2021 Entrepreneurial Grant Program

 We hope to hold this program again in the Fall of 2021. Please consider becoming a Sponsor to support local entrepreneurs!

 The Entrepreneurial Grant Program provides funds to Existing Businesses for Expansion, and those who plan on Starting a Business in Wilkes County. Applicants are asked to submit a business plan that describes how the grant funds will be used to grow or start their business as well as a 3-5 minute video pitch of their request. The Wilkes Community College Small Business Center is available to all applicants for assistance with their business plans, and our Marketing & Content Manager, Caroline Bracey, can provide help with video pitches. Award winners will have one year to draw down grant funds allocated to their project.

View Previous Grant Winners


Interested in Applying? Check Back in the Fall,

We Hope to Offer This Program Again if Funding Allows!

Please understand that any business that submitted an application whether approved or not, cannot be guaranteed any grant proceeds or other benefits from this project. The EDC is not endorsing any applicant by way of this project and thus no such claim should be made. 


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2021 Grant Program Sponsors: 

PLATINUM: $5,000+

Private Sponsors

GOLD: $2,000+

first national bank

SILVER: $1,000+

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 For information on how your business can sponsor this progam, please contact our office by phone, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or fill out an Investor Form and select 'Entrepreneurial Grant' for your Fund Designation

Wilkes EDC 2021 Entrepreneurial Grant Winners

Eight local small businesses were announced as receiving Entrepreneurial Grants from the Wilkes Economic Development Corporation at the EDC’s board meeting on Friday, June 11, 2021. This is the eighth year of the Entrepreneurial Grant Program competition awarded by the EDC. Twelve local businesses of various types applied for this year’s program, including hospitality, retail, agriculture, taxidermy, and film services.

Applicants were asked to submit a Video Pitch in addition to their business plans and financial summaries this year to give the judges insight into their proposed use of funds. Submissions were judged based on potential funding impact to the business, and the sustainability of each respective recipient. Grant amounts totaling $13,500 were distributed between four existing and four new businesses. 


 Group Photo

New Castle Farm

Dylan and Deanna Prevette own New Castle Farm, a new You-Pick Farm located at 3378 Clingman Road in Ronda. For their first harvest season, the Prevettes planted 18,000 strawberry plugs by hand. They plan to offer seasonal selections, like pumpkin picking in the fall, to allow families and individuals a unique experience without having to drive outside of Wilkes County. New Castle Farm was awarded $3,000 to purchase a Rain-Flo Water Wheel 1600 Series planter and additional wheele that will allow them to efficiently plant double rows at once. To learn more about New Castle Farm visit their website www.NewCastleNC.com or follow them on Facebook.

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Sew Blessed Quiltworks

Sew Blessed Quiltworks, located at 201 Sparta Road, Suite A in North Wilkesboro is a small fabric and quilting shop. Owner Libby Whittington specializes in making quilts using a long arm quilting machine to the specifications of her clients. She has been awarded $1,200 to go toward training sessions for herself and a new employee to create more complex custom designs on quilts. Whittington says that the training will broaden the detailed designs offered by her shop and build her client base. Contact Sew Blessed Quiltworks by calling 336-818-0852 or visiting their website.


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Serrano Film Co.

Elyse and Dustin Serrano, owners of Serrano Film Co. received $2,000 from the EDC to go toward purchasing an additional camera for their business. Serrano Film Co. is located at 118 Piney Top Drive in Millers Creek. Elyse and Dustin provide custom, personal story-based videography services primarily for weddings. They also serve small businesses by providing commercials, training or real-estate videos, and more. Visit Serrano Film Co. by following them on Facebook or on their website https://serranofilm.co.


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3 Pink Flamingos

3 Pink Flamingos Boutique, a retail clothing store located at 107 West Main Street in Wilkesboro, received $1,300 to assist in purchasing a second Point of Sale System. This new boutique is owned by sisters Brandy Miller, Tasha Handy and their mother Judy Snyder. Specializing in women’s clothing, the aim of 3 Pink Flamingos is to offer personalized shopping experiences for their customers based on their style and body type. To view their inventory, follow them on Facebook, visit their website or contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


JR Pixels

JR Pixels

JR Pixels, a Veteran-owned photography studio located at 101 West Main Street in Wilkesboro received $800 from the EDC to go toward marketing efforts. Owner Nelson Gonzalez delivers premium studio and commercial location photography in the Wilkes County area. To inquire about services, visit his website, or send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


 Reavis Skull Works

Reavis Skull Works

Reavis Skull Works is a taxidermy-based business owned by Jody Reavis of 176 Pennington Road in North Wilkesboro. Reavis Skull Works specializes in a unique cleaning service of bones using dermestid beetles. Reavis also offers articulations of full skeletons of small mammals and custom laser cut metal hangers for sportsmen to display their trophies. The Wilkes EDC awarded Reavis Skull Works $2,000 to go toward marketing efforts and the purchase of inventory. Contact Jody by visiting his website. www.ReavisSkullWorks.com.


Castello Barone

Castello Barone

Castello Barone, a new vineyard located at 475 Groce Road in Ronda, is owned by Scott and Elizabeth Barone. This Veteran-owned small business plans to use their $1,700 to purchase grape vines they will use in their first acre of planting the varietals of Vermentino and Montepulciano grapes. They will begin constructing their Tasting Room and hope to open by 2023. For more about Castello Barone, visit www.castellobarone.com.



Merle's Cocktail Lounge

Erin and Michael Vanderploeg, along with LB Prevette, have planned to open Merle's at 106 East Main Street in Wilkesboro in the Fall of 2021. The lounge is planned to be a gathering place for locals and visitors alike where they can socialize and network while enjoying custom craft cocktails. The trio plans to provide an inclusive community experience by revitalizing their historic location and encouraging customers to also visit local restaurants in downtown Wilkesboro. The Wilkes EDC awarded them $1,500 toward the purchase of restaurant equipment. For information on The Cocktail Lounge, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



Please contact us if you have any other questions.

For information on All Past Grant winners, please click here.