GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) – Five rural municipalities across the Piedmont Triad are receiving state funds through the American Rescue Plan to help develop their core business districts and extend the reach of their staffs.

Drone shot of a water tower bearing the name of Liberty in Randolph County. (GETTY IMAGES)

The NC Department of Commerce on Thursday announced that 42 local governments in rural areas will divide $19.76 million in grants that are designed to help those governments overcome challenges that limit their economic competitiveness.

Those from the Triad – Elkin, Archdale, Jonesville, Liberty and Pilot Mountain – will receive just less than $1 million combined.

Archdale city leaders move forward with plan for the future after pandemic stalled efforts
Archdale is a town between High Point and Thomasville. (WGHP)

These grants are a continuation of an effort to revitalize downtown districts, build local government staffs, revitalize neighborhoods, help small businesses recover and support economic growth initiatives, the state said in its release.

“More support for North Carolina’s rural communities is on the way with these transformative grants, made possible by President Biden’s American Rescue Plan,” Gov. Roy Cooper said in announcing the grants. “These funds, backed up by the expertise of our rural development team at the Department of Commerce, will bring more economic opportunity to people across the state.”

View of the town of Pilot Mountain, North Carolina from Pilot Mountain Knob on a winter sunrise. (GETTY IMAGES)

The grants were broken down into four categories:

  • Downtown Revitalization helps to grow a community’s commercial core into an asset for economic growth and prosperity.
  • Resilient Neighborhoods seeks to eliminate food deserts, to create healthy living initiatives and to increase access to affordable housing.
  • Community Enhancements for Economic Growth assists with acquiring land and buildings, preparing sites and removing barriers.
  • Rural Community Capacity Building provides educational and professional development for local government staffs with help in developing funding proposals for projects in their local areas.

Projects in the Triad

Downtown Elkin (WGHP)

Elkin, a town of about 5,000 that straddles the Surry and Wilkes County lines, will receive $800,000 – the most any community received – for downtown revitalization, which it plans to use for the expansion of the Heritage & Trails Center on the Yadkin River.

Archdale, Liberty, Pilot Mountain and Jonesville will receive $49,999 each in the Rural Community Capacity category:

Jonesville is in the Northwest corner of Yadkin County. (GETTY IMAGES)
  • Jonesville, the oldest town in Yadkin County, will use the dollars to help develop a master plan for growth and development.
  • Liberty and Archdale are near the new Toyota electric battery manufacturing facility being built at the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite. Liberty will conduct a feasibility study to renovate a 3,000-square-foot space on the second floor of the Liberty Heritage Museum for public use, and Archdale will enhance downtown streetscape improvements.
  • Pilot Mountain, in Surry County and at the foot of the iconic peak just northwest of Winston-Salem, will develop a marketing plan to attract tourists.

Archdale, Liberty and Pilot Mountain – and many of these current recipients – in May received Rural Community Capacity grants that were designed to expand the capabilities of staff members from towns that the Department of Commerce called “rural and distressed communities.”

There are deeper descriptions of the projects being awarded at the Department of Commerce’s website, and communities can apply for an additional round of grants in the spring.

The full list of statewide grants

Downtown Revitalization Category

  • Bertie County $200,000
  • City of Conover $640,000
  • City of Elizabeth City $641,000
  • City of Laurinburg $650,000
  • City of Lenoir $580,000
  • City of Rocky Mount $800,000
  • City of Shelby $750,000
  • Town of Bryson City $600,000
  • Town of Carthage $350,000
  • Town of China Grove $680,000
  • Town of Elkin $800,000
  • Town of Hertford $725,000
  • Town of Marshville $200,000
  • Town of Maysville $850,000
  • Town of Murphy $665,000
  • Town of Nashville $675,000
  • Town of Plymouth $725,000
  • Town of Richlands $330,000
  • Town of Roseboro $825,000
  • Town of Spindale $395,000
  • Town of Spring Hope $800,000

Resilient Neighborhoods Category

  • Town of East Spencer $580,000
  • Town of Rosman $450,000
  • Town of Saratoga $300,000
  • Town of Seven Springs $400,000
  • Town of Vass $650,000

Community Enhancements Category

  • Cherokee County $550,000
  • City of Marion $450,000
  • Clay County $850,000
  • Franklin County $450,000
  • Hertford County $725,000
  • Town of Bladenboro $325,000
  • Town of Louisburg $450,000
  • Town of St. Pauls $150,000

Rural Community Capacity ($49,999 each)

  • City of Archdale
  • Hertford County
  • Town of Garysburg
  • Town of Jonesville
  • Town of Liberty
  • Town of Mars Hill
  • Town of Maysville
  • Town of Pilot Mountain
  • Town of Rosman
  • Town of Spruce Pine
  • Town of Wilson’s Mills