The North Carolina Department of Commerce's new Rural ReadySites grant program helps local communities prepare potential industrial sites for development.
Many communities have promising sites in their areas that could offer an attractive location for a business, if certain public infrastructure improvements were undertaken to make the site more competitive and prepared for industrial development.
The Department's Rural ReadySites program, operating under the jurisdiction of the Rural Infrastructure Authority, aims to invest $12 million in local North Carolina communities in 2018. To participate, a project must meet the following criteria:
- The applicant must be a governmental entity in a Tier 1 or 2 county.
- The site must be publicly owned or controlled.
- The site must be a minimum of 50 contiguous acres.
- There must be evidence of appropriate and proportionate local financial support for site development, which may include but not be limited to site acquisition, development costs and/or infrastructure improvements.
- There must be evidence of recent private sector interest in developing an industrial project on the site.
- There must be evidence of a well thought-out strategy to identify and market the site to appropriate private sector businesses.
- Funds will only be used to construct public infrastructure, with priority given to water, sewer and industrial access improvements.
- Additional consideration will be given to sites located in counties with the greatest economic distress ranking