Funder Spotlight: North Carolina Department of Commerce

Funder Spotlight: North Carolina Department of Commerce

August 11, 2022

North Carolina is home to a number of funding institutions supporting strategies necessary for economic growth. As a result of Golden LEAF’s strategic plan, one of the five strategic priorities is to have, and be recognized for, excellence in organizational collaboration, innovation, and impact. To help address this goal, a spotlight on North Carolina funders will be included in the Golden LEAF Newsletter at the beginning of each month as a resource for our readers.

The mission of the North Carolina Department of Commerce is to improve the economic well-being and quality of life for all North Carolinians. To do that, the North Carolina Department of Commerce works closely with local, regional, national, and international organizations to propel economic, community and workforce development for the state. N.C. Commerce connects businesses with the site locations, workforce, and infrastructure they need to succeed in one of the nation’s top states for business. N.C. Commerce also connects local communities with the grants and funding they need to attract new business and ensure future prosperity.

Additionally, N.C. Commerce’s executive branch agency administers the state’s economic incentives program and publishes data, statistics, information, and reports for those interested in our state’s economy. Marketing North Carolina as a business and visitor destination is another function of N.C. Commerce, and to handle this work the Department contracts services from the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC), a public-private organization established by the North Carolina General Assembly in 2014.

N.C. Commerce serves all 100 of North Carolina’s counties.

Program: Economic Infrastructure Program

The Economic Infrastructure Program provides grants to local governments to assist with infrastructure projects that will lead to the creation of new, full-time jobs.

Eligible projects include but are not limited to:

  • Upgrades or repair of public drinking water or wastewater treatment plants
  • Upgrades, extensions, or repair of public water or sewer lines
  • Extensions of publicly owned natural gas line (with an executed Pipeline Construction, Operating and Resale Agreement
  • Installation or extension of public broadband infrastructure
  • Construction of publicly owned access roads not funded or owned by the NC Department of Transportation
  • Construction of public rail spur improvements.

Eligible applicants are units of local government with priority given to the counties that have the 80 highest rankings under N.C.G.S.143B-437.08. The rankings can be found on the county tier designations page. Contact Melody Adams at [email protected] or visit this site for more information.

Program: Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG)

The Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) is a performance-based, discretionary incentive program that provides cash grants directly to a company, when the company creates jobs and invests in the state. Grants are awarded only in competitive recruitment or retention situations. JDIG grants hold companies to strict performance targets, but the grants can significantly help offset the cost of locating or expanding a facility in the state. Grant payments are paid annually over time, for terms of up to 12 years, following a yearly, rigorous performance review conducted by the Departments of Commerce and Revenue.

JDIG awards are calculated by weighing a number of factors, including:

  • The location of the project
  • The county tier designation – more on the state’s economic tier system can be reviewed here.
  • The number of net new jobs created in North Carolina
  • The wages of the jobs, compared to the given county average wage
  • The level of investment made in the state
  • The company’s industry sector, and that industry’s alignment with the state’s targeted industry sectors.

JDIG grant payments are determined using a formula that takes into consideration the new taxes generated by the new jobs that are created. A percentage of those newly generated funds are reimbursed to the awarded company, for the limited term of the grant and as long as the company meets its performance target.

Contact David Rhoades at [email protected] or visit this site for more information.

Program: One North Carolina Fund

The One North Carolina Fund (OneNC) is a discretionary cash-grant program that allows the Governor to respond quickly to competitive job-creation projects. Awards are based on several factors including but not limited to the number of jobs created, level of interest, and location of the project. The OneNC program utilizes North Carolina’s economic development tier system in its operations.

Contact David Rhoades at [email protected] or visit this site for more information.

Program: Building Reuse

Develop older buildings in your community into assets to attract new or expanding businesses with the state’s Building Reuse Program.  This program provides grants to local governments, using three categories of funding for:

  • The renovation of vacant buildings
  • The renovation or expansion of a building occupied by an existing North Carolina company wishing to expand in their current location
  • The renovation, expansion or construction of health care entities that will lead to the creation of new, full-time jobs.

Contact Hazel Edmond at [email protected] or visit this site for more information.

Program: Demolition | State Rural Grants

The Demolition Grant Program provides grants to local governments to support the demolition of a 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.

Contact Melody Adams at [email protected] or visit this site for more information.

Program: Shell Buildings

Loans for industrial shell buildings are available from the Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) based on the projected number of jobs to be created and the level of distress in the community. These loans will be at a 2% interest rate with a maximum term of 5 years. Principal payments are deferred for the first two years of the loan. A dollar for dollar match is required by the local government applicant for an industrial shell building.

Contact Melody Adams at [email protected] or visit this site for more information.

Program: Agriculture Sites | Gas Products Fund

The Expanded Gas Products Service to Agriculture Fund provides grants to allow the owner of a project that would facilitate new and expanded natural gas and propane gas service, or that would expand agricultural production or processing capabilities, to pay for excess infrastructure costs, or to pay for cost effective alternatives that would reduce excess infrastructure costs.

Contact Mark Poole at [email protected] or visit this site for more information.

Program: Utility Account

The Utility Account helps local governments build the public infrastructure that can attract businesses, specifically industrial-grade utility services.  To apply, counties must be ranked as one of the 80 most distressed under G.S. 143B-437.08  These funds may be used for construction or improvements to water, sewer, gas, telecommunications, high-speed broadband, transportation infrastructure or electrical utility lines and for equipment for existing or proposed industrial buildings. To be eligible for funding, the infrastructure is required to be on the building site or if not located on the site, directly related to the operation of the specific industrial activity.

Contact Heather Sains at [email protected] or visit this site for more information.

For more information about the N.C. Department of Commerce and its programs, email the Department of Commerce at [email protected] or sign up for the newsletter by clicking here.

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