Labor scholar Bruce Nissen warns that HCA is signaling “not accepting the results.” But he predicts the hospital company can’t succeed after a landslide union win.
Board member Rick Livingston, who made the motion to deny the recommendation, said the proposed SE Asphalt plant’s location in a “very residential area” off the Spartanburg Highway was incompatible with both the county’s comprehensive plan and East Flat Rock’s community plan.
Despite high unemployment and ongoing uncertainties related to the pandemic, Asheville’s real estate market is booming. Local agents and lenders say a majority of their new clients are leaving densely populated cities as they seek lower housing costs and greater insulation from COVID-19.
“Folks are really starting to get weary of the pattern of hurricanes and extreme weather and are looking for more stable environments such as Western North Carolina,” says local real estate agent John Haynes, about clients seeking to move to the region from coastal states like Florida, New Jersey and Texas.
President Donald Trump, accompanied by his daughter, Ivanka, and U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, toured Flavor 1st Growers and Packers in Mills River on Aug. 24 to see firsthand how local farmers are working to feed individuals in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In April, Pardee UNC Health Care notified MountainCare that it would no longer donate the use of the 6,000-square-foot building that houses MountainCare’s Henderson County adult day program. MountainCare now must move out by the end of the year to allow Pardee to reuse or sell the building and seeks a free or low-cost space where the program can continue operating.
Nearly 1,050 households have received over $453,000 in emergency assistance from the fund for necessities such as housing, utilities and transportation. And roughly $853,000 has been loaned to 92 area businesses to help them weather the coronavirus’s economic impacts, contributing to the retention of 674 jobs.
Interventions by ‘strike teams’ help manage outbreaks at nursing homes; COVID-19 cases mount at Mission Health; St. Luke’s hastens test results through a partnership.
Roughly 10 small processors are available for all of North Carolina’s local livestock farmers. With higher overall demand due to COVID-19 and commodity beef producers leaning on the local supply chain in their transition to direct-market sales, some farmers can’t get meat processed until the spring of 2021.
Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Principal Chief Richard Sneed, whose tribe owns two casinos in Western North Carolina, had lobbied the board to oppose the rival operation at an Aug. 4 briefing. He argued that the Catawba Indian Nation, members of which primarily reside in South Carolina, were not properly authorized to operate gaming across state lines.
Some kids have faced social isolation during the pandemic with schools closing and being unable to see their friends. Some youth camps opened their doors in the summer so kids could engage with peers and learn instead of having their eyes glued to a screen.
Jennifer Pharr Davis, owner of Asheville-based Blue Ridge Hiking Company, says there’s a simple reason behind the pent-up demand for outdoor recreation: In a world where many activities are either unsafe or unavailable, going for a hike is very appealing.
Buncombe County’s Tourist Development Authority began advertising for tourists to visit Asheville again — on the same day that the county’s top public health official said coronavirus cases were “rising at an alarming rate.”
A late June report from the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association found that 77% of growers reliant on agritourism had seen reduced income since the start of COVID-19. But as the pandemic continues, Western North Carolina’s farms are finding safe, creative ways to share the agricultural experience with visitors.
Restaurants, brewers, hoteliers, tour companies and retailers were all among the 449 named Paycheck Protection Program beneficiaries with headquarters in Asheville. At least 46 of those entities also received help from the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority to fill needs unmet by the federal loan effort.
A bill that would have changed the distribution of Buncombe County’s controversial hotel tax to better benefit local government is likely dead until at least next year. The change would have reduced the share of room tax money to market and advertise Asheville as a tourist destination.
According to the Economic Development Coalition for Asheville-Buncombe County’s most recent annual report, the coalition attracted just $20 million in capital investment to Buncombe County in fiscal year 2019-20. That figure is down nearly 40% compared to the $33 million invested in fiscal 2018-19.
In 2019, if you were to ask anyone what drove Asheville’s economy, they’d tell you beer, arts and crafts, outdoor recreation, hotels and restaurants. In short, tourism. Today, with those businesses only just beginning to ramp back up and tourists staying home, talk of diversifying Asheville’s economy is picking up.
As “congregate living settings,” migrant farmworker camps have been listed as high-risk locations for virus transmission — not just by counties throughout Western North Carolina, but by state health officials and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
During a June 24 meeting, the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority board heard a presentation from marketing firm 360i about a new advertising campaign, scheduled to start in July, designed to attract a “responsible tourist audience” to the region. Ads will target visitors whose behaviors agree with “psychographic statements” about “willingness to conform.”
While Harvest Records remains shuttered, the business has started offering curbside pickup, mail orders and the occasional local delivery as co-owner Mark Capon tries to reimagine the usual record store experience through a virtual platform.