Wilkes EDC could not have reacted and coordinated this program without the support of our community coming together to make the program possible. The overall goal was to strengthen our small businesses and invest in their commitment to Wilkes County. Let’s remember to continue to shop local and infuse these businesses with our on-going support as we navigate disruptions. Together we will continue to check on their progress, overcome challenges that may arise and keep pushing forward to ensure they become stronger and successful.
LeeAnn Nixon, President
"For TwoBoros this has been an essential fund to help survive COVID-19 and keep our doors open. As a new business we did not have enough revenue to keep the utilities on. Which would have shut our doors permanently. However, with the EDC's assistance we have been able to not only shift gears and keep our doors open it has given us the ability to outsource our canning process so don't lose products (beer) either. With the assistance the EDC has provided, we now have expanded our markets to surrounding counties and create a demand for new visitors to Wilkes County. I would love to see the next steps involve bringing breweries and distilleries (and possibly wineries) more attention to Wilkes County and what we all have to offer the surrounding communities. "
"I felt this was a great program aimed directly to help local businesses. The EDC already does so much for new businesses looking to start up or (expand), but during COVID-19 this was a lifeline for a lot of businesses. For Dooley's it wasn't a 'make or break' but the assistance has definitely given us the ability to not have to focus on the standard monthly expenses and concentrate on adding much needed changes to weather the storm we are all in. Thank you very much for all that you do and for your forward thinking to help small businesses survive this tough time."
"I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to those who established the Small Business Grant and those who graciously funded it. I would be remiss in not saying that it is "huge" in my continuation as a small business. While my little Antique Shop is not a necessity, I feel it is a great add for our locals as well as the customers it attracts from out of town. I am humbled by this resource as it is a tremendous aid due to the decline in sales and consequences of COVID-19. I stand firm in my plans to continue my small business and give great praise to:
LGH Foundation, Lowe's Co, Wilkes EDC, Towns of Wilkesboro and North Wilkesboro, Wilkes County Government and a host of Anonymous Donors
My thanks to the above and continues prayers for all businesses and individuals affected by COVID-19."
"It's so nice to feel appreciated. Words cannot express our sincere appreciation to your for your assistance in providing us with these Small Business and Marketing Grants. We would like to thank you for the (funds) granted to us during this difficult time. Your kindness and generosity is appreciated. We are so grateful for your support."
"We would like to send a special 'Thank you' to everyone who helped in the Small Business Recovery Program. Through these funds we were able to keep our 'doors open' until our customers began to return. Without these funds, we probably would have had to remain closed. Also, a special 'Thank you' to Janine with The Lewis Company (Marketing Grant). She helped us to get our Facebook page back on track and worked with us to utilize the site more efficiently in advertising our business. Again, thank you for your help and for caring about the small businesses in Wilkes County."
"We are very grateful for the assistance provided by the Small Business Recovery Grant Program as well as the availability and continued help of the EDC. Like most all small businesses, we have struggled with the impact of COVID-19 but grants such as this provided much needed financial help at a time when there is so much uncertainty! It makes us proud to live in a town where the community as a whole supports small businesses such as ours."
"I want to thank the Wilkes EDC and funders who made the Small Business Recovery Program Grant possible! Wilkes EDC LEAP Program, LGH Foundation, Lowe's, Town of North Wilkesboro, Town of Wilkesboro, Wilkes County, and all Private Donors. This has been a challenging time, COVID-19 has affected everyone in different ways- one of those ways for me was bringing all of my work to a halt. I needed help and praise God I was one of the small businesses chosen for this program. Because of your help, I was able to pay my work van payments so when things came back I could continue to work efficiently and have everything I need. Thank you for your support and generosity, I am BEYOND GRATEFUL."
"I want to thank the Wilkes EDC and everyone that was involved with the Grant Program. It helped keep my business going through loss of the rentals of canoes and kayaks due to COVID-19. A special thanks to all who made this possible through their generosity. I will forever remember your kindness."
"This grant that my business has received during the pandemic was so amazing. At a time when we weren't sure if we could or should keep our doors open, the grant helped ease the burden and allow us to continue working, but at a safer pace to allow time for extra sanitizing and curb service. We were able to spread out our schedules and still have the security that essential bills would be paid. We are so thankful for the EDC and the opportunity to receive this grant!"
Kim Hatfield, Owner
"The Grant Program was amazing. It was just what our small company needed to keep our part time bookkeeper paid for about four months... thank you to all those who contributed and established this much appreciated and unexpected blessing. "
"This grant has been a godsend. After closing my small business for almost three months, it has been a huge help financially. It has enabled my studio to stay in this location and get my feet back on the ground. Also it has allowed my small business to keep my employee on the payroll. Thank you so much for the outreach and the support of North Wilkesboro small businesses."
