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. 

Below are the 2019 Wilkes EDC Entrepreneurial Grant recipients.  

Moonshine Leatherworks Picture

Moonshine Leatherworks is 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 Picture

Mr. 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 is a new business 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 is 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 is 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 grant is not open at this time. Please contact us to learn more about the next grant cycle.