Do you have a dream of starting your own business?  Do you want to expand your existing business into a new area?  If you answered “yes”, the Entrepreneurial Grant is for you! You could win up to $6,000!

Apply for the 2020 Wilkes EDC Entrepreneurial Grant:

Apply Here!


Complete the application form and return it to the EDC office as soon as possible to be enrolled in the program.  You can mail your application to Wilkes EDC, 213 9th Street, North Wilkesboro, NC 28659 or you can email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Business Plan

After your application has been received and approved by the Wilkes EDC staff, you will be asked to complete and submit a business plan.  Don’t worry, we have made it easy for you! We have provided a brief business plan template and financial summary template below that will walk you through the process. In your business plan, you will describe how the grant funds will be used to grow and start your business.  Grant funds will not be available to reimburse for prior purchases. The completed business plan is due to the Wilkes EDC office by 5:00pm on or before April 20, 2020.  

On the links below, you can access a presentation and materials that will guide you in establishing your business plan and financial summary.  If you have futher questions, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information. 

Online Resources: 

Business Plan Template        Financial Summary         Template Tutorial

Business Plan Judging

Businesses will be placed in two categories, New Business and Existing Business. Businesses that are new or have been in operation less than one year as of March 10, 2020 will be placed in the New Business Category.  All other businesses will be placed in the Existing Business Category. The emphasis for this competition is on the creation of a new product or service to be brought to market. New jobs created from the proposal will be viewed very favorably.  All businesses must be for-profit and be located in Wilkes County.

Our panel of judges will evaluate all business plans and will invite the top businesses in each category to move to the next round...the presentation. 


Congratulations, you have made it to the final round!  The applicants selected will present their business proposal to the panel of judges.  Presentations will take place on April 30, 2020 and should be 5 to 10 minutes in length.  


The winners will be recognized at the Wilkes EDC Board Meeting on Friday, May 8.

Please understand that any business that submits 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. 

Download The
Grant Application

2019 Entrepreneurial Grant Winners

The Wilkes EDC recently held the sixth annual Entrepreneurial Grant Competition.  Applications were received from 20 businesses in Wilkes County in several categories including food service, recreation, construction, IT and retail business.  Business plans were judged with the emphasis being on sustainability and funding impact to the business.  Grant amounts totaling $12,500 were distributed this year between five companies. 

Moonshine Leatherworks PictureMoonshine Leatherworks

Owned by Bryan Absher and has operated as a part-time business since 2008.  The  company will be expanding to a full-time operation producing leather goods used in hunting and outdoor industries while also offering quality-made accessories for everyday use.  The grant funding awarded for Moonshine Leatherworks will go toward purchase of equipment to aid in increased production.


Mr. Toro PictureMr. Toro Bakery and Taqueria

Located on 117 West Main Street, Wilkesboro was awarded funding for a new piece of equipment for their bakery.  Owners Juan   Carlos Salgado and Brenda Alvarenga opened Mr. Toro Bakery and Taqueria  earlier this year and specialize in authentic Mexican tacos/burritos and baked goods.

Handy Hands

Handy Hands Home Remodel and Repair Service

Owned by Erich Hippe and Brittney Woodie.  Grant funding will be used for startup costs that include creation of the LLC for the business, insurance and marketing assistance.  Handy Hands specializes in residential home repair jobs.

Key City Antique Mall Copy

Key City Antique Mall

Located at 502 Main Street North Wilkesboro- an antique store and emporium which offers a wide range of products including home décor and artisan goods. Key City rents booth space to over 100 small businesses in the area.  Owners Chris and Tammy Johnson will utilize grant funding to aid in marketing their business.

April Flowers

April Flowers 

A wedding and event floral studio located in Moravian Falls specializing in floral designs inspired by nature.  April’s goal is to make ordinary events extraordinary through beautiful custom arrangements.  Owner April Ellsworth will utilize grant funding to aid in marketing her floral design business.


The 2020 Entreprenurial Grant Program is now accepting applications for New and Existing Businesses. Please contact us to learn more about the application process.