The Rural Hope initiative is designed to spur economic activity and job creation in the health care sector while improving the availability and quality of health care services in rural communities.
Frequently asked questions
Eligible applicants are units of local government in partnership with private or nonprofit health care providers located within North Carolina’s 85 rural counties. Priority is given to towns with a population of fewer than 5,000 or to localities under severe economic distress.
Eligible health care facilities include – but are not limited to – hospitals, urgent care centers, community and rural health centers, hospices, elder care facilities, public health departments, free clinics and offices of physicians, dentists, vision care specialists and mental health care providers. Priority is given to projects supporting a “resident company,” that is, a company that has paid unemployment taxes or income taxes in North Carolina and whose principal place of business is located here.
Grants may be used to assist in the construction or renovation of new or existing health care facilities.
In Tier 1 and 2 counties, grants of up to $480,000 are awarded to shovel-ready projects, with actual funding amounts determined by the number of full-time jobs to be created and the total cost of the construction project. In Tier 3 counties the maximum award is $240,000. At least one job must be created for every $5,000 in grant funds requested. (The grant must be repaid if the jobs committed are not created and maintained for six consecutive months.) Grants must be matched by at least an equal amount in other public or private investment, with the local government contributing at least 5 percent of the grant amount.
The application process involves two steps – a pre-application and then, for competitive projects, a full application.