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.
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