As part of the Coastal Entrepreneur Awards program, area chambers of commerce also share their top business and organization picks.
BURGAW AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
“The Laurels of Pender – They are a 98-bed skilled facility that is here to care for your loved ones. They provide long-term and short-term care that will prepare you for your return home after a hospital stay. They also offer outpatient services for therapy for those needing a little more after returning home. They have supported the local chamber and actively participate in events such as the BACC [Burgaw Area Chamber of Commerce] Women Connect and N.C. Blueberry Festival. They have been a member of the BACC since 2017 when they acquired the facility and are also a member of the Burgaw Rotary Club.”
GREATER TOPSAIL AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
“Ward Realty began in 1947 as Standard Realty & Construction by A.H. Ward. … Ward collaborated on the original subdivision of Surf City and has since developed 19 additional subdivisions on Topsail Island. Ward Realty is a full-service real estate company that offers sales, property management and construction. … The construction division has built well over 100 cottages, including both speculative and custom homes. Property management became a part of the company in the early 1950s and continues today with over 300 rental properties. All these deep-rooted accolades cumulated in Ward Realty’s 75th anniversary this past year!”
NORTH BRUNSWICK CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
“Bluegrass Protective Films specializes in manufacturing Paint Protection Films. When Paint Protection Film is installed, the vehicle’s surface will retain an attractive, smooth, high-gloss appearance for years to come, maintenance-free. Our hydrophobic topcoat prevents surface darkening caused by water-borne contamination, so cars keep their vibrant color, despite the elements. Paint Protection Film topcoat is formulated for long-lasting gloss retention. The minor scratches and blemishes caused by normal wear such as car wash are seamlessly eliminated over time.”
PLEASURE ISLAND CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
“During the height of the pandemic, LeeAnn Tluchowski Piccinin and Kate Wenzowski Paredes had the courage to build and open a brand-new business on our island, Malama Cafe. They had a vision brewing of opening a new coffee shop with a vibrant feel, modern aesthetics and focused on the expansion of local businesses that thrive not only during the tourist season but year-round that serves tourists and locals alike.
SOUTHPORT-OAK ISLAND CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
“Salt Air Inc. (DBA Salt Air Heating, Cooling & Electrical) specializes in residential and commercial HVAC installation and service from their two offices: Wilmington and Southport. They are dedicated to keeping their clients in the Brunswick County and the Wilmington area comfortable. Salt Air Inc. is a great example of entrepreneurship. From their home, they started with a dream, a phone a truck and begin knocking on doors offering to assist with HVAC needs. … They’ve expanded to two offices and 35 employees while providing over $1.6 million through payroll in just 10 years.”
WILMINGTON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
“Erin is a rockstar entrepreneur. Her business, Turn Key Lifestyle, provides move management and organizing services to the greater Wilmington area. From decluttering your home to creating systems in your business, they help increase your productivity, create fully integrated programs and create a stress-free environment so you can get back to doing what you love. Erin went from organizing closets to being your go-to move management service and doubling her staff. Erin is not only a leader in her industry but also a role model to her employees.”
Click here to view all of the 2023 CEA winners