North Carolina

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NC: Rural Areas Receive Infrastructure Grants, Adding Another 449 Jobs

21 Oct, 2019


The North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority (RIA) approved 24 grant requests to local governments totaling $7,799,500, N.C. Commerce Secretary Anthony M. Copeland announced today. The requests include commitments to create a total of 1,312 jobs, 863 of which were previously announced. The public investment in these projects will attract more than $294 million in private investment. 
 
“Many rural communities across North Carolina are experiencing economic growth because their infrastructure has prepared them for opportunity,” Secretary Copeland said. “That’s why it is so important that we continue to make strategic investments like these Rural Infrastructure Authority grants, which will support good jobs and make rural areas more competitive.”
 
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.
 
“The projects approved for grants today will help rural North Carolina attract jobs, support business expansion and prepare sites for future development,” said Assistant Secretary Flowers. “The Rural Economic Development Division at Commerce and the Rural Infrastructure Authority are proud to partner with community leaders in every corner of our state, to strengthen their economies and encourage investment.”
 
The RIA approved 21 grant requests under the state’s Building Reuse Program in two categories:
 
Vacant Building Category 
Anson County: A $112,000 grant will support the reuse of a 167,444-square-foot building in Wadesboro. Loba-Wakol, LLC, a supplier of adhesives and finishes to the wood and resilient flooring industry, plans to locate in the facility. The overall project is set to create 24 jobs with an investment of $6.6 million, while 19 jobs and $1,688,000 in private investment are tied to this grant.
City of Lenoir (Caldwell County): A $500,000 grant will support the reuse of a 150,000-square-foot building, where BioNutra, Inc. plans to locate. The company is a global biotech firm specializing in the development and manufacturing of generic products that include probiotics, vitamins and dietary supplements. This project is expected to create 64 jobs, with a private investment of $716,000.
Columbus County: A $200,000 grant will support the reuse of a 24,000-square-foot building in Tabor City. Carolina Botanicals, LLC, a start-up industrial hemp manufacturer that will produce and sell a variety of CBD oils, plans to locate in the facility. The overall project is set to create 30 jobs with an investment of $3.4 million, while 20 jobs and $286,245 in private investment are tied to this grant.
City of Belmont (Gaston County): A $25,000 grant will support the reuse of a 12,000-square-foot building, where Jekyll & Hyde Holdings, LLC, will locate its second restaurant and event space. The company currently operates a full-service restaurant, brewery, and event space in Matthews, and expects to create five jobs and invest $553,028 in this project.
Gaston County: A $50,000 grant will support the reuse of a 30,000-square-foot building in Gastonia. Kindred Rolling Doors, a start-up manufacturer of products that include service, insulated and fire doors, plans to locate in this facility, creating an expected 11 jobs while investing $31,118 in this project.
Town of Middlesex (Nash County): A $120,000 grant will support the reuse of a 3,600-square-foot building, where Lane & Associates, Inc., plans to establish a new location. The practice has over 30 locations throughout North Carolina offering a wide variety of comprehensive dental services. This project is expected to create 12 jobs, with a private investment of $208,456.
City of Rocky Mount (Nash County): A $500,000 grant will support the reuse of a 174,968-square-foot building, where Frozen Food Express (FFE) Transportation Services, a temperature-controlled carrier, plans to locate a new service center. The overall project is set to create 96 jobs with an investment of $4.7 million, while 59 jobs and $3,164,149 in private investment are tied to this grant.
City of Eden (Rockingham County): A $500,000 grant will support the reuse of a 181,000-square-foot building, where Gildan Yarns, plans to locate a yarn-spinning mill. The project is expected to create 85 new jobs with a private investment of $4,750,000.
City of Salisbury (Rowan County): A $100,000 grant will support the reuse of a 9,000-square-foot building, where Team Auto Group, Inc., plans to locate a call center. The company expects to create 19 jobs and invest $287,795 in the project.
Wayne County: A $500,000 grant will support the reuse of a 234,972-square-foot building in Goldsboro. Michael Aram, Inc., a designer, manufacturer and importer of high-end home decor and jewelry, plans to locate in the facility, with 60 new jobs and an investment of $500,000 tied to this grant.
Wilson County: A $500,000 grant will support the reuse of a 196,461-square-foot building in Wilson. Avient Biosciences, LLC, a start-up company that will manufacture premium CBD oils and isolates, plans to locate operations in this facility, creating an expected 42 jobs and investing $3,495,845.
 
