Friends of Downtown Hendersonville awards grants to two local businesses

Press release from Friends of Downtown Hendersonville:

Two additional businesses have been awarded Downtown Hendersonville Pivot Fund Grants to implement creative solutions for businesses to maintain resiliency and try new methods of operation. Earlier this year, the Friends of Downtown Hendersonville, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit to support the vibrancy of downtown Hendersonville, established the program to encourage creative thinking among businesses, while reducing the financial risk of taking on a new project during the pandemic.

“We’re thrilled to be able to support businesses in finding creative solutions during the pandemic,” said Jamie Carpenter, downtown manager, “our downtown businesses have proven to be strong this year, and this is just one way we are here to help maintain the resiliency of the historic downtown.”

Grants were evaluated based on four criteria: connection with LoveHendo Saturdays (open street activity on Main Street the first Saturday of each month), potential for long term viability, following social distancing and mass gathering guidelines, and enhancement of the outdoor environment.

New Pivot Grants were awarded to:

  • The Center for Arts and Entertainment ($600) for resources to reopen as a safe, socially distant theatre (Awarded in September).
  • Black Bear Coffee ($750) for outdoor heaters and music during November 7 LoveHendo Saturday (Awarded in October).

Businesses and nonprofits within the Main Street and 7th Avenue Districts are eligible to apply to find creative solutions to adapt their businesses amid the changing environment, grants are accepted on a rolling basis as funds are available. The next deadline is November 5. 

Past Pivot Fund Grants have been awarded to: Moonshine & Magnolias ($750) for outdoor enhancement during Love Hendo Saturdays, Shark Lab Team ECCO ($750) for family friendly outdoor activities and during Love Hendo Saturdays, The Arts Council of Henderson County ($500) for adapting Art on Main to be a virtual festival, Narnia Studios ($300) for Chalk it Up to provide outdoor promotion

Sponsors of the Downtown Pivot Fund include Bryan Byrd, Realtor, and The Van Winkle Law Firm. 

The fund is supported by sales of LoveHendo masks that are available for purchase for $10 at Wag! A Unique Pet Boutique, Mast General Store, Black Bear Coffee, Blue Door Bottle Shop, The Henderson Inn, and at the Hendersonville Farmers Market. Donations to the Downtown Pivot Fund can be made at

LoveHendo Saturdays take place the first Saturday of each month, coming up on November 7 and December 5, giving businesses an opportunity to expand outdoors and allowing people to explore downtown in a different way.

Highlights for November 7 include: Black Bear Coffee hosting live music with Cast Iron Bluegrass from 11-2pm, Shark Lab Team ECCO bringing safe family fun with sea characters, mermaid photo booth, mini donuts and more.

Just off Main Street, along Third Ave. E. in the Azaela Parking Lot, watch The Good of The Hive artist Matt Willey paint pollinators on the exterior wall of Hands On Children’s Museum; check out a colony of live bees in the glass observation hive; purchase local honey, jun (a healthy beverage made with raw honey), and bakery items; shop for local artwork; buy a souvenir T-shirt; and more. Vendors/exhibitors include Honeybee Bliss, Black Bear Coffee, Bee City USA – Hendersonville, The Good of the Hive, Hands On! Children’s Museum, Art Mob Studios, Shanti Elixirs, and more.

Save the date for December 5 for festive “Who-Ville” inspired holiday shopping on the final LoveHendo Saturday of 2020. Details will be available at

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