As Asheville residents celebrate local businesses during February’s Go Local, Love Asheville Month, a report by construction industry website Construction Coverage found that 52% of Asheville workers — roughly 90,000 people — are employed by a small business.
The COVID-19 pandemic is creating more difficulties for small businesses, which often have fewer financial resources to fall back on during economic downturns, the report notes. Lodging, food service and retail businesses account for about 25% of small-business employees, but with more people staying home, “these firms face dire circumstances.”
The total small-business payroll per Asheville employee is approximately $35,853, the study found. Nationally, small-business payroll per employee is significantly higher at $44,777. View the report at avl.mx/90v.
Waste Pro appoints Jeb Hensley as new division manager
Jeb Hensley is the new Waste Pro division manager for Asheville, the company announced Feb. 17.
Hensley, a graduate of Texas Christian University, has more than 20 years of experience in the transportation industry. Most recently, he served as a Waste Pro district manager in Colorado, where he was responsible for four hauling sites.
“I’m very excited to be joining the Asheville team,” Hensley said in a press release. “Building relationships and providing excellent customer service are what it’s all about, in my opinion, and I’m looking forward to getting to know the people in this area and providing the wonderful service they deserve and expect.”
- Planet Fitness opened its first Asheville location at 141 Smokey Park Highway. The 22,000-square-foot facility is open daily 5 a.m.-10 p.m.
- Madison County’s Advanced Superabrasives Inc. received the Governor’s Award of Excellence for its contributions to increasing North Carolina exports. The 40-employee company sells customized grinding wheels in the United States and 28 other countries.
- The Music Academy of Western North Carolina launched several new services at the start of 2021, including a Music in the Mountains scholarship fund, an instrument rental program for band and orchestra students, a music accessories retail division and a new “Music Together” program for infants, toddlers and preschoolers.
- Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams is now open at the Asheville Outlets. The home furnishing store is the brand’s largest authorized factory-direct outlet.
Locals in business
- Attorneys Koral Alman, Anderson Ellis and Jonathan Dunlap were promoted to partner at the Van Winkle law firm. The three specialize in trust and estate planning, business development and growth, and complex litigation matters, respectively.
- Asheville native Ryan Volatile, founder of Argentina-based Fields Outfitting, began offering online sales of the “bombacha de campo” field pants in December for United States customers. “This iconic pant is central to the identity of Argentina’s famed gaucho, and we’re honored to share a piece of Argentine heritage with customers around the world,” Volatile said in a press release.
- Beverly-Hanks Realtors announced their top-performing agents of 2020, including seven agents and six agent teams who closed sales over $20 million. All told, Beverly-Hanks agents sold more than $1.9 billion of residential and commercial real estate throughout WNC in 2020. View the full list of honorees at avl.mx/90w.