Biz Roundup: Downtown Salisbury vying for $25,000 cash prize

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 17, 2021

SALISBURY — Downtown Salisbury is in the running to capture a $25,000 cash prize in the Independent We Stand Main Street small-business program. 

Downtown Salisbury is encouraging residents, business owners and visitors to vote for Salisbury in the quarterfinals at before Nov. 7.

“It has been a very challenging time for our small businesses over the last 18 months,” Interim Downtown Development Director Latoya Price said in a news release. “Winning America’s Main Streets contest would allow us to help our downtown and local businesses along their journey down the road to recovery. We anticipate that the funds would allow our Downtown Salisbury merchants to make physical enhancements, purchase equipment to comply with public health and safety guidelines and other important improvements to draw shoppers and visitors to our downtown.”

Independent We Stand, a national small business movement, kicked-off its sixth annual America’s Main Streets contest titled “Road to Recovery” in September. The three-month-long, online contest is designed to help consumers, small business owners and Main Street organizations reward a deserving downtown with $25,000 in cash and sponsor-related prizes.

“Independent We Stand wants to help locally owned businesses not just survive the pandemic, but thrive in their communities,” Independent We Stand co-founder Bill Brunelle said in a news release. “After the massive nationwide shutdowns due to COVID, we recognize the pride business owners take in their Main Streets, and we want to help share those stories through our contest. It’s more important now than ever, to get behind these businesses with our support.”

Quarterfinalist voting will conclude on Nov. 7, semifinalist voting will commence on Nov. 15 and the winner will be announced on Dec. 20.

Rowan County Young Professionals will provide free headshots, advice during networking event

The Rowan County Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals will host a professional development networking meetup on Oct. 25 from 5:15-7 p.m. at City Tavern.

Topics discussed during the event include best practices for setting up a LinkedIn profile and tips for a person’s online presence. There will also be a photographer taking professional headshots. Photos will be emailed to participants within a week of the event. There is no cost to attend the meetup or have a photo taken.

Taryn Thompson, talent acquisition manager for Team Auto Group, will also be at the meeting to provide advice. Thompson recruits and fills all open positions within the auto group, as well as scouts applicants through social media platforms. She prescreens and interviews potential candidates and it is her job to come up with creative solutions to understaffing problems as Team Auto Group expands.

Rowan Young Professionals is a program of the Rowan Chamber of Commerce for professionals age 45 and younger.

Questions about the event can be directed to

Rowan Chamber of Commerce prepares for in-person Power in Partnership

The Rowan County Chamber of Commerce will host an in-person Power in Partnership at 7:30 a.m. on Thursday at Trinity Oaks.

The keynote speaker will be Thomas Stith III, president of the North Carolina Community College System. Stith became president of the system in January. Stith was previously district director of the U.S. Small Business Administration, where he led the federal agency’s response to COVID-19 in North Carolina.

The event’s sponsor is Rowan Cabarrus Community College and President Dr. Carol Spalding will provide the sponsor remarks.

The Power in Partnership is open to Rowan County Chamber of Commerce members for a $15 fee and open to non-members for $25. Attendees must register for the event by noon on Tuesday. More information and registration can be found online at


Randy Welch, Duke Energy’s District Manager for Gov Affairs/External Relations presented an award for the Hometown Innovation Grant program on behalf of the Duke Energy Foundation in late September. Pictured (left to right) are: Chanaka Yatawara – Salisbury Community Development Corporation; Peter Franzese – Town of Spencer; Randy Welch – Duke Energy; Amy Ray – Pinocchio’s of Spencer and Spencer Community Appearance Commission; Kyle Harris – Town of Spencer/Salisbury Community Development Corporation; Spencer Mayor Jonathan Williams; Skye Allan – Town of Spencer/Lead for North Carolina Fellow. Submitted photo

Spencer’s Hometown Innovation Grant will help look of storefronts

SPENCER — The town is launching the 2021-22 Hometown Innovation Grant, an opportunity to improve storefronts in Spencer. The grant is made possible by a collaboration among the town of Spencer, the Duke Energy Foundation and the Salisbury Community Development Corp.

The program will provide grant assistance to eligible small  businesses and organizations for enhancements to facades and for the introduction of new outdoor amenities such as seating, signage, planters, café fences, art and lighting. Examples of eligible applicants include businesses, property owners, tenants, and civic/charitable organizations located along the Salisbury Avenue Corridor and within the Main Street district.

Grant guidelines prioritize creative design contributions and projects that transform blighted facades and inactive streetscapes. The deadline to submit an application is noon on Wednesday, Dec. 1. All inquiries and application submittals should be sent to Kyle Harris, Spencer Planning & Zoning Administrator, Awards will be announced in January


Bank of America increase minimum hourly wage to $21, plans another increase in 2025

Bank of America announced it has raised its U.S. minimum hourly wage to $21 as a next step in the company’s plans to increase to $25 by 2025

In May, the Charlotte-based company announced that all of its U.S. vendors are now required to pay their employees dedicated to the bank, at or above $15 per hour.

In the last four years, Bank of America raised the minimum hourly wage to $15 in 2017; in 2019 it rose to $17 and in 2020, to $20.

“Our company’s focus on Responsible Growth requires that we provide a great place to work,” Sheri Bronstein, chief human resources officer at Bank of America, said in a news release. “We make broad-ranging investments to attract and develop talented teammates who serve our clients and local communities every day, and who can build long, successful careers with our company. Today, we are taking another step forward, again increasing our minimum rate of pay for U.S. employees, demonstrating our commitment to sharing our success with teammates, and inspiring others to do the same.”

Bank of America’s efforts have been recognized by a number of external organizations including LinkedIn and Fortune, as the only financial services company included in Fortune’s “Best Big Companies to Work For” list for three consecutive years.

Bank of America has a branch at 500 W. Innes St. in Salisbury.

Lowe’s distribution center in Statesville will host hiring event, looking to fill 250 positions

Lowe’s is planning to hire 250 new full-time employees during a walk-in hiring event at its regional distribution center in Statesville from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Wednesday.

The walk-in hiring event will give qualified applicants 18 or older the opportunity to interview and receive an on-the-spot offer.

The event is part of Lowe’s goal to hire more than 1,200 supply chain associates across 19 distribution facilities nationwide. Lowe’s hired more than 90,000 store and distribution center associates into permanent roles last year.

Day, night and weekend day and weekend night shifts are available. No reservations or resumes are required for Wednesday’s hiring event. Candidates just need to bring a valid photo ID. For safety, Lowe’s requires visitors to wear a mask.

Job seekers can learn more about available roles by visiting event.

Lowe’s distribution center is located at 711 Tomlin Mill Road in Statesville.

About Ben Stansell

Ben Stansell covers business, county government and more for the Salisbury Post. He joined the staff in August 2020 after graduating from the University of Alabama. Email him at

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