For some store owners, the highly anticipated May 9 move of North Carolina into Phase 1 of reopening was a signal that an end to their financial woes might be in sight. Others felt the move came too soon and remained closed to protect the safety of their staff and customers.
In the first quarter of 2019, the Asheville area saw an average of 5,400 new jobs compared to the same period the previous year, with gains in manufacturing, professional and business services and construction.
Walk any downtown Asheville street and you’re likely to encounter some quirky storefronts offering unusual products. Together, these “specialty shops” or boutiques, most of them locally owned businesses, are a key component of the city’s distinctive flavor, attracting thousands of tourists each year and helping fuel the economy.