Shop local-ish

It’s impossible to walk in downtown Asheville without receiving the message loud and clear: This city supports its local businesses. Locally based brands like Spicewalla, Roots Hummus and Buchi Kombucha appear regularly on store shelves. Stickers promoting Go Local Asheville (formerly the Asheville Grown Business Alliance), a locally focused economic alliance, adorn window fronts. A […]

Biz Briefs: Blue Ridge Pride debuts LGBTQ+ business alliance

Blue Ridge Pride, a nonprofit supporting the LGBTQ community in Western North Carolina, launched an online business directory for LGBTQ-owned and inclusive businesses called the Blue Ridge Pride Business Alliance on June 25. The directory, available at BlueRidgePride.org/Business, includes retail, food and drink, leisure and services and other categories. Businesses listed in the BRPBA directory […]

Q&A with Kareen Boncales, director of entreprene­urship at Mountain BizWorks

Many people who volunteer with the Peace Corps consider it a life-defining experience. Kareen Boncales is one of them. She served in Cameroon from 2009-11 in small enterprise development, teaching basic business skills to everyone from farmers to boutique owners. “I really admired that entrepreneurial spirit of turning challenges into opportunities,” she recalls. “I knew […]

Birthing pains

A recent Tuesday afternoon at the Western North Carolina Birth Center was unusually quiet. The birthing rooms were empty. No laboring mothers paced the halls; no infants wailed. The staff arrived for work, but the mood was forlorn. July 20 marked the close of the WNC Birth Center, the only 24/7 midwifery option in Asheville. […]

New Black-owned businesses populate The Block

Over the past year, the addition of such Black-owned businesses as the Noir Collective collaborative shop, Jawbreaking fashion store, Asheville Iridescence Yoga and Sole82 sneaker boutique has suggested a renaissance for the former Black Wall Street. Yet in a rapidly changing city where obstacles for minority entrepreneurs remain rampant, sustaining that growth could prove challenging.