With the Federal Aviation Administration still many months away from issuing rules on the commercial use of drones, Western North Carolina entrepreneurs are eager to offer customers a bird’s eye view. Thanks to high-resolution cameras and relatively modest cost, drones are considered a game changer for things like airborne surveillance and photography.
Asheville currently has about 7,200 hotel and motel rooms that are subject to the 4 percent occupancy tax levied on room sales. And if all of those current hotel projects came to fruition (which is by no means guaranteed), it would add at least 1,115 more, boosting the total number by 15 to 20 percent.
It’s not yet clear what action Asheville City Council members will take on short-term rentals, but Council is leaning toward stiffer fines, stricter enforcement and a continued ban in residential areas.
Keller Williams Asheville and Showhomes WNC teamed up to give 13-year-old Marion leukemia survivor, Megan Vess, the country-style room of her dreams. The big reveal for her new room is Thursday, May 14, and the campaign is still looking for help finishing the project.
Chipotle Mexican Grill became the first national restaurant chain to ban genetically modified ingredients from its menu. But while the company has made headlines across the U.S. for its bold stance against the industry’s claim that all food is created equal, many Asheville restaurants have been waging a much quieter war of their own for years.
May flowers are here, bringing National Bike Month along for the ride. In anticipation of future tourists on bikes, a coalition of organizations in the western counties gave them a boost by supporting a new study by Kostelec Planning.
Participants from nature-based business accelerator Accelerating Appalachia’s 2015 cohort will speak about their business milestones and offer product demonstrations alongside keynote speaker Judy Wicks.
“I’m glad to see community members raising questions about what we are doing to end veteran homelessness in Buncombe County. No one who has served our country should be left to live in a car, a camp or a shelter.”
Each week, Xpress highlights notable WNC crowdsourcing initiatives that may inspire readers to become new faces in the crowd. This week features a major expansion by Green River Picklers, a debut full length studio album for local band Clyde’s on Fire and desktop- and mobile-friendly children’s game by Canton resident Charlene Singleton.
Mountain Xpress took a look at the 441 nonprofits with 501(c)(3) status in Buncombe County and more than 10,300 nonprofits in the whole state. We found that the large and diverse sector has a significant economic footprint.
On April 14, representatives from 43 nonprofits requested funding from Buncombe County, as part of the county’s community development grant program. But these organizations make up only 9.6 percent of the total nonprofits in the county. Others rely on privately funded grants and donations, as well as individual donations — both small and large. Each organization must constantly work to grab and hold the public’s attention. And in a city like Asheville, it seems there’s never a shortage of worthy causes.
In the bumpy post-recession landscape, these service-oriented organizations face significant challenges. Xpress asked several local nonprofit consultants to comment on what those challenges are and how they can be overcome.
Doing the county’s business takes longer these days. Meetings of the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners now regularly run three hours or more, some say because of a partisan split and time-consuming conflict.
Last year, the foundation distributed $14.2 million to local groups and individuals, including a record $346,500 in scholarships for 175 students, while continuing to maintain and grow its asset pool. That brought its cumulative total to $165 million in community support across the region since 1978.
Retired businessman Ray Hust and a group of local forward-thinking people gave the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina its start in 1978. By 1990, the foundation had $5 million in assets and provided key support to Asheville institutions like Pack Place, the Affordable Housing Coalition of Asheville and Buncombe County and RiverLink.
This fall, watch for a new way for Western North Carolinians to give back to their communities. Xpress is pleased to announce Give!Local, a new end-of-year giving campaign based on the idea that giving should be fun and rewarding — for all of us.