330 North King Street • Hendersonville, NC 28792
Phone 828.692.6373 • Fax 828.692.6658
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The Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development uses a number of support mechanisms to assist companies that are expanding or relocating to Henderson County. Below is a comprehensive list of mechanisms, each with different qualifications and thresholds of eligibility. To get started on a project or for questions regarding incentives, please contact HCPED.

Incentives and Finance

Note: As of September 2013, NC Rural Center programs are transitioning to the North Carolina Department of Commerce’s Rural Economic Development division.  Until the transition is finalized, NC Rural Center grants are on hold.

Program Description Eligibility
Henderson County Economic Development Assistance Discretionary grant corresponding to a percent of ad valorem taxes generated by a project, value based upon number of jobs created, wages and investment. Can be utilized by new and expanding companies. Project must be competitive with locations outside the county and considering investment of at least $1.5 million dollars in new real or business personal property.
One NC Fund Discretionary fund utilized to award incentive grants to a business in an effort to make North Carolina more cost competitive. Awards are based on the number of new jobs and associated wages. Project must be competitive with locations outside of North Carolina, meet county wage test and include local match.
Job Development Investment Grant Discretionary grant paid up to 12 years equivalent to payroll withholdings in a range of 10-75% for eligible positions. JDIG is typically reserved for very large economic development projects with significant job creation component.
NC Rural Center Building Reuse Program Vacant Buildings* Program assists businesses renovating buildings which have been vacant for at least three months; grants may be used to fund repairs and renovation work to properties. Building must be vacant for at three months and the project must lead directly to the creation of private sector jobs. Amount of grant varies dependent on use and location; the maximum for any grant is $240,000 or one-half the renovation cost, whichever is less.
NC Rural Center Building Reuse Program: Occupied Buildings Fund is designed to assist businesses in renovating buildings that are occupied by a NC based company. Grants may be used to fund repairs and renovation work to properties. Eligible buildings include those used for manufacturing, warehousing, distribution, data processing and software development. The business must create new jobs as a result of the renovation. $5,000 per job up to a maximum $240,000 or one-half the renovation cost, whichever is less.
NC Rural Center Economic Infrastructure Grants may be used for water and sewer, natural gas and broadband. In addition, grants at a reduced amount may be used for road access, rail spurs, storm water, water storage tanks and wastewater pre-treatment facilities. Projects must create private sector jobs in a new or expanding business served by infrastructure.
Mtn. Area Workforce Development Board: Incumbent Worker Training Businesses can apply for up to $25,000 (lifetime limit of $40,000). Funds can be utilized towards training costs for existing employees with the objective of preventing downsizing or closure. Businesses that have been in operation in NC for at least one year are eligible for Incumbent Workforce Training Grants.
Mtn. Area Workforce Development Board: On-the-Job Training Private sector employers are eligible to receive at least 50% in wage reimbursement in return for training eligible individuals in the program. Full-time employment of an eligible individual which includes structured training conducted by the employer on the job for a designated period not to exceed 26 weeks. The OJT program requires an agreement between the employer and the Mountain Area Workforce Board.
Appalachian Regional Council Federal grants awarded to distressed areas in the Appalachia that focus on job creation or improve infrastructure and develop measurable economic development results. High-impact projects in the region that improve infrastructure and create jobs are more likely to be considered for ARC.
Goldern LEAF Economic Catalyst Cycle grants are available for significant economic development projects creating new jobs in rural communities in NC. Focused on economically distressed or tobacco dependent communities. Projects must be at risk without Golden LEAF participation.
Community Development Block Grant Federal funds administered by NC Department of Commerce.
Economic Development: Provides grants or loans to local governments for creating and retaining jobs.
Infrastructure: Provides funding for public water or sewer projects.
Small Business Entrepreneurial Assistance: Grant program designed to assist local governments that are in the process of developing a coordinated effort to support and grow their community's existing small businesses.
Henderson County may apply for funds, provided the State agrees to pledge the CDBG funds necessary to secure a loan. The county may receive their loan guarantee directly or designate another eligible public entity such as an industrial development authority, to receive it and carry out the Section 108 assisted project.
City of Hendersonville General Policy on extending water and sewer Discretionary incentive for water and sewer extensions to industrial locations in Hendersonville or Henderson County. The City will pledge up to $1,000 for water and/or sewer line extensions within areas served by its utility system for each new job created. $1,000 per job up to a maximum of $50,000 for either water or sewer line extensions or improvements. Project requires cost sharing by Henderson County and the industrial client.
Interactive Digital Media Incentive provides 15-20% tax credit for compensation paid to employers and expenses paid to participating community colleges and research universities to help develop computer controlled virtual universe platforms. The credit may not exceed 50% of the amount of tax against which it is claimed for the taxable year, either franchise tax or income taxes, reduced by the sum of all credits allowed against which it is claimed for the taxable year, except tax payments made by the taxpayers. Must be developed in NC.
Port Tax Credits Businesses who pay NC state income tax and use NC ports can qualify for a tax credit on both inbound and outbound cargo. The credit is earned on cargo wharfage and handling fees paid to the NC State Ports Authority which exceed the average for over three years. The credit applies to taxes due to the state- up to 50% of the total tax liability for each tax year.
Renewable Energy Tax Credit The established statute provides tax credits eligible for the cost of equipment and associated design, construction costs and installation costs by a taxpayer and placed into service in NC during the taxable year. The credit is subject to various ceilings depending on sector and the type of renewable-energy system. A maximum of $2,500,000 for solar, wind hydro, geothermal and biomass applications on commercial and industrial facilities, including photovoltaic, day lighting, solar water-heating and space-heating technologies.
