Owen Medical Products, LLC opens in North Wilkesboro

owne medical

 

North Wilkesboro, N.C. — Owen Medical Products, LLC, a woman-owned small business (WOSB), is opening in the Town Square business complex in North Wilkesboro this month. The new company will manufacture and supply non-woven disposable ASTM Level 1 procedural face masks and distribute other disposable and medical products. These disposable medical products will be sold direct to the end user (hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, outpatient medical clinics, long-term care, dental, veterinary and consumer markets) and through distribution channels to diversify the customer portfolio.

Jill Parsons Owen, owner and chief executive officer, says the company was created to address the United States’ dependence on China and other foreign suppliers for critical medical products. Joining her in this venture is her husband Brian Owen, who will serve as chief operating officer.

“Wilkes EDC is grateful that Jill and Brian Owen of Owen Medical Products shared their vision and allowed us to assist in a building search for their new endeavor. We look forward to a successful start-up and product launch that will provide critical medical supplies to those in need, while also creating local job opportunities in Wilkes County. As they grow, we will strive to be a continued resource that offers support and celebrates their success,” said Wilkes EDC President LeeAnn Nixon.

The Owens plan to employ five workers initially in phase one but anticipate employing approximately 10 as they add additional automated mask lines by the end of their second year in business. Phase two of expansion, anticipated in the third year of operation, will include the manufacture of additional disposable PPE (personal protective equipment) products such as isolation gowns.

According to Brian Owen, Owen Medical Products is in the early phase of discussions with healthcare systems both in North Carolina and across the United States, and the intial feedback from these organizations has been very positive; they are excited and eagerly awaiting the start-up on its manufacturing line. The same can be said for long-term care facilities throughout the United States.

Other sales channels for the company include large industrial, commercial and transportation companies where the need to protect their workforce as well as their customer base is essential to their business operations. The company also plans to target local, state and national government organizations where the use of PPE is now the norm.

The company also plans to target the “direct to consumer market” utilizing different channels, first by way of national retail store chains and national wholesale store chains and secondly by way of e-commerce utilizing an Amazon store front.

"Owen Medical Products puts a 21st century spin on North Wilkesboro's long tradition of manufacturing, using high technology in a lab-like environment to make products that are essential in today's environment,” said Wilson Hooper, town manager for Town of North Wilkesboro. “What's more they'll be occupying a landmark property downtown, helping bring commerce and activity to Main Street. On behalf of the Mayor and Board of Commissioners,
I welcome Owen Medical Products and thank them for choosing North Wilkesboro."

Jill Parsons Owen is a native of Wilkes County and a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with majors in economics and history. She obtained her nursing degree in 2013 and has a total of 16 years of experience in the healthcare market, including marketing, administrative and clinical experience.

“My extensive knowledge of the regulations and requirements associated with the healthcare market and the products used in this field will give the company a definite advantage with selling our products into the major healthcare systems, long-term care and other vertical healthcare markets we will target,” explained Owen.

Brian Owen, a graduate of Elon University’s Martha and Spencer Love School of Business, has more than 30 years of experience in the areas of sales, manufacturing, operations, product marketing and supply chain in the medical device market. In particular, he has over 15 years’ experience in clean room manufacturing. He has worked with healthcare systems and long-term care facilities throughout the U.S. supplying essential medical products and other value-added services.

For more information about Owen Medical Products, visit www.OwenMedicalProducts.com or call 336-818-2160.

 

ABOUT

The Wilkes Economic Development Corporation, a 501 c3 public-private partnership, aims to facilitate the creation of new jobs and capital investment in Wilkes County through the retention and expansion of existing businesses and the recruitment of new businesses. The EDC is located at 213 Ninth Street in historic downtown North Wilkesboro, North Carolina. For more information about Wilkes EDC visit www.WilkesEDC.com or contact LeeAnn Nixon at 336-838-1501 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Published: Friday, 13 November 2020 09:33

Wilkes County Economic Development Corporation in Conjunction with the Wilkes Chapter of the Winston-Salem Regional Association of REALTORS® and NC Homeowners Alliance  Release Local Housing Needs Assessment and Plan Report Shows Broad and Diverse Housing and Rental Needs Over Next 5 Years 

WILKES COUNTY, NC (September 22, 2020) – The Wilkes Economic Development Corporation (Wilkes EDC) in conjunction with the Wilkes Chapter of Winston-Salem Regional Association of REALTORS® (WSRAR) and the NC Homeowners Alliance (NCHA) is releasing a Housing Needs and Assessment Plan that confirms a broad and diverse range of housing and rentals are needed to plan for future growth

The Assessmentcompleted by Bowen National Research, was commissioned by Wilkes EDC who committed $9,500, followed by WSRAR and NAR granting $5,000 joined by the NC Homeowners Alliance providing a grant of $3,500. Collectively these entities realized a need to better understand the currentand future economics,demographics and housing inventory within Wilkes County, North Carolina. 

