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Governor Cooper Announces $4 Million in Rural Infrastructure Grants Funds will help Create 473 New Jobs and More Than $111 million in Private Investment

Raleigh

The North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority (RIA) approved 12 grant requests to local governments totaling $4,113,122, Governor Roy Cooper announced today. The requests include commitments to create a total of 473 jobs. The public investment in these projects will attract more than $111 million in private investment.  

“A focus on rural areas makes sure all North Carolinians have a healthier, better life and akey to that is building and strengthening infrastructure,” Governor Cooper said. “Rural Infrastructure Authority grants help pay for challenges rural areas must address to grow jobs and improve quality of life.”

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 RIA approved 11 grant requests under the state’s Building Reuse Program in two categories:

Vacant Building Category 

  • City of Thomasville (Davidson County): A $210,000 grant will support the reuse of an 18,000-square-foot building. Minnewawa, a manufacturer of custom woven labels, ribbons and accessories, plans to relocate its entire Tennessee operation to this site in Thomasville. The project is expected to create 21 jobs, with a private investment of $491,931.
  • Granville County: A $175,000 grant will support the reuse of an 86,000-square-foot building in Oxford. Winston International, Ltd., a custom cable assembly distributor, plans to locate in the facility, creating an expected 22 jobs while investing $718,000 in the project.
  • Town of Warrenton (Warren County): A $50,000 grant will support the reuse of a 4,480-square-foot building. This project will allow Warrenton Animal Clinic, P.A., a veterinary practice that has served Warrenton for over 20 years, to relocate into a larger space, creating an expected 10 jobs, with a private investment of $651,774. 

Existing Business Building Category

  • Alexander County: A $90,000 grant will support the expansion of a building in Taylorsville, where Paragon Films, Inc., a manufacturer of stretch film products, plans to add 50,000 square feet to the existing facility. The company expects to create 11 jobs and invest $292,475 in the project.
  • Caldwell County: A $320,000 grant will support the renovation of two buildings in Lenoir that are occupied by Fairfield Chair Company, Inc. The company, which manufactures a wide range of furniture for residential homes, contract-hospitality markets and senior living facilities, plans to add 40 jobs while investing $815,786 in this project. 
  • City of Thomasville (Davidson County): A $300,000 grant will support the expansion of a building that is occupied by Unilin North America, LLC. The company, a manufacturer of flooring, plans to add 175,000 square feet to the existing facility, creating an expected 30 jobs, with a private investment of $14,888,538. 
  • Granville County: A $100,000 grant will support the renovation of a 10,800-square-foot building in Oxford that is occupied by Home Care Products, LLC, a manufacturer and distributor of micro-filtration vacuum bags. The company plans to relocate their entire Ohio operation to Oxford through this project, while adding an expected 10 jobs and investing $1,175,000. 
  • Robeson County: A $400,000 grant will support the expansion of a building in Lumberton where Rempac Foam, LLC, manufactures a broad range of flexible foam plastic products. Through this project, the company plans to add 50,000 square feet to the existing facility, create 40 jobs and invest $3,893,185.  
  • Stanly County: A $110,000 grant will support the renovation of a 171,000-square-foot building in New London that is occupied by Fiber Composites, an extrusion manufacturer of eco-friendly composite decking, railing and fencing. The company plans to add 13 jobs and invest $25,174,074 in the project. 

Rural Health Category

  • Mitchell County: A $45,622 grant will support the reuse of a 1,620-square-foot building in Bakersville. At this location, Bakersville Community Medical Clinic, Inc., a primary care operation, plans to open a dental office. The project is set to create seven jobs and attract $290,669 in private investment. 
  • City of Henderson (Vance County): A $312,500 grant will support the renovation of 2,758 square feet of unused space within the campus of Maria Parham Health, a Duke LifePoint hospital. The project will enable this space to be used for a cardiac catheterization lab, with plans to create 25 jobs and invest $2,949,488. 

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:

  • Town of Mocksville (Davie County): A $2 million grant will support public water and sewer improvements to accommodate Brakebush Brothers, Inc., a manufacturer of processed poultry products for foodservice, industrial and chain accounts. The company began operations at the Mocksville site earlier this year, and this grant will support the creation of 244 jobs, along with a private investment of $60 million. 

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.

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, visit www.nccommerce.com/rd

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