Technology Development Tax Credits Businesses with qualified NC research expenses are allowed a tax credit equal to a percentage of those expenses. The value of the tax credit is based on a percentage of qualified research expenditures. Businesses with annual receipts of less than $1 million are allowed a credit of 3.25% of qualified research expenditures.
New Market Tax Credit Program permits taxpayers to receive a credit against Federal income taxes for making qualified equity investments in designated community development entities. Credit totals 39% of investment claimed over 7 year period on up to $15 million investment. Credits only accessible in low income census tracts.
NC Film Incentives Provide tax credits, sales and use tax discounts to encourage film and television production in North Carolina. 25% tax credit not to exceed $20 million on production spending over $250,000 in qualified expenses within the state.
Utility Rider Program(s) Companies which anticipate an increase in electric load requirements due to an expansion or investment in machinery and equipment may qualify for an economic development rider through their electrical service provider. Riders may only be developed for companies that plan to increase electrical load through expansion or capital investment.
Community College Training Customized training can be provided in support of full-time production and direct customer service positions created in the State of North Carolina, thereby enhancing the growth potential of companies located in the state while simultaneously preparing NC’s workforce with the skills essential to successful employment in emerging industries. Resources may support training assessment, instructional design, instructional costs, and training delivery for personnel involved in the direct production of goods and services. Production and technology support positions are also eligible for training support.
Industrial Revenue Bond Provide tax-exempt or taxable bonds used to finance eligible new or expanded manufacturing facilities, certain solid waste disposal facilities and sewage disposal facilities. 75% of project must be manufacturing and must create one job for every $250,000 in financing. Requires county issuance.
Sales and Tax Discounts Manufacturing machinery and equipment are exempt from sales tax and use in North Carolina. This rate is 1% with a maximum of $80 per item.
Composite Bond Program (IRB) Program brings together a group of borrowers and issues several series of bonds at one time to achieve economies of scale and reduce the issuance of costs of the bonds for each individual borrow. Ideally this program is for new or expanding industries with expected capital needs of up to $2,000,000 over the next three years.
Rural Business Enterprise Grants Provides grants for rural projects that finance and facilitate development of small and emerging rural businesses, help fund distance learning networks and help fund employment related adult education programs. Rural public entities, Indian tribes and rural private non-profit corporations are eligible to apply for funding. At least 51 percent of the outstanding interest in any project must have membership or be owned by US citizens or resident aliens. Generally grants range from $10,000 up to $500,000.
Business and Industrial (B&I) Guaranteed Loan Program B&I Guaranteed Loan Program works to improve, develop or finance business, industry, and employment as well as improve the economic and environmental climate in rural communities. Designated for working capital, machinery and equipment, buildings, real estate and debt refinancing.
Intermediary Relending Loan Program Designed to finance business facilities and community development projects in rural areas with a population of 25,000 or less. IRP funds received by an intermediary must be re-loaned to ultimate recipients. Uses include: establishment of new businesses, expansion of existing businesses, creation of employment opportunities, saving of existing jobs and community development projects.
Certified Development Company (504 Loan) Program Provides approved small businesses with long-term, fixed-rate financing used to acquire fixed assets for expansion or modernization. 504 loans are made available through Certified Development Companies (CDCs). Business must be operated for profit and fall within the size standards set by the SBA. Under the 504 Program, a business qualifies if it has a tangible net worth less than $15 million, and an average net income of $5 million or less after federal income taxes for the preceding two years prior to application.
7(a) Loan Guaranty Program General financing and special purpose loan program. Funds are available for loans to businesses that handle exports to foreign countries, businesses that operate in rural areas and for other very specific purposes. Designated to help small businesses with general financing as well as specific purposes. See website for additional information. 
Microloan Program Provides small, short-term loans to small businesses and certain types of not-for-profit child-care centers. The SBA makes funds available to specially designated intermediary lenders, which are nonprofit community-based organizations with experience in lending as well as management and technical assistance. These intermediaries make loans to eligible borrowers. The maximum loan amount is $50,000 but the average microloan is about $13,000.
Self Help Provides loan capital to underserved market and industry segments (minority, low income, rural families and entrepreneurs). Eligibility is defined by program specifications. See website for additional information.  
Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Matching Fund Program and Economic Development and Finance Program The Federal SBIR/STTR provides funding competitions in two phases that are relevant to the North Carolina program. Phase I conducts feasibility research and Phase II expands and develops Phase I results and develops commercially viable innovations.   Funding requires a match.
North Carolina Biotechnology Center : Company Inception Loan (CIL) Supports business inception and related activities that are critical to the early-stages of a start-up company.   Maximum loan amount is $50,000
NC Biotechnology Center: Small Business Research Loan (SRL) Supports applied research critical to the development of products, processes or tools with a clear commercial potential. Requires the co-submission of a research proposal and a business plan. Maximum loan amount is $250,000.
NC Biotechnology Center: Strategic Growth Loan (SGL) Matches Biotechnology Center loan support with angel group or venture capital investments to fund biotechnology companies that have already established technical proof-of-concept and require further corporate development support A maximum of two SGLs allowed per company. Maximum loan amount $250,000

*Require local government participation to be an eligible grant applicant