Economic development incentives

North Carolina

Northeastern US

Direct Financial Assistance

Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG): The JDIG program is a performance-based, discretionary incentive that provides cash grants to new and expanding businesses to help offset the cost of locating or expanding a business facility in North Carolina. Companies can qualify for the incentive based on the project location, the number of jobs in the initial five-year period, and the project average wage. The maximum grant amount for a project is dependent on the County Tier in which it locates. Grants can be awarded for a period of up to 12 years and can not exceed $16,000 per new job in a year. The maximum grant award is calculated based on the following:

  • Tier 3 County (most developed): Grant award of up to 75% of personal income taxes generated by new project jobs. An additional 25% of the eligible employee income taxes is transferred to the state Utility Account for rural infrastructure development.
  • Tier 2 County: Grant award of up to 75% of personal income taxes generated by new project jobs. An additional 10% of the eligible employee income taxes is transferred to the state Utility Account for rural infrastructure development.
  • Tier 1 County (least developed): Grant award of up to 80% of personal income taxes generated by new project jobs. No portion of the eligible employee income taxes is transferred to the Utility Account.

For projects that invest at least $500 million and create at least 1,750 jobs, a “high-yield” designation can be awarded increasing the eligible maximum personal income tax revenues to 100% and increasing the project award to 20 years. As part of the designation, 10% of the JDIG award is transferred to the state Utility Account.

For projects that invest at least $1 billion and create at least 3,000 jobs, a “transformative” designation can be awarded increasing the eligible maximum personal income tax revenues to 100% and increasing the project award to 30 years. As part of the designation, 10% of the JDIG award is transferred to the state Utility Account.

One North Carolina Fund (OneNC): The OneNC program is a discretionary cash grant awarded to reimburse project capital costs such as installation or purchase of equipment, structural repairs and renovations, and construction or improvements to utility lines and associated equipment. Awards are based on the number of jobs created, investment level, project location, and economic impact of the project. OneNC awards require a local match funding of up to depending on the applicable county tier:

  • Tier 3 County (most developed): Requires a 1:1 match of OneNC funds to local funds
  • Tier 2 County: Requires a 2:1 match of OneNC funds to local funds
  • Tier 1 County (least developed): Requires a 3:1 match of OneNC funds to local funds

Utility Account Grants: Discretionary cash-grant program, funded by the JDIG program, for projects locating in rural and less-developed counties. Grants are awarded to local governments for project infrastructure improvements. Utility Account grants require a local or private match of at least 3:1 for every dollar awarded by the Utility Account.

Public Infrastructure and Transportation Grants: North Carolina offers a number of different programs to fund public infrastructure development, including the Community Development Block Grant Economic Development Program, Rural Division’s Economic Infrastructure Program, NCDOT’s Rail Industrial Access Program, North Carolina Railroad Company’s NCRR Invests program, and the NC Department of Commerce’s Joint Economic Development Program with the NCDOT.

North Carolina Biotechnology Center Economic Development Award: Provides performance-based grants to local units of government in support of life science company projects. Grant awards are made in amounts up to $100,000 per project.

Job Training

Customized Training Program: The Customized Training Program provides customized training assistance in support of full-time production and direct customer service positions. Resources provided may support training assessment, instructional design, instructional costs, and training delivery for personnel involved. North Carolina will also assist with recruiting, screening, and testing services.

Tax Exemptions

Sales and Use Tax Discounts, Exemptions and Refunds: North Carolina offers a number of sales and use tax exemptions including:

Manufacturing

  • Mill machinery and equipment used for manufacturing  
  • Fuel, piped natural gas and electricity used for manufacturing  
  • Raw materials used for manufacturing

Large Fulfillment Facility

  • Large fulfillment facility equipment (Invests more than $100 million and creates 400 jobs within five years)

Data Centers

  • Electricity and support equipment at a ‘Qualifying Data Center’ (invests $75 million within five years)
  • Electricity and business personal property at an “Eligible Internet Data Center” (invests $250 million or more)
  • Computer software at any data center

Other Exemptions

  • Pollution control and abatement equipment.  
  • Equipment for Research and Development in the Physical, Engineering, and Life Sciences companies (NAICS 54171) Software Publishers (NAICS 5112), and Industrial Machinery Refurbishing (NAICS 811310).
  • Equipment used for fabrication of metalwork (annual gross receipts must meet or exceed $8 million)

Local Incentives

City & County Grants: Local property tax abatements, common with local governments across the US, are banned by statute in North Carolina. Instead, cities and counties in the state have the ability to provide cash grants to incentivize job creation and capital investment. Typically, these cash grants are based on the incremental local revenue generated by a project and function as cash refunds of local property taxes generated by a project. Grant terms and awards can vary widely across the cities and counties based on community policies, development needs, and other local priorities.

Last updated:  March 2022

Tax Credits

Incentives & Exemptions

Grant and Financing Programs

Special Zoning

Job Training

Financing & Financial Assistance

Local Incentives

Other Programs

Interested in Learning More?

Contact us today at 609.924.9775 or info@blsstrategies.comto schedule an initial incentives strategy consultation.
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