The Biz: WNC business briefs

Grove Corner Market Offers Deals: Like most businesses these days, the Grove Corner Market in Asheville’s Grove Arcade is feeling the pinch—looking for some help and offering some in return.

“The Grove Corner Market, in the midst of the usual winter downtown doldrums and the unique current market, is in need of some ready cash to weather the coming months,” the business reported in a recent e-mail. “As you know, having a downtown grocery store is paramount to downtown livability and heightens workability.”

The market’s creative solution? Make an up-front investment in groceries and get a discount. Here’s how it works, according to the e-mail:
• “For $250, you’ll get 2.5 percent back in purchasing power;
• $500 gets you 5 percent;
• $750 gets you 7.5 percent;
• $1,000 gets you a whopping 10 percent back. That’s $1,100 worth of groceries for $1,000 up front!”

To explore or seal a deal with Grove Corner Market, contact Rosanne at 225-4949 or grovecornermarket@main.nc.us.

A-B Tech’s Economic Clout: How much can a community college do for a local economy? Plenty, according to some numbers released by Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College.

Each year, A-B Tech’s past and present endeavors generate about $400 million in income locally, the school says, citing data from a “socioeconomic impact of education study” for the 2008 fiscal year by Economic Modeling Specialists, an Idaho-based firm that specializes in analyzing regional economic data.

Among the study’s findings:
• That figure “amounts to roughly 4.4 percent of the area’s total annual income.”
• The college’s students “generate about $25.1 million annually in higher earnings due to their education.”
• “About 81 percent of the students stay in the region initially after they leave A-B Tech, contributing to the local economy.”
• “Students see a 23 percent rate of return on their A-B Tech educational investment, recovering all costs (including wages forgone) in six years.”

Moms Of Multiples Want To Save You Money: The members of Asheville Mothers of Multiples know what it’s like to scrimp and stretch budget dollars. Who better, then, to host a rummage sale geared toward surviving the troubled economy?

AMOM will hold its annual spring rummage sale Saturday, March 14, at the National Guard Armory (25 Shelburne Road) from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. “The sale offers bargain prices on baby clothes, children’s clothes, toys and equipment, maternity clothes and yard sale items,” according to a press release. And after the main sale ends, whatever’s left will be half-price from 2:15 to 3 p.m. The proceeds will benefit AMOM, which helps needy local families of multiples.

ASAP Launches Farm-To-Hospital Initiative: If you’re in the hospital, chances are a healthy meal would serve you well—and so much the better if your food came from right around the corner.

That’s the rationale behind the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project’s new Farm to Hospital pilot program, which will “enable hospitals to feature fresh local foods and offer food- and farm-related educational programming,” the nonprofit reports. “Farm to Hospital aims to both improve public health and sustain local farms.”

“ASAP will offer services to hospital food service, administration, staff, patients, and the broader community,” the organization says. “The program will include distributing Local Food Guides to hospitals and support in sourcing local products for cafeterias. ASAP will also consult on educational programs such as cooking classes and field trips, wellness programs, and marketing and promotions.”

The group, which has conducted similar programs in local schools, is eager to hear from hospitals ready to go local. For more information, contact program coordinator Molly Nicholie at molly@asapconnections.org or (828) 236-1282.

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About Jon Elliston
An Asheville-based mountain journalist: Former Mountain Xpress managing editor. Investigations and open government editor at Carolina Public Press. Senior contributing editor at WNC magazine.

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