President of Wilkes EDC, LeeAnn Nixon, joins Angela Henley on her podcast, Focus on the Foothills, brought to you by Hometown Christian Radio 3WC. In the podcast, LeeAnn discusses the opportunities the Wilkes Commercial Business Center brings for Wilkes County, how we are preparing for the All-Star Race Week, capturing the race's economic impact, and shares an overview of the Entrepreneurial Grant Program and how it supports local businesses.
Listen to the full podcast here: Focus on the Foothills with LeeAnn Nixon
North Wilkesboro, N.C. — Four local businesses received Entrepreneurial Grants from the Wilkes Economic Development Corporation (EDC) at the EDC’s Board Meeting on Friday, May 12, 2023. Thanks to generous local sponsors and the EDC’s private/public, investors this grant program is held twice a year. Ten local businesses of various types applied for this year’s program representing several industry sector services, hospitality, agriculture, racing, and fitness.
Submissions were judged based on the potential funding impact on the business and the sustainability of each respective recipient. Applicants submitted a video pitch in addition to their business plans and financial summaries to give the judges an insight into their proposed use of funds. The grant amount totaled $13,500, distributed between the four winners.
North Wilkesboro, NC — The Wilkes Commercial Business Center (WCBC) idea started during a planning session at Northwest Regional Leadership and Capacity Building Initiative in February 2020. Wilkes EDC submitted a Community Based Initiative Grant concept to Golden LEAF in November 2020, and was invited to move forward with application. The EDC was awarded $1.5 million for the WCBC project in April 2021. Next, in June 2021, Wilkes County Government awarded $1.5 million towards the project and later, an additional $400K due to construction cost increase. A bid process followed, and Omega Construction Inc was awarded the contract in November 2021. The Groundbreaking event took place on April 8, 2022, and the construction came to completion in April 2023.
The WCBC is 31,703 square feet, which consists of 10,383 SF for Suite A and 21,164 SF for Suite B. The building is intended for light industrial or manufacturing firms, featuring office spaces, loading docks, and drive-in doors with 24-foot ceiling heights. It has served as a excellent marketing tool for Wilkes County since the start of construction by being featured on Co-Star, LoopNet, Crexi, and the State’s Building and Sites commercial real estate platforms. These efforts have created inquiries and received thousands of views from various parts of the United States and overseas.
North Carolina's aviation and aerospace industries, which are supported by the state's network of 72 publicly owned airports, are a driving force in the state's economy. They help to employ residents, grow businesses, and link companies to global markets.
Public airports in North Carolina support 330,000 jobs that generate $23 billion in personal income and return $3.7 billion in state and local tax revenue, adding a total economic impact of $72 billion to the state's economy each year. The local economic impact of aviation has provided North Wilkesboro 195 jobs and $10.8 million in personal income with a return of $1.9 million in state and local tax revenue.
North Carolina: The State of Aviation highlights the economic implications of the state's public airports and the numerous assets enabling a thriving and competitive aviation and aerospace industry. Both factors make North Carolina an excellent site for launching, expanding, and an aviation-related business.
Click the link or scan the QR Code to read the report. NCDOT: The State of Aviation
Wilkes Wags & Wiggles, former Wilkes EDC Entrepreneurial Grant recipient of Spring 2022, secured its facility and will be opening soon at 325 West Park Circle, North Wilkesboro, NC. Amanda Cowles, the owner of Wilkes Wags & Wiggles, was inspired to start this operation by her and her mother's compassion for rescuing and rehoming dogs from animal shelters, providing them with their "fur-ever" home.
They offer personalized doggy daycare, premium boarding services, and a safe, fun, and friendly experience. Their facility will also give dogs a place to exercise and increase their quality of life.
The Wilkes EDC has worked with Cowles since November 2021 to find a location, start a Customer Relationship Management software (funded by the Wilkes EDC Entrepreneurial Grant Program), and connect to local resources.
To learn more or to book your furry friend's getaway, visit Wilkes Wags & Wiggles (wilkeswagsandwiggles.com).