Troi Bachmann, Local Government Affairs Director on behalf of NC REALTORS® stated, REALTORS® are so excited to have partnered with the Wilkes EDC to bring this study into being. The data presented in this study gives us an exciting opportunity to plan for a healthy future for all of Wilkes County – one that benefits existing residents and draws in new people and businesses to our wonderful county!” 

Brett Cothren, Chairman of Wilkes EDC shared, “I am pleased the Wilkes EDC Board of Directors funded the much-needed housing study in conjunction with a grant from the Wilkes Chapter of the Winston-Salem Regional Association of REALTORS® from the National Association of REALTORS®, and NC Homeowners Alliance for Wilkes County. This study shows critical housing shortages across the board.  Available housing is a crucial ‘spoke in the wheel’ that spurs an adequate labor force for our area employers and is vital to the growth of our county.”

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A few of the highlights and key points from the assessment include:

  • Need exists for 995 additional rentals and 1,511 for-sale units over the next 5 years.
  • Opportunities are diverse in price points creating a demand for a broad-based approach to support future growth.
  • Nearly 10,0000 commuters travel into the County daily for work who could potentially be residents.
  • Potential sites that would be suitable for development are included in the report

Wilkes EDC hosted apresentation on September 22, 2020, where local stakeholders were given the opportunity in person orvirtuallyto gain insight and engage with Patrick Bowen, of Bowen National Research.  LeeAnn Nixon, President of Wilkes EDC commented, “We are grateful to have collectively joinedefforts with our REALTORS®, local government and community to quantify our housing needs and provide a tool for developers to consider adding product in WilkesWe look forward tocontinuingconversation and taking steps to prepare for our current and future citizens”.  

Visit website or click the following links to download the Executive Summary or access the complete Housing Needs Assessment.

For additional information or to become more engaged with Wilkes EDC, Contact LeeAnn Nixon at (336) 838-1501 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 
ABOUT

 

Bowen National Research conducts real estate market analyses on a variety of housing and commercial development alternatives in markets throughout the United States. Ranging from preliminary market assessments or full market feasibility studies. BNR has engaged with over 70 counties in North Carolina.  

Wilkes Economic Development Corporation is a 501 c3 public-private partnership. The mission of the Wilkes EDC is to facilitate the creation of new jobs and capital investment in Wilkes County, North Carolina through the retention and expansion of existing businesses and the recruitment of new businesses.  

Winston-Salem Regional Association of REALTORS® is a real estate trade association serving real estate professionals in Forsyth, Stokes, Davie, Yadkin, Wilkes, and northern Davidson counties. as the voice for the Real Estate Industry in the Winston-Salem Piedmont Area. The mission of the WSRAR is to be the leading resource for real estate professionals, to advocate for private property rights and to be an integral part of the community. 

The NC Homeowners Alliance represents the interests of property owners in the General Assembly and raises awareness of issues and legislation that affect consumers' most important investment: their home.                             

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Full Press Release

Presentation from September 22, 2020 at 8:30am | Stone Center for the Performing Arts, Wilkes County NC

Published: Monday, 21 September 2020 14:13

Wilkes EDC awards 2020 Entrepreneurial Grants

 

North Wilkesboro, N.C. — Six local small businesses were announced as receiving Entrepreneurial Grants from the Wilkes Economic Development Corporation at the EDC’s board meeting on Friday, June 12, 2020. The seventh annual Entrepreneurial Grant Competition received applications from 14 businesses in Wilkes County in several categories including food service, recreation, construction and retail business, to name a few. Business plans were judged with the emphasis being on sustainability and the potential funding impact to the business. Grant amounts totaling $13,500 were distributed this year between six companies in two categories, new and existing businesses. 

 

 

Stardust Cellars, located at 4780 Statesville Rd, North Wilkesboro, received $2,500 for bottles and labels for a new line of mead production. Owners Kaitie and Nicolas von Cosmos opened Stardust Cellars in 2018 and specialize in naturally and sustainably produced wines and meads using local ingredients. Their mead is made by fermenting raw local honey in water then allowing it to age. To learn more, visit http://stardustcellars.com/. The von Cosmos also operate a taproom located at 1202 Curtis Bridge Road in Wilkesboro.

