The North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority (RIA) recently approved 16 grant requests to local governments totaling $3,938,829. The requests include commitments to create a total of 472 jobs, 137 of which were previously announced. The public investment in these projects will attract more than $67 million in private investment. Two municipalities and one county in the Hickory Metro are among the recipients of these grants.
The RIA approved 13 grant requests under the state’s Building Reuse program in three categories. Included in the Existing Business Building Category is an allocation for the City of Newton. A $70,000 grant will support the renovation of a 100,000-square-foot building in Conover. The building is occupied by Pregis PolyMask, a manufacturer and provider of innovative packaging and protective products utilized in the housing and consumer marketplace. This project is expected to create 10 jobs, with an investment of over $1.4 million by the company.
Included in the Vacant Building Category is an allocation for the Town of Hudson in Caldwell County. A $120,000 grant will support the reuse of a 53,560-square-foot building in Hudson. The building will be occupied by Harmony Timberworks, a manufacturer of a variety of high-end wood products. This project is expected to create 15 jobs, with an investment of $145,000 by the company.
The RIA also approved three requests under the state’s Industrial Development Fund, Utility Account program. Included in those is a grant for Burke County. A $377,497 award will assist the county in providing a sewer extension at the Burke Business Park for a new, 500,000-square-foot facility operated by Unix Packaging, LLC, a beverage manufacturing company. The company plans to create at least 65 jobs and invest $25.95 million in the overall project.
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.