Golden Leaf Foundation launches site readiness program | The Enterprise
The Enterprise

Golden Leaf Foundation launches site readiness program

Posted on September 26, 2021

Local news



ROCKY MOUNT — The Golden Leaf Foundation announced the launch of its new Golden Leaf Site Program on Thursday.

The program will help communities identify potential industrial sites for economic development, complete the due diligence necessary to prepare sites for industrial development and extend public utilities to or conduct rough grading and clearing of sites for which due diligence has been completed.

The foundation budgeted $10 million for the program this fiscal year, which will be awarded in two rounds, fall and spring. Applications for the fall 2021 round are due Oct. 14 for the Golden Leaf Foundation Board of Directors’ consideration during its December meeting.

Golden Leaf will reserve at least $5 million for program grants in the spring of 2022. Application deadline for the spring funding cycle will be announced later this year.

To kick off the new site program, the foundation will hold an informational webinar at 9 a.m. Wednesday. Register online at

“During a strategic planning processwe completed earlier this year, the Golden Leaf board identified gaps in available funding to support site development necessary to attract businesses, especially to rural and economically distressed areas,” said board Chair Bo Biggs. “In response to these findings, the Site Program was designed to support the identification, preparation and development of sites to attract quality jobs to these communities.”

The program has a three-phase approach:

1. Identification support to identify potential industrial sites in communities that do not currently have quality industrial sites to market.

2. Due diligence funding to complete eligible due diligence activities such as environmental assessments, archaeological analyses and mapping.

3. Development funding for public infrastructure and, for publicly owned sites, clearing and rough grading, to benefit sites that have completed the due diligence necessary to demonstrate that the site is suitable for development.

“Golden Leaf intends for the Site Program to complement other site readiness and site development programs existing in North Carolina and has coordinated its requirements with those other programs,” said foundation President and CEO Scott T. Hamilton. “Applicants will be able to begin the process at any of the three phases, and a site may progress from identification through to development over time.”

The timeline for the first round of funding is intended to support immediate needs. Golden Leaf will launch a second round in early 2022 with the intent that this will be a long-term program.

Golden Leaf will continue to update the information available regarding program requirements and may modify the requirements before the next round in early 2022 or other future rounds. All updates and details will be posted on the foundation’s website. For more information, visit

The Golden Leaf Foundation is a nonprofit organization established in 1999 to receive a portion of North Carolina’s funding from the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement with cigarette manufacturers. For 20 years, Golden Leaf has worked to increase economic opportunity in North Carolina’s rural and tobacco-dependent communities through leadership in grantmaking, collaboration, innovation and stewardship as an independent and perpetual foundation.

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