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Rural Transformation Grants Awarded to Boost Local Economies, Hickory Metro Cities Awarded Funds

Governor Roy Cooper announced Wednesday that 42 local governments in rural areas across the state have been awarded grants from the Rural Transformation Grant Fund, supporting rural economic development projects in North Carolina. Two municipalities in the Hickory Metro have been awarded grants.

A total of $19.76 million will be issued in this second round of grantmaking from the Fund, which helps local governments overcome challenges that limit their economic competitiveness. The funding comes from the American Rescue Plan, signed by President Biden last year. The North Carolina Department of Commerce and its Rural Economic Development Division administers the fund.

The Rural Transformation Grant Fund, the centerpiece of a broader Rural Engagement and Investment Program from Commerce, addresses a wide variety of needs, from revitalizing downtown districts, building the capacity of local government staffs, revitalizing neighborhoods, fostering small business recovery, and generally supporting economic growth initiatives.

Two Hickory Metro cities were awarded funds in the Downtown Revitalization Category. The City of Conover has been awarded $640,000 and the City of Lenoir received an award of $580,000. A third window for grant applications is expected to open in the spring of 2023. More information about the Rural Transformation Grant Fund is available at