Curate staff with masks

Tourism businesses patch together local, federal funds in bid for survival

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.

Psychographic illustration

BCTDA seeks ‘responsib­le travelers’ in new ads

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.”

NC Stage closed due to COVID-19

Who will benefit from local COVID-19 business relief?

Funds supported with tax money from Buncombe County, the city of Asheville and the Tourism Development Authority are being managed by the nonprofit Mountain BizWorks. Because of this arrangement, government and TDA officials say they will play no direct role in determining what area businesses and nonprofits receive public dollars.

Roy Cooper at COVID-19 press briefing

Cooper mandates social distancing in retail stores

The new executive order, effective 5 p.m. on Monday, April 13, limits shoppers to 20% of a store’s permitted fire capacity or five customers per 1,000 square feet. High-volume locations such as checkouts must mark six-foot spaces to ensure social distancing in customer lines, and all stores must conduct “frequent and routine environmental cleaning and disinfection of high-touch areas.”

Business in brief: Regan joins Chamber, entreprene­urship conference

Returning for its second year, Hatch This combines techie business tropes including an accelerator, a hackathon and, of course, a party. The event takes place Friday-Sunday, Nov. 2-4. Participants will compete for $20,000 in prizes, including a $5,000 seed funding package. Also: who’s on the job, a state program to match federal business grants.

Business in brief: Haakon Industries comes to Asheville, cybersecur­ity conference­, apply for Elevate program

Canadian Haakon Industries announced plans to locate a manufacturing facility to build air handling units at Enka Commerce Park. The company says it will employ up to 160 workers within the first five years of operation in Enka. For the fourth time, Montreat College will host a cybersecurity conference.

Passing the torch: What happens when local business owners retire?

With 45 percent of business owners in Buncombe County alone facing retirement in the next decade, local groups and service providers are encouraging them to start planning for their company’s next chapter, while simultaneously devising ways to turn an impending crisis into an opportunity for employees to shoulder new responsibilities.

Facing the future: What happens when a nonprofit leader steps down?

Thirty years is a long time to devote to any pursuit, and Karen Cragnolin, the oft-honored founding mother of RiverLink, can attest to that. During that time, she says she held every job in the organization and was planning to finally move on this year when, during surgery, she suffered an aneurysm that robbed her […]