Local News

Easley Awards More Than $5 Million In Community, Entrepreneurial Assistance Grants

Posted January 7, 2004 3:11 a.m. EST

— Gov. Mike Easley announced Wednesday that 20 communities will receive nearly $6 million in grants through the state's

Community Development Block Grant Program.

Six of the grants are being made to local governments involved in the

North Carolina Department of Commerce

21st Century Communities Program, a state initiative to improve the state's most distressed communities.

"As we strive for One North Carolina, we must continue to look for new and innovative ways to prepare our communities and train our workforce for tomorrow's economy," Easley said. "With grants like these, North Carolina's communities are able to assist those in need and those workers who have fallen victim to layoffs and closings due to unfair federal trade policies."

Among the grants awarded Wednesday, seven entrepreneurial assistance grants totaling $730,000 will be distributed to local governments for entrepreneurship training and counseling. Those grants are part of the state's effort to help communities assist workers dislocated by recent plant closings.

The other grants include six concentrated needs grants totaling $3 million to improve living conditions in selected troubled neighborhoods. More than $2 million were also awarded to local governments to help provide affordable housing and infrastructure.

Community Development Block Grants are federal funds awarded through the Department of Commerce. The grants are used to help local governments with community and economic development projects, mainly designed to benefit low- and moderate-income families.