Part 2B. NC Green Business Fund.

143B-437.4.  NC Green Business Fund and grant program.

(a)        Fund. - The NC Green Business Fund is established as a special revenue fund in the Department of Commerce, and the Department shall be responsible for administering the Fund.

(b)        Purposes. - Moneys in the NC Green Business Fund shall be allocated pursuant to this subsection. The Department of Commerce shall make grants from the Fund to private businesses with less than 100 employees, nonprofit organizations, local governments, and State agencies to encourage the expansion of small to medium size businesses with less than 100 employees to help grow a green economy in the State. Moneys in the NC Green Business Fund shall be used for projects that will focus on the following three priority areas listed in this subsection. In selecting between projects that are within a priority area, a project that is located in an Eco-Industrial Park certified under G.S. 143B-437.08 has priority over a comparable project that is not located in a certified Eco-Industrial Park. The priority areas are:

(1)        To encourage the development of the biofuels industry in the State. The Department of Commerce may make grants available to maximize development, production, distribution, retail infrastructure, and consumer purchase of biofuels in North Carolina, including grants to enhance biofuels workforce development.

(2)        To encourage the development of the green building industry in the State. The Department of Commerce may make grants available to assist in the development and growth of a market for environmentally conscious and energy efficient green building processes. Grants may support the installation, certification, or distribution of green building materials; energy audits; and marketing and sales of green building technology in North Carolina, including grants to enhance workforce development for green building processes.

(3)        To attract and leverage private-sector investments and entrepreneurial growth in environmentally conscious clean technology and renewable energy products and businesses, including grants to enhance workforce development in such businesses.

(c)        Cap and Matching Funds. - The Department of Commerce may set a cap on a grant from the NC Green Business Fund and may require a private business to provide matching funds for a grant from the Fund. A grant to a project located in an Eco-Industrial Park certified under G.S. 143B-437.08 is not subject to a cap or a requirement to provide matching funds.  (2007-323, s. 13.2(a); 2010-147, s. 5.2.)