$20 million handed out for rural economic development


North Carolina Construction News staff writer

Local governments in 30 rural areas across North Carolina have been awarded grants from the Rural Transformation Grant Fund, a new source of support for rural economic development projects funded by the federal American Rescue Plan.

More than $20 million will be issued in this first round of funding. North Carolina’s Department of Commerce and its Rural Economic Development Division administers the $48 million grant fund.

“North Carolina’s rural communities are our heart and soul, and we are committed to helping them grow and become more competitive,” Governor Roy Cooper said in a news release.

“Today’s awards will provide both the funds and the expertise to help transform and expand North Carolina’s rural economies, create good jobs, and strong communities.”

Approved projects:

Downtown Revitalization Category

  • City of Newton $900,000
  • City of Sanford $900,000
  • Town of Old Fort $900,000
  • City of Lumberton $900,000
  • Town of Spencer $900,000
  • Town of Tarboro $875,000
  • City of Greenville $875,000
  • Town of Valdese $850,000
  • County of Stokes $850,000
  • City of Rockingham $750,000
  • Alexander County $650,000
  • Town of Weldon $369,778
  • City of Roxboro $175,000
  • Town of Mount Olive $175,000
  • Town of Stantonsburg $50,000

Resilient Neighborhoods Category

  • Randolph County $900,000
  • Town of Jonesville $900,000
  • Town of Pembroke $850,000
  • Town of Wallace $825,000

Community Enhancements Category

  • City of Hickory $900,000
  • City of Salisbury $875,000
  • City of Raeford $846,000
  • Town of Windsor $839,450
  • Town of Butner $825,000
  • Town of Mars Hill $750,000
  • Town of Garysburg $355,680
  • Town of Elizabethtown $332,500
  • Town of Pilot Mountain $330,000
  • Warren County $300,000
  • City of Saluda $170,000

“Today’s awards allow us to share more widely the best practices we know work well for rural economic development programs,” said Kenny Flowers, the Commerce Department’s Assistant Secretary for Rural Economic Development. “I look forward to working with these communities and others to come later, as we work to transform the economy in rural North Carolina.”

Applications for the second round of funding will open in early September 2022.

“With the help of these grants, we are able to attract new jobs to rural communities across the state,” Gov. Cooper said in a news release. “These investments generate more economic opportunity, renovated buildings, enhanced access to healthcare and fortified water and sewer service, all of which improve the lives and livelihoods of rural residents.”


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