McCrory Announces New Projects Creating 161 Jobs

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Governor Pat McCrory recently announced that the North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority (RIA) approved 17 grant and loan requests totaling $4,905,420. The requests include commitments to create a total of 161 new jobs across the state. The RIA reviews and approves funding requests for grant and loan programs. The programs are operated by N.C. Commerce’s Rural Economic Development team, which is led by Secretary John E. Skvarla, III, and Assistant Secretary Patricia Mitchell, CEcD. Grants support infrastructure development, building renovation and site improvements. Since its creation by Governor McCrory and the North Carolina General Assembly in 2013, the Authority has approved approximately $90 million in awards.


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“Business-ready buildings and infrastructure set the stage for job growth,” said Governor McCrory. “These investments lay the groundwork for prosperity by providing basic water and sewer systems, access roads and building renovations that businesses need in order to create jobs in North Carolina’s smaller communities.”

The RIA approved one request under the state’s Industrial Development Fund - Utility Account program.

Catawba County: A $671,920 grant to assist with wastewater service and industrial access to Park 1764, a 170-acre Class A Business Park. The park is designed to encourage high-tech, advanced manufacturing, office and R&D operations in Catawba County in order to offset job losses in traditional industries.

The Industrial Development Fund – Utility Account provides grants to units of local government of the 80 most distressed counties in the state. Funds may be used for publicly-owned infrastructure and should be used for projects that are reasonably expected to result in the creation of new jobs. IDF – Utility Account funding is derived from portions of Job Development Investment Grants (JDIG) awarded in Tier 2 and Tier 3 counties.

The RIA approved six loans under the state’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program:

Town of Forest City (Rutherford County): $600,000 in support of the reuse of a vacant building by CMI Enterprises, which is opening a 30-worker facility that will make soft trim textiles and fabrication solutions for seats designed for recreational vehicles, buses and trucks, as well as movie theatres and sporting venues. The Florida-based company has been in business since 1984. Funds will be used to improve roofing, electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems. The loan will support a total capital investment of $2.6 million.

The City of Kings Mountain (Cleveland County): $500,000 to support the redevelopment of two abandoned downtown buildings for use by AFAB Promotions and Thoroughbred Partners. AFAB is a maker of screen print and embroidered fabrics that has operated in Kings Mountain since 2000. Thoroughbred Partners intends to bring its building to code and make it handicap-accessible in order to attract business tenants. The loan supports a total capital investment of $737,500. The loan is a collaborative solution between CDBG and the Downtown Redevelopment Fund of the North Carolina Main Street program.

The City of Shelby (Cleveland County): $500,000 to support the renovation of two abandoned buildings in uptown Shelby for use by The String Bean, Greenbrook Designs, Walker Woodworking and Uptown Indigo. The String Bean is an upscale restaurant, caterer and specialty grocer. Greenbrook Designs provides design services, kitchen and bath features, and high-end lighting solutions. Walker Woodworking is a maker of custom cabinetry that was incorporated in 1999. Uptown Indigo, a new business, will serve as an events venue. The loan will support a total capital investment of $1.8 million. The loan is a collaborative solution between CDBG and the Downtown Redevelopment Fund of the North Carolina Main Street program.

The City of Belmont (Gaston County): $150,000 to support the renovation of the second story of an abandoned residential building in downtown Belmont for use as commercial office space by Finial Construction Company. Renovations include HVAC, plumbing and electrical systems, as well as interior wall restoration. The loan supports a total capital investment of $200,000. The loan is a collaborative solution between CDBG and the Downtown Redevelopment Fund of the North Carolina Main Street program.

The City of Monroe (Union County): $400,000 to support the renovation of an abandoned commercial building in downtown Monroe. The building, which has been unoccupied for the past ten years, will house the Cotillion Finishing School and other tenants. The renovation includes new flooring, stairwells, fire suppression system, plumbing and HVAC. The loan supports a total capital investment of $454,000. The loan is a collaborative solution between CDBG and the Downtown Redevelopment Fund of the North Carolina Main Street program.

The Town of Warrenton (Warren County): $500,000 to support the renovation of a vacant building in downtown Warrenton for use by Milan of Warrenton, Inc. The building was constructed in 1920 and has been unoccupied for ten years. Milan of Warrenton, an established restaurant, caterer and retailer in downtown Warrenton, will relocate there and double its capacity. The loan supports a total capital investment of $854,169. The loan is a collaborative solution between CDBG and the Downtown Redevelopment Fund of the North Carolina Main Street program.

The Community Development Block Grant program is a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) program administered in part by the North Carolina Department of Commerce. CDBG’s economic development funds provide grants to local governments in Tier 1 and Tier 2 counties for creating and retaining jobs. Project funding is based on the number of jobs to be created and the level of economic distress of applicant communities.
The Downtown Redevelopment Fund of the North Carolina Main Street program supports efforts to correct code deficiencies in underutilized downtown commercial buildings.