Existing Building Category
Cherokee County: A $90,000 grant will support the renovation of a 253,000-square-foot building in Marble. This renovation will allow Core Scientific, Inc., an artificial intelligence inception partner, cloud server provider and datacenter, to add nine jobs, while investing $210,000 in the project.
Town of Edenton (Chowan County): A $400,000 grant will support the expansion of a building where Colony Tire Corporation, an independent tire distributor, plans to add an additional 100,000 square feet to the existing facility. The company expects to create 40 jobs and invest $3,325,068 in this project.
Granville County: A $500,000 grant will support the renovation of a 74,000-square-foot building in Butner. Ontic Engineering and Manufacturing, Inc., which designs, manufactures and delivers original equipment manufacturer (OEM)-pedigree parts and accessories for legacy aerospace platforms, is expanding its operations at the facility. A total of 126 new jobs are expected to be created with an investment of $2.7 million by the company in the overall expansion, while 64 jobs and $2,270,000 in investment are tied to this grant.
Rutherford County: A $55,000 grant will support the expansion of a building in Spindale where Fountain Electric, an electrical construction and services company, plans to add an additional 5,250 square feet to the existing building. The company expects to create 11 jobs and invest $151,781 in this project.
Halifax County: A $500,000 grant will support the expansion of a building in Halifax that is occupied by PCB Piezotronics, Inc., a designer and manufacturer of high-precision sensors used in a variety of test and measurement and industrial settings. The company plans to add 25,000 square feet to the existing facility. A total of 120 jobs are set to be created, along with an investment of nearly $4.5 million, in the overall project, while 102 jobs and $3,807,000 worth of investment are tied to this grant.
Town of Mooresville (Iredell County): A $300,000 grant will support the renovation of a 396,694-square-foot building that is occupied by Pactiv, LLC, a manufacturer and distributor of food packaging and food service products. The company expects to create 60 jobs and invest $22,730,000 in this project.
City of Rocky Mount (Nash County): A $200,000 grant will support the renovation of a 125,000-square-foot building that is occupied by Babington Technology, LLC. The company, a defense contractor of mission-critical disaster relief sustainment field kitchens and a manufacturer of commercial food service equipment, plans to create 20 jobs and invest $505,788 in the project.
Orange County: A $500,000 grant will support the expansion of a building in Mebane that is occupied by ABB, Inc., a global leader in electrification products, robotics and industrial automation. The company plans to add 200,000 square feet to the existing facility. A total of more than 400 jobs are set to be created with an investment of up to $39.9 million in the overall project, while 378 jobs and an investment of $39.4 million are tied to this grant.
Pitt County: A $150,000 grant will support the renovation of a 12,000-square-foot building in Greenville that is occupied by AccuLink, which provides printing, marketing and packaging solutions. AccuFlex of Greenville, Inc., a new division of the company, will manufacture flexible packaging for food, pet food, and other products for distribution throughout the southeast United States at the facility. The project is expected to create 32 jobs, with a private investment of $36.5 million.
City of Asheboro (Randolph County): A $150,000 grant will support the renovation of a 50,448-square-foot building that is occupied by Innovative Business Growth, LLC. The company, which manufactures a wide variety of hemp products including CBD oil, plans to create 15 jobs and invest $280,700 in this project.
 
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 Rural Demolition grant program:
Mitchell County: A $97,500 grant will assist the County in the demolition and removal of 250,000 square feet of damaged and cracked concrete from the former Henredon manufacturing plant site. With infrastructure including water, sewer and natural gas already in place, the 14.71-acre site will be positioned for future economic development after the demolition is complete
 
The Rural Demolition program provides grants to local governments to support the demolition of a publicly-owned, persistently vacant building to encourage site rehabilitation and site availability for economic development purposes. Eligible applicants are units of local government located in either a Tier 1 or Tier 2 county, or a rural census tract in a Tier 3 county.
 
The RIA approved one request under the state’s federally-funded Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) - Economic Development program:
City of Sanford (Lee County): A $1,250,000 grant will support public infrastructure improvements to a 98-acre site, where Bharat Forge Aluminum USA, Inc., a U.S. subsidiary of the India-based Kalyani Group, plans to open a combined machining and forging facility to manufacture automobile components, in conjunction with Kalyani Precision Machining. The companies plan to create a combined 460 jobs and invest $170.3 million on the site, with 87 jobs and $170 million tied to this grant.
 
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 Sanford (Lee County): A $500,000 grant will help the City extend sewer infrastructure as part of the development of the site where Bharat Forge Aluminum USA, Inc., a U.S. subsidiary of the India-based Kalyani Group, plans to open a combined machining and forging facility to manufacture automobile components, in conjunction with Kalyani Precision Machining. The companies plan to create a combined 460 jobs and invest $170.3 million on the site, with 98 jobs 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.
 
For additional information about N.C. Commerce’s Rural Economic Development Division, visit nccommerce.com/rd. 
 
 
 
 
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