Community Economic Development

Centralina works with regional leaders to deliver economic development services that foster new growth and jobs in local communities. The key to building strong communities throughout our region is ensuring that active support is in place to back the economic investment projects and initiatives that jurisdictions deem necessary for achieving ongoing success and fulfilling their community vision.

 Whatever the redevelopment need, our team can assist in building a team of professionals that will provide the necessary services and technical support and will seek to facilitate available funding sources. We also help local governments address severe public water and sewer issues and to correct health or environmental problems. With our years of experience delivering solutions to member governments, Centralina provides access to leading economic development expertise and customized community solutions.


Community Development Block Grant Administration

Centralina assists with the administration of Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) at the federal and state levels. For communities eligible to receive CDBG Entitlement grants, we operate as an extension of local government staff to run a full grant program. Some of our grant program management activities include strategic planning, defining community needs and goals, community engagement, sub-recipient training and oversight, management of regulatory and reporting burdens and labor standards oversight.

For communities eligible to compete for North Carolina CDBG funding – which supports water, sewer, housing and economic development projects – Centralina will assist with project development, application preparation and submission, grant administration and project implementation. Centralina offers these same services for U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grants as well.

Economic Development Assessments and Downtown Revitalization 

Centralina provides meaningful and implementable development strategies for revitalizing downtowns that positively impact the quality of life for our communities and small towns. Our staff helps government members develop a clear road map that is unique to their community for redevelopment or growth. This may encompass strategies for the creation of new housing and business attraction to connect individuals to jobs or vital services and quality of life facilities. Centralina can advise or facilitate necessary financial plans and identify grants or funding sources. We also examine the economic effect of an investment or event on in a specified area, ranging from a single neighborhood to the entire region.

Redevelopment Project Advising

The first step to a successful redevelopment project is the selection of a great team. Centralina staff will assist local government members in the effort to procure the most capable and suitable professionals for the anticipated projects. This includes advising and facilitating the engagement of project developers, architects, general contractors, civil engineers and others. Additional consultant services, like defining investment objectives, financial analysis, resource identification, public engagement and project communications with the member’s Board or Council, are also available.


Success Story

Centralina Helps Mecklenburg County’s Response to COVID-19:

The Microbusiness Stabilization Fund

In March of 2020, Centralina Community Economic Development staff began helping communities pivot in response to COVID-19. One of these communities was Mecklenburg County, which received notice that they would be receiving additional funding through their HUD Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program from the CARES Act. This funding was designed to help prepare, prevent and respond to the COVID-19 crisis.

Centralina worked with County staff to assess the immediate unmet needs of the community. That exercise identified great economic impacts for the smallest and often the most marginalized business in the CDBG program area. To mitigate the economic impacts caused by COVID-19 for Mecklenburg County’s most vulnerable businesses, the County committed $1,000,000 of readily available, federal CDBG funds to create the Microbusiness Stabilization Fund, designed for businesses with five or less employees (including ownership). Eligible businesses could receive up to $10,000 for a forgivable loan to assist with stabilizing businesses impacted by mandated closings and loss of business due to COVID-19.

Centralina CED staff developed the framework for the Fund program, including developing content for the online application and information portal and creating program requirements, guidelines and policies. Centralina also worked quickly to pull together a cross-departmental team to administer the program. Within 30 days, staff were trained on management procedures and the program was designed and launched.

Community Economic Development Resources