Incentives

North Carolina Incentives

The NC Department of Commerce annually ranks the state’s 100 counties based on economic well-being and assigns a tier designation to each.  The 40 most distressed counties are designated as Tier 1, the next 40 are Tier 2, and the 20 least distressed are Tier 3.  This tier system is incorporated into various state programs to encourage economic activity in the less prosperous areas of the state.  Columbus County is designated as Tier 1

Potential state incentives:

  • Article 3F Tax Credits
    • Research and Development Tax Credit
    • Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit
  • Tax Credits for Sustainable Practices
    • Renewable Energy Tax Credit
    • Recycling Facility Tax Credits
  • Sales and Use Tax Exemptions and Refunds
    • Data Center/Software Exemptions
    • Manufacturing Exemptions
    • Special Exemptions
    • Refunds
  • Job Development Investment Grant
  • One North Carolina Fund
  • Public Infrastructure
    • Community Development Block Grant Program
    • Industrial Development Fund Utility Account
    • Economic Infrastructure Program
  • Building Renovation and Reuse
    • Community Development Block Grant
    • Building Reuse and Restoration Grants
  • Access Road Improvements
  • Rail Access Program
  • Industrial Revenue Bonds

For more details on these North Carolina Incentives, review the incentives document produced by the NC Department of Commerce.


Some sites are located in a state-designated Agrarian Growth Zone (AGZ). 

(The following explanation of Agrarian Growth Zones was taken from the document Guidelines for Establishing State of North Carolina Agrarian Growth Zones published by the NC Department of Commerce.)

As authorized in GS 143B-437.10, the purpose of the State Agrarian Growth Zones is to provide economic incentives to stimulate new investment and job creation in economically distressed areas.

The basis for identifying and qualifying an area for a State Agrarian Growth Zone is contiguous census tracts and census block groups as defined by the most recent decennial United States Bureau of Census. A County government may request the designation of one or more Agrarian Growth Zones. Each Zone must meet the minimum criteria specified in the General Statutes and described below.

An Agrarian Growth Zone is an area that meets all of the following conditions:

  • It is comprised of one or more contiguous census tracts, census block groups, or both, in the most recent federal decennial census.
  • All of the area is located in whole within a county that has no municipality with a population in excess of 10,000 based on current population estimate from NC State Demographer’s Office.
  • Every census tract and census block group that comprises the area either has more than twenty percent (20%) of its population below the poverty level or is adjacent to another census tract or  census block group in the zone that has more than twenty percent (20%) of its population below the poverty level according to the most recent federal decennial census.
  • The zone as a whole has more than twenty percent (20%) of its population below the poverty level according to the most recent federal decennial census.

The area of a county that is included in one or more agrarian growth zone shall not exceed five percent (5%) of the total area of the county.


All of Columbus County is considered to be a Federal HUB Zone.   

(The following explanation of HUBZones was taken from the U.S. Small Business Administration website.)

The Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone) program was enacted into law as part of the Small Business Reauthorization Act of 1997 . The program falls under the auspices of the U.S. Small Business Administration. The program encourages economic development in historically underutilized business zones - "HUBZones" - through the establishment of preferences.

SBA's HUBZone program is in line with the efforts of both the Administration and Congress to promote economic development and employment growth in distressed areas by providing access to more federal contracting opportunities.