RALEIGH, N.C.  - The North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority (RIA) has approved 16 grant requests to local governments totaling $4,511,075. The requests include commitments to create a total of 530 jobs, 164 of which were previously announced. Cooper says the public investment in these projects will attract more than $91.3 million in private investment.   
“North Carolina communities continue to move forward with optimism and resiliency, as great places to do business,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “Smart investments like Rural Infrastructure Authority grants will help our economy recover and support the creation of good jobs across our state.”
Two of the 16 grants will go to furniture makers. 
A $500,000 grant will support the renovation of a 412,554-square-foot building, where Craftmaster Furniture, Inc., recently expanded. The furniture manufacturer plans to create 62 jobs and invest $753,405 in this project. Craftmaster expanded its manufacturing capacity in August by 20 percent at the former 400,000-square-foot Broyhill complex. The complex was purchased by Craftmaster parent Samson Holdings in 2018.
The grant will allow the furniture maker to speed up lead times, the company says.
A $460,000 grant will support the reuse of part of a 150,000-square-foot building near Butner, where Nugget Comfort, a manufacturer of children's upholstered foam furniture and toys, plans to locate operations. Renovations to the building are set to include electrical, plumbing, piping, drywall, flooring and painting. This project is expected to create 46 jobs and attract private investment in the amount of $4,320,000.
Other companies to receive grants include N95 mask manufacturer Taiji Medical, custom boat maker World Cat,  plastic packaging maker Serioplast, and drywall specialist Hamilton Drywall. See the full list here. 
“Rural North Carolina will be positioned to attract hundreds of new jobs and welcome investments by a variety of innovative employers, thanks to these grants,” N.C. Commerce Secretary Anthony Copeland said. “Our department’s Rural Economic Development Division and the Rural Infrastructure Authority are proud to continue working with leaders of counties, cities and towns to make strategic investments in their communities.”

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