Commissioners approve $50,000 for Mountain Bizworks microloans on party line vote-attachment0

Commissioners approve $50,000 for Mountain BizWorks microloans on party line vote

Buncombe Commissioners voted along party lines April 1 to give Mountain Bizworks $50,000 toward a new microloan program that will help small local businesses get needed capital. The local business nonprofit will leverage the county funds to receive an additional $300,000 from the federal Small Business Association Microloan Program.

Creative Sector Summit aims to help bridge tourism industry and artists-attachment0

Creative Sector Summit aims to help bridge tourism industry and artists

Tourists spend about $1.5 billion in Buncombe County every year and the fourth annual Creative Sector Summit will explore opportunities for local artists to raise that number and better benefit from it. The series of panel discussions, workshops and other events will unfold Thursday-Sunday, March 20-23, at venues throughout downtown Asheville.

Portrait of CIBO: Council of Independent Business Owners rallies Asheville business community-attachment0

Portrait of CIBO: Council of Independent Business Owners rallies Asheville business community

The Council of Independent Business Owners has been called a lot of things over the years.

Few could argue that the nonprofit — whose members serve on such powerful public bodies as Asheville’s City Council and Planning and Zoning Commission, the Western North Carolina Regional Air Quality Agency’s board and the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners — lacks influence. But how far does it reach? And does the group still have the kind of impact that it did in the past?

Asheville as a hub for eco-business

I know you had limited space and couldn’t include all of my comments in the “Big ideas” article [“Big Ideas and Their Impact on the Community,” Jan. 8 Xpress], but I did want to mention one idea I spoke about in the late ’90s: Asheville and Buncombe County have potential to become hubs for eco-businesses, […]

Business Blotter

Openings Hardcore Mamas fitness classes, Stone Bodyworks Studios, 25 Reed St. 808-3566. http://www.hardcoremamas.com. Trader Joe’s, 120 Merrimon Ave. 232-5078. http://www.traderjoes.com. Whist gift shop, 428-A Haywood Road. 252-5557. http://whistshop.com. Grand opening on Friday, Oct. 4. (Pictured, photo courtesy of Whist) Renovations and other changes Hank’s BBQ is now Tiger Bay Café, 373 Haywood Road. (Grand opening […]

Business Blotter

Openings Asheville Biologics and Orthopaedics, 172 Asheland Ave. 575-9841. ashevillebiologicsortho.com. Edison Craft Ales + Kitchen at The Grove Park Inn, 290 Macon Ave. http://www.groveparkinn.com/edison. 252-2711 Closings Chef Mo’s, 900 Hendersonville Road. Relocations and other changes Native Kitchen and Social Pub has new hours. Visit nativesocialpub.com for details. 204 Whitson Ave., Swannanoa. 581-0480. (Pictured, photo by […]

Business test: Liberty Bikes’ sales were up 25 percent in its first year next to Harris Teeter; then the grocery moved out. “This is our first test,” says President Mike Nix, pictured with co-owner Claudia Nix. photos by Max Cooper

Manifest destiny: Local businesses breathe life into the American strip mall

Beyond the typical tanning salons, pawnshops and big-box stores, you will find other complexes that, like Stone Bowl Korean Restaurant or Liberty Bike’s, feature small, independently owned businesses with a flair for the unique. Call it manifest destiny, suburban style. By being accessible, original and part of a diverse cluster of storefronts, these local establishments ensure that the American strip mall may continue to thrive in today's fickle economy. (Pictured: Liberty Bikes owners Claudia and Mike Nix; photo by Max Cooper).

Garden helpers: Via their new business venture, Rambling Roots, Cera McGuinn and Mallory McCoy can help locals put the seed in the ground and nurture it until the last bite has been taken. photo by Max Cooper

Getting to the roots: McGinn and McCoy’s business helps gardeners get started and keep going

As far as fresh produce is concerned, Cera McGinn and Mallory McCoy want to see more people living hand to mouth — putting the seed in the ground and nurturing it until the last bite has been taken. The pair are co-owners of Ramble and Root, a consulting and installation service for do-it-yourself, organic vegetable landscaping.