Rural Transformation Grants Now Available

The NC Department of Commerce has announced a new funding program– Rural Transformation Grants.  Applications for these grants are due on May 2, 2022, and they should be submitted through the Rural Connect Portal.

Rural Transformation Grants can support:

  • Main Street and downtown investment and revitalization efforts;
  • Initiatives that help create resilient neighborhoods;
  • Community enhancements that spur economic growth;
  • Professional development and education programs to build local government capacity

Additional information about the specific funding categories and eligible activities can be found below:

Downtown Revitalization Program

  • Improvements to publicly owned properties;
  • Improvements to publicly owned property that will leverage the rehabilitation of privately owned existing buildings;
  • Public improvements and planning studies to address negative economic impacts of the pandemic;
  • Community, county or regional training and technical assistance, organized and sponsored by a local government;
  • Public sector planning;
  • Implementation of publicly owned improvements that will aid impacted industries in the travel, tourism, and hospitality sectors or businesses that experienced 8% employment loss due to the pandemic

Resilient Neighborhoods Program

  • Affordable permanent housing;
  • Neighborhood improvements and facilities;
  • Small business assistance;
  • Creation of healthy living initiatives;
  • The rehabilitation of an existing building to allow mixed-use of residential and commercial spaces

Community Enhancement for Economic Growth Program

  • Property acquisition;
  • Secure abandoned properties;
  • Environmental remediation;
  • Demolition paired with neighborhood revitalization;
  • Lot cleanup and greening

Rural Community Capacity Building Program

  • Best practices research activities – learning from other communities of similar sizes;
  • Use of a consultant to produce community branding and/or marketing plan;
  • Development of visual renderings of proposed projects;
  • The development of community, county, or regional training and technical assistance for communities to leverage asset-based economic development;
  • The development of plans for local units of government

Rural Transformation Grants Breakdown