SITE Program

Golden LEAF recognizes that rural and economically distressed communities must have sites available for development to attract new businesses and create opportunities for existing businesses to expand. To address this need, Golden LEAF created a new SITE Program. Through this program, Golden LEAF will provide support to communities to identify potential sites for economic development, and enable completion of due diligence on sites already identified, or to extend public utilities to or conduct rough grading and clearing of sites for which due diligence has been completed.

Communities will be able to begin the process at any of the three phases, and a site may progress from identification through to development over time.

  • SITE Program – Identification support to identify potential industrial sites in communities that do not currently have quality industrial sites to market.
  • SITE Program – Due diligence funding to complete eligible due diligence activities such as environmental assessments, archaeological analyses, and mapping.
  • SITE Program – Development funding for public infrastructure and, for publicly owned sites, clearing and rough grading, to benefit sites that have completed the due diligence necessary to demonstrate that the site is suitable for development.

If you’re not sure which phase is right for your project, we have a few questions to help guide you.

Golden LEAF intends for the SITE Program to complement other site readiness and site development programs existing in North Carolina and has coordinated its program requirements with those other programs.

Golden LEAF budgeted $10 million for the program this fiscal year to be awarded in two rounds: Fall 2021 and Spring 2022. Golden LEAF awarded approximately $5 million in the first round and reserved approximately $5 million for funding in Spring 2022.

Applications for the Spring 2022 round were due March 10 at noon for consideration by the Golden LEAF Board at the June 2022 meeting. The next round of SITE Program applications will be considered in Fall 2022.

Available resources will be updated periodically while the application window is open. Information posted is current as of January 18, 2022.

Contact staff FAQ and Glossary Overview of all resources


Applications were due by March 10 at noon. The next round of SITE Program applications will be considered in Fall 2022. Each phase uses a unique application. Please visit the specific page for the link to the application portal for that phase.

Which phase is right for my project?

  1. Have you identified a site in your community to market for industrial development?
    If not, start with the Identification phase
    If yes, go to question 2.
  2. Is the site you have identified for industrial development publicly controlled or publicly owned?
    If not, contact Golden LEAF staff
    If yes, go to question 3.
  3. Have you completed all or nearly all of the due diligence items on this list for your site?
    If not, start with the Due Diligence phase
    If yes, start with the Development phase

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