The county, North Carolina’s seventh-most populous, was fifth on the state’s list of counties by number of pandemic-related first-time unemployment insurance claimants in April. Of those claims, 21.7% were from workers in the leisure and hospitality industries, while 15.6% were from the trade, transportation and utilities sector.
“This is increasingly a wellness corridor,” says chef Reza Setayesh of West Asheville, the location of his newest restaurant BimBeriBon. Local entrepreneurs, he notes, “have invested in businesses that promote a lifestyle and environment that includes the whole being, whether it’s acupuncture, massage, food, yoga. This is a neighborhood that helps people move, make healthy choices and thrive.”