Enterprise Center receives $1 million federal grant to expand food assistance services News

RICHARD CRAVER Lee Newspapers

A$1 million federal grant has been awarded to the SG Atkins Community Development Corp. towards expanding The Enterprise Center.

The goal is assisting additional food-based businesses at the 40,000-square-foot center at 1922 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, according to the news release from the Economic Development Administration of the US Commerce Department.

There is a local $300,000 match required.

The expansion is projected to lead to the creation of 50 jobs, the retention of 15 jobs and generate $680,000 in private investment, according to grantee estimates.

Atkins CDC officials could not be immediately reached for comment on the grant.

A primary focus of the center is its Shared-Use Kitchen facility, a fully licensed, permitted commercial facility.

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Atkins CDC said the goal for the kitchen facility “is for you to graduate out of our kitchen and into your own brick and mortar or production facility. We want to make your culinary dreams a reality.”

The overall mission of the center is “to be a catalyst for business and community collaborations and provide resources and support for ‘green’ ventures in the Triad … offering start-up and emerging companies affordable office space and access to intensive business development resources .”

Also receiving funding is Greensboro’s Gateway Research Park Inc.

A $2.1 million grant, along with a $750,000 local match, will go towards expanding a manufacturing facility in support of the growth of minority-owned businesses.

That project is projected to create 33 jobs, retain 25 jobs and generate $3.1 million in private investment.

Both grants are tied to federal American Relief Act initiatives designed to support business development and job growth in North Carolina communities impacted by the declining use of coal.

“These EDA investments will support business and workforce efforts in North Carolina to help communities there build stronger, more robust local economies,” US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said.

Leading the grant-writing efforts was the Piedmont Triad Regional Council, whose mission involves “bringing together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment and create jobs.”

The Enterprise Center and Gateway projects are part of the federal Assistance to Coal Communities initiative that assists activities and programs that support economic diversification, job creation, capital investment, workforce development and re-employment opportunities.

“I’m thrilled to see this strong investment to boost local manufacturing, minority-owned, and food-based businesses in Greensboro and Winston-Salem,” said US Rep. Kathy Manning, D-6th.

“With help from Congress and the Economic Development Administration, the Triad’s economy is not just recovering from the impacts of the pandemic — our economy is coming back stronger than ever.”

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