 

The Wilkes EDC awarded The Vintage Work Shoppe $1,000 to purchase equipment to help with social media marketing. Hope Jordan opened the Vintage Work Shoppe in 2016 and specializes in re-purposing furniture with Shabby Chic design elements. Owner/Interior Decorator/Painter, Hope Jordan, specializes in hand painted furniture using mineral and milk paints. Jordan offers paint supplies, “How To” tutorials and Facebook Live sessions for paid groups in addition to workshops and private lessons at her business. The Vintage Work Shoppe is located inside of Key City Antiques in North Wilkesboro. Learn more at http://www.hopejordanatthevintageworkshoppe.com/

 

Hanna Vista Farms, which started in 2006 and is owned by Jane Leichter, received $4,000 to purchase a freeze dryer to use in preserving its crop of hops. Hanna Vista Farms in Wilkes has cashmere goats and a llama, which provide fibers for weaving, a hops yard, which will offer its first crop of wet hops later this year, and organically grown strawberries, heirloom tomatoes and a special variety of blackberries. For more information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Brandon York and his wife Jennifer own Northwest N.C. Batting Facility located at 503 C St, North Wilkesboro. The facility, which opened in March 2020, is a self-service indoor batting and pitching facility for baseball and softball players of all ages. It can be used for private lessons and parties. York plans to utilize the $2,000 grant funding to install cooling units and other equipment. To learn more about Northwest N.C. Batting Facility, visit https://www.nwncbattingfacility.com/.

 

Brushy Mountain Granola Company, located in Wilkes, says its mission is as simple as its ingredients: “create great tasting snacks that allow us to connect with, energize, and support our fellow life adventurers.” Owner Angela Reynolds, with her family, launched Brushy Mountain Granola Company in March 2020 and plans to use her $2,000 grant award for branded offerings, events, and marketing. Brushy Mountain Granola Company offers nine varieties made with fresh, local ingredients. To learn more or to shop, visit https://www.brushymountaingranola.com/.

 

Cook’s Outfitters is a new business owned by Mark Cook. He plans to use the grant funding of $2,000 to open a rental facility at 100 West Main Street in downtown Wilkesboro. This business will rent and repair bicycles, have a small retail space, and soon facilitate kayaking trips on rivers and the lake. Cook’s Outfitters plans to be open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays starting in July with the plans to add days in the near future. For more information, contact Mark Cook at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

Wilkes EDC President LeeAnn Nixon said, “We believe in entrepreneurship and the benefits it adds to a community. For that reason, we are happy to have the opportunity to invest capital into local small business development and expansion. These business owners are using real innovation and creativity to make Wilkes a better place to live for us all. And, the real reward is encouraging them and watching their businesses flourish,” said LeeAnn Nixon, president of the Wilkes EDC. “Throughout the program, applicants can meet with Laurie Brintle-Jarvis of the Small Business Center for business plan assistance, which increases the potential for a successful business venture. Additionally, we suggest mentors, resources and referrals that can complement winning the entrepreneurial grant.” 

Nixon also stated, “We want to thank our judges for their time and dedication to this annual competition.” This year’s judges were Bob Urness, Town of Wilkesboro; Amy Blair, Blair Properties; Gia Galifianakis, Gria Consulting; Gary Daemer, InfusionPoints; and Crystal Keener, Town of North Wilkesboro.



ABOUT

The Wilkes Economic Development Corporation, a 501 c3 public-private partnership, aims to facilitate the creation of new jobs and capital investment in Wilkes County through the retention and expansion of existing businesses and the recruitment of new businesses. The EDC is located at 213 Ninth Street in historic downtown North Wilkesboro, North Carolina. For more information about Wilkes EDC visit www.WilkesEDC.com or contact LeeAnn Nixon at 336-838-1501 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

 

Full Press Release: 2020-06-12_Wilkes_EDC_awards_2020_Entrepreneurial_Grants_1.pdf

Published: Thursday, 11 June 2020 15:20

New assistance program offers help to small businesses

North Wilkesboro, N.C. — The Wilkes Economic Development Corporation (Wilkes EDC) introduced the Wilkes Small Business Recovery Program on Monday to assist small businesses impacted during the COVID-19 crisis and the mandated closures to allow for social distancing. The program was created in 2020 using funds from the Local Expansion & Attraction Program (LEAP), the private funding side of the public/private partnership of Wilkes EDC and in partnership with local government, private donors including the The Leonard G. Herring Family Foundation, Inc., Lowe's and a few undisclosed donors. Wilkes EDC will administer the small business recovery program assisted by a review committee that consists of board members, local government and business community representatives.

According to program guidelines, this funding is primarily intended to assist retail and service establishments, including businesses that serve food, with two but no more than 15 employees. This incentive is available on a first come, first served basis, until funding is fully committed.

“Currently, we have funding available to assist up to 67 businesses. However, with support from local governments and possibly additional private business donations in the coming week, our goal is to be able to help 100 businesses. We welcome the opportunity for other donors to join in funding this new program,” said LeeAnn Nixon, president of the Wilkes Economic Development Corporation. “If we exceed our target goal, we will keep the program active for as long as funds are available. We realize that small businesses are hurting and want to help as many as possible.”

