Six WNC nonprofits receive economic development grants

Six western North Carolina nonprofits are among 28 state organizations that will share $5.85 million in grants from the N.C. Community Development Initiative over the next three years aiming to spark economic growth and job creation in some of the state’s most distressed areas. Four of the organizations are based in Asheville, the home of more of the Initiative’s grants than any other city in the state.

“These grants will flow directly to organizations that are creating vibrant commercial areas, green, affordable homes and safe spaces for children, counseling entrepreneurs and business owners, and teaching working families how to save and join the financial mainstream,” Initiative CEO Abdul Rasheed said in a press release announcing the awards. “By revitalizing our state’s most resource-constrained communities, the community economic development sector helps strengthen North Carolina’s economy overall.”

The Initiative’s latest grants come from two new programs: Community Enterprise Fund and Capacity Building Grants. They are made possible with financial support from the state of North Carolina, Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, BB&T Corp. and other public and private organizations, according to the press release.

Five of the western N.C. nonprofits will receive three-year grants ranging from $210,000-$300,000. The goal is for them to use the grants to implement strategic economic development plans in the communities they serve. The organizations are:

• Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project of Asheville, a nonprofit that supports farmers and communities in western North Carolina by linking farmers to markets and supporters and building healthy communities through connections to local food.

• Eagle Market Streets Development Corp. of Asheville, a nonprofit community development corporation that is revitalizing historically African American neighborhoods in the City of Asheville.

• Green Opportunities of Asheville, a community-based development organization dedicated to improving lives, communities and the health of the planet through innovative “green-collar” job training and placement programs.

• Housing Assistance Corporation of Hendersonville, a nonprofit community development corporation that provides safe and affordable housing for people with limited incomes who live in Henderson County and surrounding areas.

• Mountain Housing Opportunities of Asheville, a nonprofit community development corporation that provides comprehensive community and economic development services, including mixed-use commercial and residential development and neighborhood revitalization.

In addition, a sixth local nonprofit, HandMade in America of Asheville, will receive a one-year, $40,000 grant from the Initiative’s Capacity Building Grant program to strengthen its operations for greater impact. HandMade in America offers a range of programs aimed at growing local economies through craft and estimates that its programs have helped increase the annual economic impact of the craft industry by nearly $100 million.

Complete list of Community Enterprise Fund grant recipients by location:


• Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project
• Eagle Market Streets Development Corp.
• Green Opportunities
• Mountain Housing Opportunities


• East Carolina Community Development Inc.

Chapel Hill

• EmPOWERment Inc.


• Center for Applied Leadership and Community Development at Johnson C. Smith University


• Durham Community Land Trustees Inc.


• Kingdom Community Development Corp.


• Housing Assistance Corp.


• Prosperity Unlimited Inc.

Kill Devil Hills

• Outer Banks Community Development Corp.


• Lexington Housing Community Development Corp.


• Monroe-Union County Community Development Corp.


• Passage Home Inc.

Rocky Mount

• Rocky Mount/Edgecombe Community Development Corp.


• Brick Capital Community Development Corp.


• Cleveland County Community Development Corp.


• Goler Community Development Corp.


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About Jake Frankel
Jake Frankel is an award-winning journalist who enjoys covering a wide range of topics, from politics and government to business, education and entertainment.

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