Through our financing and incentive programs, Gaston County partners with businesses considering a location or expansion in the region, drawing on a range of private and public financing options. Gaston County EDC staff has the relationships and expertise to connect businesses with venture capital resources, private sources of capital and financing, and federal, state and local government financing and incentive programs.

The Gaston County Board of Commission has supported economic development for more than twenty years with an emphasis on tax base development, employer diversification and job creation. In the 1990’s Gaston County established an investment grant program to encourage new companies to locate in the county and existing companies to expand. The program is available on a statutory basis and does not require additional approvals from the Gaston County Board of Commissioners. If the company has met the guidelines for the grant program, they will be eligible for an investment grant for a period of 5-10 years.

Many municipalities in Gaston County have adopted the County’s program. These municipalities include Belmont, Bessemer City, Cherryville, Cramerton, Dallas, Gastonia, Mount Holly and Stanley, which offers a matching grant program. A minimum net new investment of $1 million is required. Kings Mountain has similar programs to the County but with different qualifying requirements.

Small Business Investment Grant

If a new or existing business has made investments in business personal property and/or real property during the Calendar Year and if those investments increase the net taxable value of the business by at least $10,000, the Business may qualify for the Small Business Investment Grant. For more detailed information, please see the Small Business Grant Brochure and/or the Small Business Grant Application. Applications are due by April 15, each year. Applications are posted each year in January, check back January 2020 for the next investment grant cycle. 

State Incentives

North Carolina has one of the largest economic development networks in the nation and is dedicated to giving companies the assistance and resources necessary to meet their unique business needs. Targeted, performance-based incentive programs offer businesses a cost-effective place to locate or expand. For State Tax Credits, Gaston County is designated as a Tier 2 County.

Job Development Investment Grant Program (JDIG)

The Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) is a performance-based, discretionary incentive program that provides cash grants directly to new and expanding companies to help offset the cost of locating or expanding a facility in the state. The amount of the grant is based on a percentage of the personal income tax withholdings associated with the new jobs. The amount of a JDIG award is calculated by weighing a number of factors to determine its potential value, including the location of the project, the county tier designation, the number of net new jobs, the wages of the jobs compared to the county average wage, the level of investment and whether the industry is one of the state’s targeted industry sectors. Grant funds are disbursed annually, for up to 12 years, to approved companies following the satisfaction of performance criteria set out in grant agreements.

The N.C. Department of Commerce annually ranks the state’s 100 counties based on economic well-being and assigns each a tier designation. The 40 most distressed counties are designated as Tier 1, the next 40 as Tier 2 and the 20 least distressed as Tier 3. 

For projects located in a Tier 2 county:
90% of the annual grant is paid to the company, and 10% is transferred to the Utility Account, a state program to fund infrastructure projects in Tier 1 and Tier 2 counties.

One North Carolina Fund Grant Program (One NC)

The One North Carolina Fund (OneNC) is a discretionary cash-grant program that allows the Governor to respond quickly to competitive job-creation projects. The North Carolina Department of Commerce administers OneNC on behalf of the Governor. Awards are based on the number of jobs created, level of investment, location of the project, economic impact of the project and the importance of the project to the state and region.

Utility Rate Discounts

North Carolina’s Utility Account provides infrastructure grants to local governments in Tier 1 and Tier 2 counties. The North Carolina Department of Commerce administers the Utility Account. All applications are reviewed and approved by the Secretary of Commerce. Grant amounts depend on funding availability and each project’s relative merits. Grants are awarded to local governments for infrastructure improvements that are publicly owned and maintained. The applicant must demonstrate that the project is expected to lead to job creation in the near future.

Learn more about the state of North Carolina's incentives at The Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina's website.