Definitions and FAQ

Charitable non-profit entity: An organization designated by the IRS as a charitable non-profit organization pursuant to Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Shell building: An industrial building, newly constructed, not previously occupied, without a known or intended occupant, designed to accommodate build out to suit a future owner or tenant. See the Program Guidelines for requirements for shell buildings funded through Golden LEAF Shell Building Pilot Program, e.g., minimum square footage, ceiling heights, etc.

Frequently Asked Questions

The guidelines mention that these funds were appropriated to Golden LEAF. Where can I find the legislative language?
Language establishing the program can be found on page 335 of the recently enacted budget.

The guidelines refer several times to the “community.” What is the “community” in this context?
The “community” refers to the area served by the applicant organization, e.g., the county or the municipality. For applicants that are charitable non-profit entities that serve an area larger than a county, the application should focus on one county or an area within a county.

My community has already completed all the requirements necessary to submit a Stage 2 application or will be able to do so before the Stage 2 application deadline. Can we skip Stage 1 and apply in Stage 2?
No. All applicants that are interested in applying in Stage 2 must apply in Stage 1 so Golden LEAF will know the organizations that may submit an application in Stage 2 and make informed funding decisions during Stage 1.

Explain the match requirement. How can an applicant satisfy the match requirement? Are new cash expenditures required? Do expenditures by third parties count towards the match?
Any expenditure of non-State funds for items included on the project budget or reasonably necessary for the project may be included in the match. Matching funds can be the grantee’s own funds or non-State funds from a third-party such as loans, grants, etc. Expenses incurred prior to the application in the Golden LEAF Shell Building Pilot Program may be included. For example, amounts spent to conduct due diligence or to acquire the property on which the building will be built can be used as a match.

Funds spent for costs not primarily intended to benefit the project or the property on which the shell building would be built may not be included as a match. For example, the cost to extend water and sewer utilities into an industrial park to the site on which the building will be built could be considered a match, but water and sewer extensions primarily intended to benefit the community or surrounding properties could not.

For matching funds to be counted, grantees must be able to demonstrate the actual expenditures through invoices, receipts, etc., and how the expenditures are reasonably necessary for the project. We would generally expect matching expenses to be incurred within the last five years. 

Are there requirements regarding the sale or lease of the shell building after it is constructed?
At a minimum, grantees that are governmental entities must follow statutory requirements regarding disposition of the shell building. Nonprofit grantees will be required to follow applicable IRS guidance and requirements. Grantees may sell or lease the building. Grantees are encouraged to implement strategies that will generate funding to construct additional shell buildings or to implement other economic development projects.

How much funding should my organization request?
The maximum grant award in the program is $2.5 million. However, the intent of the program according to the enabling legislation is to award funds equitably among the seven eligible counties. The legislation also directs Golden LEAF to take into consideration the merits and competitiveness of applications received and to prioritize awards based on the number of appropriate sites and the number of available shell buildings in a community. Considering this guidance, Golden LEAF expects that approximately 1/7th of the available funds will be awarded to a project in each county; however, actual awards may vary depending on whether there are applications from all the counties and consideration of the other factors set out in the legislation.

Both Stage 1 and Stage 2 awards will be counted towards the maximum award amount.

For Stage 1 applications, Golden LEAF does not expect awards to exceed $50,000, but will consider higher requests. 

Can more than one project in a county receive funding?
Given the intent of the enabling legislation to award funds equitably among the seven eligible counties, Golden LEAF does not anticipate awarding funding to more than one project in a county.

Will there be a second round of funding?
There are no current plans for additional rounds of funding.

The Stage 1 Application Attachments Checklist includes many items that are to be provided “if available.” Will my Stage 1 application be at a disadvantage if those items are not available?
No. Golden LEAF is interested in reviewing those items if they are available, but not having them will not affect assessment of a Stage 1 application. 

The Guidelines mention that Golden LEAF may allow an applicant to submit a Stage 2 application while continuing to work to complete items that are required attachments to the Stage 2 application, if the applicant demonstrates an acceptable reason for delay. What constitutes an acceptable reason for delay?
We cannot anticipate what may be the acceptable reasons for delay; however, at a minimum, the Stage 1 grantee will have to show that it moved forward with implementing the activities funded through the Stage 1 award quickly after the grant was awarded.

May a community count in-kind contributions to the project as match?
No, in-kind matches do not count toward this requirement. An eligible entity can count cash expenses that it incurs to implement the project. For example, if a county uses its employees to grade and gravel a parking lot at the site, the cost of materials could count as a match, but the value of the labor would not.

May a community use American Rescue Plan revenue replacement funding as the required match?
Yes, because these funds are federal funds directed to communities, even though they pass through the State, they can be used to satisfy the non-State match requirement. Applicants should bear in mind the requirement that these funds be obligated by December 31, 2024 and expended by December 31, 2026 when considering whether to use them for the project.  

May a community apply for funding if it has a site under option (or contract) but does not own the site?
Yes, a community may apply for funding in this situation, but an eligible entity must acquire the property prior to February 1, 2024, when grants will be awarded because grants may only be awarded for shell building projects owned by an eligible entity.

If we have already submitted some of the required documents in Stage 1, do we need to submit the documents again for Stage 2?
Yes, all required documents must be submitted in the Stage 2 Amendment form for the Stage 2 application submission to be considered complete.

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