A new Wilkes Economic Development Corp. (EDC) website has been unveiled as a resource and marketing tool for people and businesses already in Wilkes County and for others considering establishing a business presence in Wilkes and/or moving here to live.

The website address is www.WilkesEDC.com.

“Having a strong digital presence will enhance Wilkes EDC’s ability to accomplish its mission of facilitating the creation of new jobs and capital investment,” said Wilkes EDC President LeeAnn Nixon.

“It provides access to information on services, along with available programs where Wilkes EDC collaborates with various partners to support business growth. This tool will assist in locating demographics, statistics, industry insight, educational opportunities, employment information and links to local government and utilities conveniently online. Individuals and business owners can explore the exceptional quality of life, various business sectors and unique industries in Wilkes,” said Nixon.

She urged subscribing to a news and monthly activity reports to stay engaged and connected to growth and progress in the county.

Scroll down tabs at the top of the website home page with detailed information are:

• “Explore Wilkes,” with a video on the county, county profile and information on utilities and

government, quality of life and location;

• “Existing Businesses,” with major employers, industry clusters, business services and how to request an EDC visit. Companies with at least 10 employees can contact the EDC to be added to the business directory if they aren’t already on it;

• “Relocate and Expand,” with state and local economic development incentives, testimonials, growth areas and a new GIS map showing available buildings, sites and property data. The GIS map includes “opportunity zones,” which are U.S. Census tracts with special tax incentives for economic development;

• “Workforce & Education,” with workforce stats and information on workforce development and all levels of education;

• “Entrepreneurs,” with details on starting a new business and entrepreneur support,

entrepreneur grant winners and Main Street programs;

• “Organization,” with information about the Wilkes EDC, its board and the EDC’s LEAP Fund;

• “News,” with news alerts and EDC activity reports.

Visitors to the new website are greeted with a question: “Why Wilkes?” Nixon said this question often comes up, along with, “How do we sell ourselves?” and “What makes us stand out among other counties?”

Among other things, the newly-designed website answers these questions with statements and images scrolling across the home page.

They begin with, “We value our past and celebrate our future” below a photo of the new splash pad on the Wilkes Heritage Museum front lawn. This is followed by:

• “We build a strong workforce,” with a photo of Wilkes Community College’s Herring Hall for health science education;

• “We lead rural broadband in N.C.,” with a photo of a computer circuit board;

• “We travel with ease,” with a photo of four-lane U.S. 421;

• “We celebrate major employers and entrepreneurs,” with a photo of the Louisiana Pacific Building Products plant in Roaring River;

• “We explore our vast outdoor beauty,” with a photo of W. Kerr Scott Reservoir;

• “We enjoy our cultural opportunities,” with a photo of WCC’s Doc & Merle Watson Amphitheater during MerleFest.

It concludes with “Joined by the rivers with a strong sense of community, leadership and opportunity, we welcome others to call Wilkes home.” This is with a photo of the Yadkin River.

Visitors to the website see also first see a statement of introduction, “Wilkes County in Northwestern North Carolina sits in the gentle rolling foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is thriving with a bustling network of major businesses, state-of-the-art medical facilities and a robust framework of infrastructure for logistics and technology. The distinguished public education system and the higher education and customized training opportunities provide a knowledgeable, accomplished and highly skilled workforce.”

Nixon said Cube Creative Design, Amber Herman, Cavu Marketing and High Country Council of Governments and Times Treasured Studios in conjunction with Wilkes Chamber of Commerce helped develop the new website.

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