Governor Pat McCrory announced today that the North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority (RIA) approved 10 grant and loan requests totaling $2,565,689. The requests include commitments to create a total of 200 new jobs.
“One of the top priorities of my administration is connecting North Carolinians to better roads and infrastructure by ensuring that every community has the building blocks for economic development and job creation,” said Governor McCrory. “These loans and grants will enable our smaller towns and counties to better focus on business and job growth.”
Authority members review and approve funding requests for grant and loan programs. The programs are operated by the Rural Economic Development team at the North Carolina Department of Commerce, which is led by Secretary John E. Skvarla, III, and Assistant Secretary Dr. Patricia Mitchell. Grants support infrastructure development, building renovation and site improvements.
Since its creation by Governor McCrory and the North Carolina General Assembly in 2013, the Authority has approved nearly $120 million in awards.
The RIA approved one request under the state’s Industrial Development Fund – Utility Account program.
City of Claremont (Catawba County): A $28,189 grant to augment an existing grant of $120,975 that assists businesses in the Claremont Industrial Park with sewer system improvements for long-term growth. The project opens development and job-creation opportunities for the entire 22-acre industrial site.
The Industrial Development Fund – Utility Account provides grants to units of local government for 80 counties in the state considered Tier 1 or Tier 2. Funds may be used for publicly-owned infrastructure projects that are reasonably expected to result in the creation of new jobs. IDF – Utility Account funding is derived from set-asides of Job Development Investment Grants (JDIG) awarded in Tier 2 and Tier 3 counties.
The RIA approved one loan under the state’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) – Economic Development program:
City of Thomasville (Davidson County): A $200,000 loan to support the reuse of a vacant building accommodating a 10-job expansion by Whitewood Industries. The Thomasville-based company, a distributor of ready-to-finish furniture, has been in business for 34 years. The building was constructed in 1970 and has been vacant for the past year. Funds will be used to improve roofing, lighting and plumbing, and re-pave the parking lot. The loan will support a total capital investment of $1.5 million.
The Community Development Block Grant program is a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) program administered in part by North Carolina 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 eight grants under the state’s Building Reuse program:
Existing Business Building Category
Town of Mocksville (Davie County): A $100,000 building reuse grant that will facilitate a 10-job expansion at REEB Millwork. The company custom-manufactures and distributes millwork products such as doors, columns and stairs across the eastern United States. Renovations include lighting and dock doors among other items. The building was constructed in 1980. The grant is part of a total capital investment of $320,451.
Granville County: A $500,000 grant to support a building addition in Creedmoor that will facilitate a 50-job expansion by Altec Industries. The company provides equipment and services to customers in the utility, telecommunications and other industries. Altec will add 8,000 sq. ft. to the building, which was constructed in 1984. The grant is part of a total capital investment of $16.7 million.
Halifax County: A $200,000 grant for renovating three buildings in Weldon to facilitate a 20-job expansion at Meherrin River Forest Products. The Virginia-based company manufactures hardwood lumber. The buildings were constructed in 1950. Renovations include roofing, mechanical systems and interior configuration. The grant is part of a total capital investment of more than $2 million.
Robeson County: A $500,000 building renovation grant in Pembroke that will facilitate a 50-job expansion by Trinity Frozen Foods. The company manufactures frozen sweet-potato fries for domestic and foreign markets. The building was constructed in 1998. Renovations will include electrical, plumbing and concrete work. The grant is part of a total capital investment of more than $5.5 million.
Robeson County: A $500,000 grant to support the renovation of a building in St. Pauls that will facilitate a 50-job expansion by Watts Water Technology. The company provides plumbing, heating and water quality solutions for residential, industrial, commercial and governmental customers. The building was constructed in 1974. Renovations will include flooring, HVAC and interior configuration. The grant is part of a total capital investment of more than $3.7 million.
Vacant Building Category
Montgomery County: A $50,000 grant for the reuse of a vacant building in Biscoe. Tractor Supply Company will lease the building and create five jobs. The building was constructed in 1990 and has been vacant for seven months. Renovations include electrical, plumbing and HVAC. The grant is part of a total capital investment of $834,951.
Wilson County: A $462,500 grant to support the reuse of a vacant building in Wilson by Peak Demand. The company, which designs and manufactures electrical transmission systems, is adding 37 jobs to its existing workforce. The building was constructed in 1970 and has been vacant for five months. Renovations include HVAC, electrical, flooring and fire-protection systems. The grant is part of a total capital investment of more than $3 million.
Town of Columbia (Tyrrell County): A $25,000 reuse grant of a vacant building by Waypoint Oyster Bar. The start-up company, a full-service restaurant and caterer specializing in local seafood, will create five jobs. The building was constructed in 1932 and has been vacant four months. Renovations include flooring, plumbing and HVAC. The grant is part of a total capital investment of $699,511.
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.
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 NC Commerce’s Rural Economic Development team. Its 15 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 non-voting member of the Authority. “The availability of modern infrastructure and ready-to-go buildings is necessary for restoring North Carolina’s white-picket-fence communities,” said Commerce Secretary Skvarla.“Working alongside the NC Commerce team, the Rural Infrastructure Authority partners with the state’s less populated communities in creating jobs, growing businesses and attracting economic investment.”