The RIA approved a total of 10 grants under the state’s Building Reuse program:

Existing Business Building Category

Town of Mocksville (Davie County): a $160,000 to support the renovation of a building that will facilitate a 16-job expansion at Gesipa Fasteners USA. The company was founded in 1955 and makes a variety of blind rivet options. The project renovates HVAC, electrical and plumbing and expands office space. Its building was constructed in 1999. The grant is part of a total capital investment of $365,239.

Robeson County: a $500,000 grant to support the renovation of a building in Lumberton that will facilitate a 14-job expansion at Alamac Investors, owner of Alamac American Knits. The company is a textile manufacturer that employs 175 workers in Lumberton. Its building was constructed in 1962. Renovation will include roofing, flooring and dock doors. The grant is part of a total capital investment of $1,141,352.

Transylvania County: a $80,000 to support the renovation of a building in Brevard that will facilitate an eight-job expansion by Stone Mountain Cabinetry and Millwork. The company is a manufacturer of specialty cabinetry products. Its building was constructed in 2007. The project adds 3,500 sq. ft. to the building. The grant is part of a total capital investment of $218,890.

Vacant Building Category

Beaufort County: a $158,000 grant to support the reuse of a vacant building in Bath by Hysucat USA. The international company, a manufacturer of rigid inflatable boats for recreational, military and commercial markets, will create 14 jobs. Upgrades include roofing, lighting, flooring and painting. The building was constructed in 1960 and has been vacant for four months. The grant is part of a total capital investment of $381,500.

Town of Pembroke (Robeson County): a $40,000 reuse grant to support a four-job expansion by Speech N Progress, a business providing speech and language services to residents of Robeson and surrounding counties. The building was constructed in 1930 and has been vacant for five months. The renovation includes windows, flooring and a reconfiguration of office space. The grant is part of a total capital investment of $304,010.

Rutherford County: a $500,000 reuse grant for a building in Forest City that will support a 40-job expansion by U.S. Precision Construction. The company is an exclusive provider of precision walls and flooring for residential and commercial markets. The building was constructed in 1996 and has been vacant three months. The renovation will include upgrades to electrical systems, plumbing, HVAC and roofing. The grant is part of a total capital investment of $6,594,895.

Town of Forest City (Rutherford County): a $10,000 reuse grant for a building that will support a two-job expansion by Main Street Market, a restaurant and retailer. The downtown building was constructed in 1918 and has been vacant for three years. Renovations will include HVAC and restrooms. The grant is part of a total capital investment of $130,500.

City of Wilson (Wilson County): a $50,000 reuse grant f0r a building that will support a 10-job expansion at 217 Brew Works. The company is a craft-beer microbrewery with both inside and outside sales. The building was constructed in 1934 and has been vacant for three years. Renovations will include windows, roofing and flooring. The grant is part of a total capital investment of $1.2 million.

Yancey County: a $20,000 reuse grant for a building in Burnsville that will support a 4-job expansion at Blind Squirrel Brewery. The company is a full-service restaurant and taproom. The building was constructed in 1925 and has been vacant for eight months. The renovation will include roofing and HVAC. The grant is part of a total capital investment of $330,000.

Columbus County: a $65,500 reuse grant for a building in Tabor City that will support RADIX-Bay, an information technology consulting company that is creating 19 jobs. The company serves both private-sector and government clients. The building was constructed in 1998 and has been vacant for four years. The renovation will include flooring, walls and HVAC. The grant is part of a total capital investment of $286,800.
The Building Reuse Program provides grants to local governments to renovate vacant buildings, renovate and/or expand buildings occupied by existing North Carolina companies, and renovate, expand or construct health care facilities that will lead to the creation of new jobs in Tier 1 and Tier 2 counties and in rural census tracts of Tier 3 counties.

In addition to reviewing and approving funding requests, the N.C. Rural Infrastructure Authority formulates policies and priorities for grant and loan programs administered by  N.C. Commerce’s Rural Economic Development team. Its 15 voting members are appointed by the Governor, House Speaker and Senate President Pro Tem. The North Carolina Commerce Secretary serves as a non-voting member of the Authority.

“National business surveys consistently find that, along with trained workers, growing companies need modern infrastructure and buildings equipped with high-quality amenities,” said Commerce Secretary Skvarla. “The Rural Infrastructure Authority works closely with the Commerce team and our local partners in shaping programs and solutions that enable every North Carolina community to be competitive in today’s economy.”

Sec. Skvarla, Dr. Mitchell and other team members are now hosting an “NC Competes for Jobs” tour across all regions of the state. The presentation showcases job-creation programs and strategies for local business, governmental, educational and community leaders. Upcoming stops include Western Carolina University on May 3rd and Haywood Community College on May 4th. For more information contact: info@nccommerce.com.