Wilson entrepreneurs build their business’ roots back home

Wilson entrepreneurs build their business’ roots back home

This article was written for our sponsor, Gig East

Bankston Lewis and Joe Dyer were raised in Wilson — but neither necessarily thought they’d find their way back years later.

Co-owners of MidSouth Roofing and Construction, the two men needed an office away from home, and the Gig East Exchange fit the bill.

“The Gig East exchange provided us with an innovative workspace that was right in the center of where we wanted to be, which is in the revitalization of Downtown Wilson. My partner and I are both from Wilson, and we left, then we came back and thought the Exchange would be a great place for us to start,” said Lewis. “Being in a space that allows people to come in and then also houses many businesses offers a lot of networking options. One of the things I like about us being in this open environment office space is that as soon as you walk out of your independent office, it feels like you’re not at work anymore.”

Lewis also highlights the 24/7 access and accommodating staff as highlights of the space, as well as the conference rooms and lounge areas. Lewis’ partner Dyer echoes the same sentiments.

“This is a great space for both start-up businesses and even established businesses, depending on your needs. Office furniture like stand-up desks and chairs, internet, conference rooms and even common areas on the first and second floor are included, where Gig East will host either private business events, or things like social hours for the tenants, which is a great way to network,” said Dyer. “We enjoy running into all of the other small businesses who have offices within the space — and it doesn’t hurt to have Larema Coffee Shop on the first floor.”

The Triangle area is booming — and becoming a more expensive place to live and work — and people in the area have already seen the waterfall effect of growth in the suburbs around Raleigh. Now, with those suburbs also becoming more crowded every day, Lewis and Dyer see Wilson as one of the next stops for major growth.

With plans to expand their business in historic Downtown Wilson, Lewis feels that MidSouth Roofing and Construction is getting in on the ground floor of exciting changes in the area.

“Wilson is the eastern frontier. It offers so much potential because of its location in relation to Raleigh and its price point. It’s a small town that hasn’t been completely redeveloped yet, so it’s super affordable for somebody to start a business, especially if they need to be able to get to Raleigh in 45 minutes. It’s a small town still, but with downtown being revitalized, it’s going to offer that urban downtown feel,” said Lewis. “Wilson’s on the map as the next place to be, especially if somebody wants to be on the East Coast but doesn’t want to live in the big city. You can still do big-city things, but it’s much more affordable.”

Lewis is right that Wilson has big things on the horizon. Take a walk downtown, and you’ll see plenty of construction that tells the story of the growth to come. Currently, the town is slated to build hundreds of new homes and a FedEx facility, not to mention a $100 million investment in the downtown area, which will bring a new mixed-use apartment complex and YMCA.

All these years later, Lewis and Dyer have front row seats to their hometown’s growth — and their business gives them the opportunity to play a direct role in supporting that growth.

“In the roofing and construction industry, a lot of times a company will inherit a warehouse or shop in order to store materials. We may do that, but I think as far as office space, we really like being here. As we grow with personnel, we may have to enlarge, but, as far as location goes, it’s perfect,” said Lewis. “We love being in our hometown, and we love being in the Exchange, so we don’t plan on leaving anytime soon, but we’re still planning on growing outside of the Exchange.”

This article was written for our sponsor, Gig East