for the construction of a new water distribution line in the Cleveland County town.
Town of Lake Waccamaw, $15,000 to develop an asset management plan for the water and sewer systems in the Columbus County town.
City of Laurinburg, $40,000 to evaluate a portion of the wastewater collection system in the Scotland County town.
City of Lumberton, $40,000 to map the sewer system in the Robeson County town.
Town of Maysville, $40,000 for a study that will prepare the Jones County town to seek financing for water and sewer improvements.
Town of Ramseur, $27,562 for a study to help the Randolph County town improve its water treatment system.
Town of Robersonville, $19,750 to evaluate the wastewater treatment plant in the Martin County town.
City of Saluda, $16,250 to develop a water study for the Polk County town.
Town of Sparta, $20,000 for a water audit and planning for water system upgrades in the Alleghany County town.
Town of Spruce Pine, $20,000 for an asset management plan for the water system in the Mitchell County town.
Stanly County, $40,000 for a wastewater evaluation that will include an analysis of sewer overflows.
Town of White Lake, $20,000 to assess the condition of the wastewater collection system in the Bladen County town.
Yadkin Valley Sewer Authority, $25,000 to develop a wastewater pretreatment plan.
The Economic Innovation Grants Program spurs business activity, job creation and public/private investment in North Carolina’s rural communities.
AdvantageWest, $100,000 to add packaging and processing capability to the established Blue Ridge Food Ventures shared-use commercial kitchen facility in Candler. The project is projected to create 17 jobs and address the needs of the growing natural products industry.
Albemarle Resource Conservation and Development Council, $57,000 to implement workforce and economic development initiatives around wind energy generation in northeastern North Carolina.
Central Park N.C., $100,000 to establish artist residences and internships to foster business skills and income-generating opportunities in glass blowing. The project is expected to create 10 jobs and retain four jobs while capitalizing on the growing cluster of glass-blowing artists in the Star area.
College of the Albemarle, $100,000 for the development of a regional training and technical aviation center in Currituck County. The center will enable students to earn an FAA-approved aircraft mechanic’s certificate or an associate’s degree in aviation. The project is expected to create 25 jobs.
Destination Cleveland County, $100,000 to develop and produce music and history exhibits for the Earl Scruggs Center: Music and Stories from the American South. The center will be housed in a renovated historic courthouse in downtown Shelby. The project is projected to create four direct jobs and 73 indirect jobs in tourism and service-related companies.
N.C. Agricultural Foundation, $100,000 to focus on scaling and evaluating the Farmhand Foods business model for expanding markets and the supply of North Carolina produced niche meats. The project is expected to create or retain 40 farming jobs.
Mountain BizWorks, $88,000 to offer entrepreneurs in western North Carolina customized business and entrepreneurship coaching in Spanish. The project, which is expected to create 17 jobs and retain 41, aims to mitigate language and cultural barriers that can impede Latinos’ ability to start small businesses.
Center for Environmental Farming Systems, $325,000 over two years to provide custom meat processors across the state with assistance — including training, technical expertise and equipment upgrades — to serve existing demand and provide for the future growth of local and niche meat markets. This project is expected to create 20 jobs at processing facilities across the state and assist in the retention of an additional 60.
N.C. State University, $75,000 to take advantage of advances in technology to connect small-market rural tourism entrepreneurs with traditionally difficult-to-reach tourist markets. The project is expected to create 15 jobs and retain 60.
Regional Technology Strategies, $100,000 to generate new product opportunities and create jobs in the tile and flooring industry. The project involves adding artistic and design elements to products to be manufactured in a Siler City plant and increasing workforce training. It is expected to create 15 jobs and retain another 15.
Scotland County Economic Development Corp., $85,000 to expand business services and consolidate business and workforce development service providers in Scotland County at a one-stop location. The project is expected to create 60 jobs.
SUPPLEMENTAL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
This grant program funds worthy projects that might otherwise be outside the timeline or geographic area of a specific grant program.
WNC Communities, $25,000 to support the work of the nonprofit. WNC Communities serves the state’s 19 westernmost counties.
Rockingham County Business and Technology Center, $11,000 to help develop a Rockingham County revolving loan/investment fund.
The N.C. Rural Economic Development Center is a private, nonprofit organization whose mission is to develop sound economic strategies that improve the quality of life in rural North Carolina, with a special focus on individuals with low to moderate incomes and communities with limited resources. The center operates a multifaceted program that includes conducting research into rural issues; testing promising rural development strategies; advocating for policy and program innovations; and building the productive capacity of rural leaders, entrepreneurs and community organizations.