Eligible businesses may receive monthly payments of $500 for up to four months for a total of $2,000 to be used for rent, lease, mortgage, utility payments and/or potentially other fixed payments upon approval of application. Utility payments include power, telecommunications, internet, water and sewer. Other fixed payments could include personal protective equipment, payroll, equipment rentals and insurance. Incentives will be considered a grant to encourage the business to continue to operate and maintain current employment levels.

Business owners can locate the eligibility requirements, an application and application instructions on the Wilkes EDC website at www.WilkesEDC.com. For more information about LEAP or to help fund the program, contact LeeAnn Nixon at 336-838-1501 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS:

1) Eligible businesses must demonstrate how the mandated closures due to COVID-19 has impacted their business.

2) Recipient businesses must provide a current lease agreement, mortgage or utility statement.

3) Recipient businesses must provide Federal Tax ID#.

4) Recipient businesses must have at least two but no more than 15 employees. A list of employees, hours worked, and total monthly payroll since January 2020 and throughout the duration of the grant program must be provided.

5) The business must be locally owned and physically located in Wilkes County, North Carolina.

6) Recipient businesses must be an existing commercial enterprise that has been in operation for more than six months.

7) Recipient businesses must provide proof of taxes paid and be in good tax standing with local governmental entities.

8) Recipient businesses must provide bank statement summaries for the last three months.

9) Recipient businesses are encouraged to work with the Small Business Administration to access Federal assistance.

10) Financial institutions, chain establishments, non-profits or home-based businesses are not eligible. *All content submitted will be kept confidential and only reviewed by individuals on the economic development leadership team.

 

ABOUT : The Wilkes Economic Development Corporation, a 501 c3 public-private partnership, aims to facilitate the creation of new jobs and capital investment in Wilkes County through the retention and expansion of existing businesses and the recruitment of new businesses. The EDC is located at 213 Ninth Street in historic downtown North Wilkesboro, North Carolina.

 

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Published: Monday, 04 May 2020 10:03

 

Wilkes EDC offers online marketing grant to small businesses

 

North Wilkesboro, NC- The Wilkes Economic Development Corporation announced the new Wilkes Business Assistance Marketing Program on Monday to assist small businesses establish an online presence. This grant program is in response to small businesses impacted during the COVID-19 crisis and the mandated closures to allow for social distancing. It is being offered to encourage businesses to continue to operate with an online presence and broaden their client base.

According to program guidelines, this funding is primarily intended to assist retail and service establishments, including businesses that serve food, with less than 15 employees. This incentive is available on a first come, first served basis, until funding is fully committed.

“During the COVID-19 restrictions on businesses, many have depended on their online presence to maintain sales and service operations. Studies have shown that 70-80 percent of people will research a company on the web before making a purchase decision, usually by visiting its website. Having even a basic website can establish credibility for a business. For that reason, we created this marketing grant to assist small businesses to have the means to establish and market themselves online,” said LeeAnn Nixon, president of the Wilkes Economic Development Corporation.

“Currently, Wilkes EDC has funding to assist 10 to 12 businesses,” added Nixon. “We welcome the opportunity for private donors to contribute to this grant in order that we can assist more businesses.”

Eligible businesses that do not have a website or a strong social media presence will be assigned to a designer who will create a simple website and a Facebook Business page. The grant will cover the cost of design, a domain name, three months of online presence and basic training for business owners to maintain their new site. The award is up to $500 per recipient to cover the agreed cost with the pre-approved designer.

Business owners can locate the eligibility requirements, an application and application instructions on the Wilkes EDC website at www.WilkesEDC.com. For more information about LEAP or to help fund the program, contact LeeAnn Nixon at 336-838-1501 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS:

1) Recipient businesses must have at least one but no more than 15 employees. A list of employees, hours worked, and total monthly payroll since January 2020 must be provided.

2) Recipient businesses must be an existing locally owned business and located in Wilkes County that has been in operation for more than 90 days prior to February 2020.

3) Recipient businesses must have a valid business address and be in good tax standing with local governmental entities.

4) Recipient businesses must provide three months of bank statements.

5) No financial institutions, chain establishments or non-profits are eligible.

*All content submitted will be kept confidential and only reviewed by individuals on the economic development leadership team.

 

ABOUT: The Wilkes Economic Development Corporation, a 501 c3 public-private partnership, aims to facilitate the creation of new jobs and capital investment in Wilkes County through the retention and expansion of existing businesses and the recruitment of new businesses. The EDC is located at 213 Ninth Street in historic downtown North Wilkesboro, North Carolina

 

 

 

 

 

Published: Monday, 04 May 2020 09:01