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U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris announcing the first round of American Rescue Plan funding on April 15, 2021 in Washington, DC. Some of that money has now made its way to North Carolina towns in the way of the Rural Transformation Grant Fund.

The American Rescue Plan put a significant amount of money from the Federal Government into states all over the country, and North Carolina will be helping 30 towns with a portion of that.

Governor Roy Cooper announced in June, that 30 local governments would be receiving “Rural Transformation Grant Fund” money as part of the American Rescue Plan. That grant will issue $20.1 million to those 30 communities.

“North Carolina’s rural communities are our heart and soul, and we are committed to helping them grow and become more competitive,” said Governor Cooper. “Today’s awards will provide both the funds and the expertise to help transform and expand North Carolina’s rural economies, create good jobs, and strong communities.”

Some of the communities in Southeastern North Carolina that will be getting this money include Sanford, Lumberton, Rockingham, Pembroke and Elizabethtown.

Money was issued as part of larger economic development projects and was broken down into three areas, according to the Governor’s office:

  • The Downtown Revitalization category supports downtown development initiatives that help grow and leverage a community’s commercial core into an asset for economic growth and prosperity.
  • The Resilient Neighborhoods category offers grants focused on community development and quality of life improvements, such as eliminating food deserts, creating healthy living initiatives, and increasing access to affordable housing options, among other initiatives.
  • The Community Enhancements for Economic Growth category provides grants to local governments to smooth the way for economic development opportunities, such as the acquisition of land and buildings, the preparation of business sites, and the removal of structural and physical barriers that may be limiting development.

Additional money from the American Rescue Plan has already been distributed across the state, and more will be coming in the future.

“Economic development success requires extensive preparation and planning,” said North Carolina Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders. “I’m excited to see how this first round of grants will help many rural communities in North Carolina reach the next level of prosperity.”

Here’s the 30 towns getting the Rural Transformation Grant Fund money in North Carolina, as part of the American Rescue Plan: