During the strategic planning process, the Golden LEAF Board identified gaps in available funding to support site development necessary to attract businesses, especially to rural and economically distressed areas. In response to these findings, the SITE Program was designed to support the identification, preparation, and development of sites to attract quality jobs to these communities.
Organizations will be able to begin the process at any of the three phases, and a site may progress from identification through to development over time.
- SITE Program – Identification support to identify potential industrial sites in communities that do not currently have quality industrial sites to market.
- SITE Program – Due diligence funding to complete eligible due diligence activities such as environmental assessments, archeological analyses, and mapping.
- SITE Program – Development funding for public infrastructure and, for publicly owned sites, clearing and rough grading, to benefit sites that have completed the due diligence necessary to demonstrate that the site is suitable for development.
At the December 2021 Board meeting, the Golden LEAF Foundation Board of Directors awarded $4,910,962 for 11 projects through the Golden LEAF SITE Program in Macon, Montgomery, Halifax, Nash, Alexander, Yancey, Cumberland, Duplin, Franklin, McDowell, and Rockingham counties. Golden LEAF will open applications for a second round of funding in early 2022. Click here to receive updates on the SITE Program.
Open Grants Program
The Open Grants Program provides funding throughout the year in the Golden LEAF priority areas of job creation and economic investment; workforce preparedness; agriculture; and community competitiveness, capacity, and vitality. Under the Open Grants Program, most projects are awarded at $200,000 or less.
As a result of findings during the strategic planning process, the Golden LEAF Board increased the funding available through the Open Grants Program. At the June 2021 meeting, the Golden LEAF Board approved establishing criteria and an application process for requests for funding of more than $200,000, up to a maximum of $500,000, from this program. Projects eligible for up to $500,000 have a defined set of characteristics listed on the Open Grants Program webpage.
Applicants looking to apply for more than $200,000 from this program, must first have a consultation with Golden LEAF staff to discuss the project and how the project addresses the characteristics that would potentially lead to a higher award level.
Flood Mitigation Program
The State of North Carolina provided $25 million to the Golden LEAF Foundation to award funds to units of local government for public infrastructure projects for flood mitigation. Up to $250,000 may be awarded per project. Funds may only be awarded to units of local government. Local governments from all 100 counties are eligible. For purposes of this program, units of local governments include counties and cities and their boards, agencies, commissions, authorities, and institutions.
Eligible projects include the following:
- Construction of new or improvement of existing publicly owned stormwater infrastructure, including natural drainage infrastructure and flood control equipment.
- Repair of existing stormwater infrastructure damaged or destroyed by flooding, which must include improvements to mitigate against future flooding.
- Engineering expenses related to planning and development of flood mitigation solutions.