Golden LEAF announces almost $3 million in funding for disaster recovery


The Golden LEAF Board of Directors approved almost $3 million to support nine disaster recovery and two job creation projects at their meeting last week. All together, these projects will assist five counties recovering from hurricane damage and help create 155 jobs.

“Golden LEAF is dedicated to the long-term economic advancement of North Carolina,” said Scott T. Hamilton, Golden LEAF President, Chief Executive Officer. “Our Board and staff work hard to get funding out the door and at work in the communities we serve.”

Over two decades, the Foundation has funded 1,814 projects totaling $890 million. Golden LEAF’s 15-member Board of Directors is appointed by the Governor, the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House. Darryl Moss of Creedmoor was welcomed as the newest member of the Board at its meeting last week. Mr. Moss, the former mayor of Creedmoor, was appointed by Governor Roy Cooper.

The Golden LEAF Board of Directors approved the following Disaster Recovery Grant Program projects:

Hurricane Dorian:

  • $500,000 to Hyde County to construct a new EMS station on Ocracoke. The existing station was flooded by Hurricane Dorian.
  • $125,000 to Hyde County to replace the trams used to support the passenger ferry. The trams were destroyed by floodwater on Ocracoke during Hurricane Dorian.
  • $900,000 to the Hyde County Schools to support the repair and elevation of several buildings at the Ocracoke School campus. The school was flooded by Hurricane Dorian.
  • $278,000 to the Ocracoke Foundation (Hyde County) to support the replacement of the main dock in the Community Square. The dock was destroyed during Hurricane Dorian.
  • $277,400 to the Ocracoke Foundation (Hyde County) to support repair of the Ocracoke Seafood Company building. The building, maintained by the Ocracoke Foundation, was damaged during Hurricane Dorian.

Hurricane Florence:

  • $50,000 to the Bald Head Island Conservancy (Brunswick County), a 501(c)(3) environmental research and education nonprofit, to support replacement of windows and the repair of a conference room area damaged as a result of Hurricane Florence.
  • $300,000 to Pender County to enable the relocation of the boiler and other electrical components currently located in the basement of the courthouse. Several feet of water entered the basement during Hurricane Florence.
  • $34,727.97 to the Town of Swansboro (Onslow County) to support the replacement of a backup generator at the Public Safety building. The existing generator failed during Hurricane Florence.

Hurricane Matthew:

  • An increase in funding to an existing award by $70,164.92 to Beaufort County to address increased costs for installation of two backup generators at critical water facilities. The County nearly lost water during Hurricane Matthew.

The Disaster Recovery Grant Program is funded through appropriations by the State of North Carolina to the Golden LEAF Foundation to make grants to governmental entities and 501(c)(3) nonprofits to repair or replace infrastructure and equipment damaged or destroyed by Hurricanes Matthew, Florence, Michael, and Dorian.

The Board also approved the following job creation projects:

  • $240,000 under the Economic Catalyst Program to the City of Hickory (Catawba County) to construct publicly owned water infrastructure that will serve the site on which Cataler North America Corporation will locate and have the capacity to serve other sites. Cataler plans to create 151 full-time jobs and invest $37 million in machinery and equipment over the next five years, and $13 million in construction of the new facility.
  • $200,000 under the Open Grants Program to High Country Community Health (Watauga County) to renovate and expand the Watauga dental clinic and provide dental equipment and supplies. The Watauga dental clinic is at capacity and current wait times for new patients are four months or more. The project would create four full-time jobs, including a dentist, hygienist, two dental assistants, and one part-time front-desk position.

Golden LEAF’s Economic Catalyst Program assists eligible state, regional and local economic development entities with grants to support permissible activities in projects in which a company will commit to create a specific number of full-time jobs in a tobacco-dependent or economically distressed area.

Golden LEAF’s Open Grants Program is for economic development projects in the areas of economic investment and job creation, workforce preparedness and education, agriculture, and community vitality. Grant awards do not exceed $200,000 under the Open Grants Program.

The Golden LEAF Foundation currently has a special initiative available to help connect dislocated workers to jobs to address urgent workforce needs. Applications for this initiative are due March 6, 2020 at noon. For more information about the Golden LEAF Opportunities for Work (GLOW), click here.

The Golden LEAF Foundation is a nonprofit organization established in 1999 to receive a portion of North Carolina’s funding received from the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement with cigarette manufacturers. For 20 years, Golden LEAF has worked to increase economic opportunity in North Carolina’s rural and tobacco-dependent communities through leadership in grantmaking, collaboration, innovation, and stewardship as an independent and perpetual foundation.

The Foundation has provided lasting impact to tobacco-dependent, economically distressed and rural areas of the state by helping create 64,000 jobs, over half a billion dollars in new payrolls and more than 77,000 workers trained or retrained for higher wages.

To learn more about the Golden LEAF Foundation, visit


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