"The Wilkes EDC program helped me reimburse my staff for a typical 40 hour work week, despite having limited office hours. Due to my business just getting started, I wasn't eligible for many government COVID-19 relief programs but thankfully the EDC program was available. I am very grateful!"
"I have been very pleased with the work thus far on my logo and web site. I certainly appreciate the grant funds that have helped my business to survive ... Please thank your staff and contractors for being in tune with my suggestions and input. Thank you so much!"
"I wanted to shoot you an email in appreciation of the work of the EDC and CAVU Marketing in the development of my website for Reavis Skull Works. The website has significantly increased traffic to the business and has opened up new paths for us to grow for the future. Without the help of the EDC this would not be possible. Thanks again!"
"Thank you Wilkes EDC for opening the Small Business Marketing Grant Program. It really came at a great time as Castello Barone Vineyards and Winery are at a point of establishing our web presence. While we are not live with our website yet, this program has been an invaluable resource in these trying times. Having this resource and being able to do this online, collaboratively and safely has been very positive. Again thank you Wilkes EDC for looking out for your businesses.'
"I just want to thank Wilkes EDC for the monies that Oakwoods Grocery received. During the pandemic, our business has been affected somewhat; we are not getting (any) school kids stopping by. Also, our elderly customers are not shopping ... We will get through difficult times and with the help of these organizations it's a lot easier"
"The Marketing Grant I received through the EDC could not have come at a better time. Due to our company's need to shift in the wake of Covid-19, it was imperative that our website get a much needed facelift. While we had a live website already, it was "homemade" and desperately needed a professional upgrade in order to capture new business. The grant application was simple, the response time from applying to funding was brief, and the vendor resources provided were top notch! Unlike many other grants, the EDC Marketing Grant alleviated the stress of having to navigate the process alone after funding. Because they contracted with a web developer prior to funding, we weren't left to fend for ourselves in hopes of making the money cover everything we needed. The crew at Cavu Marketing were great to work with and helped us every step of the way. We are so grateful for the Wilkes EDC providing assistance to us and other small businesses at this critical time for us all."
"Dear Wilkes EDC Team, Individuals and Businesses who donated to the grant program-
Four years ago after retiring from teaching school, I opened a small quilt/fabric store, Sew Blessed Quiltworks at 201 Sparta Road in North Wilkesboro. This was a dream come true for me! Providing a place where quilters could: come and take classes, bring their quilt tops to be quilted, purchase fabric and notions, or meet others that were interested in creating beautiful quilts and other projects. Our little one-owner business was thriving and successful until the COVID-19 pandemic hit our area in March, 2020.
With the stay-at-home order in effect per Governor Roy Cooper, and the “unknown” of what this virus would potentially do, my business came to a screeching halt in mid-March! During the nine weeks our business was closed, the bills kept rolling in and my dream was slowly slipping away. I closed the second side of my shop – the classroom side – so I wouldn’t have to pay the extra rent. I got on the phone and worked out payment plans with my factory reps for the unsold fabric sitting in my closed shop. I spoke with the utility companies about payment plans. Basically, I was working in crisis mode. I applied for the Small Business Administration’s grant, was approved, and even have an ID number assigned to me, but still to this date, have not received even a dime of help. My last response from them was that 'there were no more funds available at this time but that they would keep my application on file and issue funds IF they become available.'
Finally, I noticed in the newspaper that our local Economic Development Commission was offering two grants – the Small Business Recovery Grant and the Business Marketing Grant, so I applied for both. Fast forward to today: I am receiving funds for a total of four months to make the payments on my long arm quilting machine. (I use this machine to offer quilting services to quilters in our community and surrounding counties). This saved my machine from being repossessed!
For the Business Marketing Grant, I’ve been working with Brittany Rogers of Cavu , Inc. to update my existing website and add links to enable customers to purchase items online! She has been invaluable to me as I am not the most computer-savvy business owner!
Lastly, I would like to thank each person and business who has had a part in providing these services and monetary donations to make these grants available to us – the small business owners. Without your help, many of us would not have been able to survive or, in my case, would have lost an expensive piece of equipment which is vital to my business! I cannot thank you all enough for what you have done for me and my small business. I have survived! Is my little business back to full speed? No. (I lost all revenue from four quilt shows, Shop Hop, Row by Row the Peach Festival and the Brushy Mountain Apple Festival.) But, I have survived – thanks to all of you! May God richly bless you for what you have done to help us!"