FILE - North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper

(The Center Square) – North Carolina has awarded $4.5 million in development grants to nearly a dozen rural communities throughout the state, Gov. Roy Cooper's office said.

The grants were funded through a variety of specialized grant and loan programs managed by the North Carolina Department of Commerce's Rural Economic Development Division. They were provided to help local governments with infrastructure, building renovation, expansion and demolition and site improvements.

Cooper's office said Thursday the requests include commitments to create 439 jobs and $60 million in private investments.

"A broad-based economic recovery requires investments in rural North Carolina communities, and that is what these grants will do," Cooper said in a news release. "These grants will help counties and towns with water, sewer and buildings to help their existing small businesses and residents as well as attracting more good-paying jobs."

The local governments receiving grants are Martin, McDowell, Burke, Lenoir, Lincoln, Pender, Sampson and Surry counties, and the cities of Morganton, Mount Airy and Reidsville.

Lenoir County was approved for two grants. One of the grants ($200,000) would be used to renovate a vacant building in Kinston, and the second grant ($500,000) would support the expansion of another building in Kinston.

Staff Reporter

Nyamekye Daniel has been a journalist for four years. She was the managing editor for the South Florida Media Network and a staff writer for The Miami Times. Daniel's work has also appeared in the Sun-Sentinel, Miami Herald and The New York Times.