Biz Roundup: Wine about Winter set for June 18

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 13, 2021

SALISBURY — Wander around downtown as you sip on wine during the Wine about Winter event summer edition on Friday, June 18.

The signature wine tasting event takes place downtown from 5-9 p.m. in the bars, restaurants, specialty shops and boutiques of Salisbury.

Pre-orders for tickets are $22.50 and will be on sale the day of the event for $30 as supplies last. More information is available at


Cheryl Keene joins Hearing Solutions of North Carolina

SALISBURY – Cheryl Keene has recently joined Hearing Solutions of North Carolina’s team. Keene brings 12 years of experience performing hearing evaluations and fitting hearing devices. She previously worked with Drs. Dziadziola and Scaglione at NorthEast Ear Nose & Throat in Kannapolis.

“We are very excited to have Cheryl with us” Dr. Lorin Oden, the owner of Hearing Solutions, said in a news release. Her passion for assisting others, to improve hearing ability and quality of life, will complement the services we have been providing the resident of this area for the past 10 years. More information is available at Hearing Solutions of North Carolina is an independently owned private practice audiology clinic located at 464 Jake Alexander Blvd W. Call 704-633-0023 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Oden, Jane Walters, or Cheryl Keene.


Richard Smith

Kannapolis welcomes new Planning Director

KANNAPOLIS – The City of Kannapolis welcomes Richard Smith, as the new Planning Director. In this role, Richard will oversee the planning, zoning, GIS, and code enforcement services of the City.

Richard has approximately 23 years of experience in planning and community development. He previously worked as the Planning & Community Development Director for Moore County and Senior Planner for Catawba County. He was also the vice-president and majority owner of Benchmark Planning, a professional planning consulting firm that worked with local government, state, federal and private clients throughout the region.

Richard previously served as Kannapolis’ Planning Director under a contract agreement from 2004 to 2009. Most recently he was Director of Businesses Development for McGill Associates where his duties included managing comprehensive plans, zoning ordinance revisions, small area studies, and more for a variety of local governments.

Richard is a native of Rowan County and graduated from Western Carolina University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Law. He holds a master’s degree in Public Administration from Appalachian State University. He and his wife, Veronica, reside in Rowan County, have three children, and are very active with their church.

SBA offers programs to provide assistance to local businesses

SALISBURY – The U.S. Small Business Administration is currently offering programs that provide assistance to local businesses.

One program is the COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan. Through the EIDL small businesses are eligible for loans up to $500,000. The purpose of these loans is to help small businesses pay operating expenses and have working capital that was not able to be made because of COVID-19. Businesses that have taken this loan prior to April 7th, 2021 for under $500,000 are likely eligible for an increase based on new loan maximums amounts. More information on the loan and loan application can be found at

The 6th Annual Growth Accelerator Fund Competition was announced. This competition tasks applicants to provide a program to assist the launch, growth, and scale of deep-tech small businesses across the country. Applicants will pick one of two tracks to focus their presentation on. Cash prizes will be awarded to winners and entry is open until July 2nd, 2021. More information regarding the competition and entry can be found at

Earlier this year, SBA’s Office of Women Business Ownership selected  S.G. Atkins Community Development Corporation of Winston-Salem and Winston-Salem State University as a recipient of an SBA Women’s Business Center Grant. S.G. Atkins CDC has recently opened the Women’s Business Center of Winston-Salem. 

This Center joins four other NC women’s business centers that provide counseling and training to both existing and future women business owners.    North Carolina has Women’s Business Centers in Asheville, Charlotte, Durham, Fayetteville, and now Winston-Salem.

Dr. Joy Lough has been named the WBC Program Director. With over 20 years of experience in business, management, and human resources, Dr. Lough is an entrepreneur, publisher, and business startup strategist.  She has a strong background teaching a variety of business courses including Entrepreneurship, Small Business Management, Strategic Management, and Business Plan Preparation. The Winston-Salem WBC is located at 1922 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and can be reached at (336) 554-7349.

Charlotte ranked 7th best city for job seekers

CHARLOTTE – In MoneyGeek’s annual ranking of Best Cities for Job Seekers, Charlotte has achieved an overall ranking of 7th. When compared to February of 2020 every metro area analyzed had negative job growth. Despite news of recovered jobs, the national jobs numbers just released indicate that the U.S. has lost 7.6 million jobs since the start of the pandemic.

MoneyGeek ranked the largest U.S. metros to determine an exclusive overall list of America’s top cities using seven key metrics incorporating job growth, wage growth, unemployment rate, size of the labor force, and housing affordability.

Charlotte was compared to 52 other metros and ranked 15th in the country for job growth and retention. Charlotte ranked 7th in the country for long-term job growth.  Charlotte ranked 17th for lowest unemployment rates out of the 52 metros and ranked 4th for hourly growth rates out of the 52 metros. The full analysis can be found at


North Carolina wins the Gold Shovel Award

RALEIGH – North Carolina’s success in winning high-impact economic development projects was recognized today with a coveted Gold Shovel Award from Area Development magazine, a leading industry trade publication covering corporate site selection and economic development.

“We’re honored to receive this national recognition for our success bringing good jobs to North Carolina,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “We have momentum and we’re letting the world know that North Carolina is open for business with the best workforce, business environment, and quality of life you and your company can find anywhere.”

The national media outlet announced five overall Gold Shovel Award winners for 2021 in five population categories — Texas, North Carolina, Arizona, Utah, and Kansas. North Carolina’s category included states with populations between 8 and-12 million people. To determine the winners of its Gold and Silver Shovel Awards, Area Development invited all 50 states to submit its top-10 job creation and investment projects that first materialized in 2020. Winning states earn the highest scores based on their number of high-value jobs added per capita, amount of investment, number of new facilities, and industry diversity.

“National recognition from respected media organizations like Area Development bring renewed attention to North Carolina’s strength as a business location,” said North Carolina Secretary of Commerce Machelle Baker Sanders. “Company decision makers recognize our state’s many assets and appreciate our visible commitment to build an inclusive and equitable business environment that works for everyone.”

“State-supported project wins overall last year are expected to create $6.3 billion in new investment and more than 20,000 new jobs in North Carolina,” said Christopher Chung, chief executive officer of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina. “Those big numbers came in despite the pandemic, and they’re among the state’s highest for any single year in a decade.”

While North Carolina has won 10 Silver Shovel awards since Area Development introduced the annual recognition in 2006, this is only the second time the state has taken home the Gold. In 2018, North Carolina won its first Gold Shovel Award.
The 2021 Gold Shovel joins other recently announced economic development recognition for the state. Earlier this year, North Carolina won Site Selection magazine’s 2021 Prosperity Cup and Business Facilities magazine’s 2020 State of the Year award. All three awards recognize the state’s business recruitment success.
To read Area Development’s report on this year’s Gold and Silver Shovel Award winners, visit