Jessie Dean of Asheville Tea Company at 2019 Mountain Raise

Mountain Raise connects small businesses with local investors

Mountain BizWorks is hosting its second Mountain Raise Wednesday, Nov. 10, 5:30-8:30 p.m. at Hi-Wire Brewing. The event features five WNC businesses — Cardstalk, GreenLifeTech, North Cove Leisure Club, Spectra3D Technologies and SteakAger — that will present their fundraising goals to the community in the hopes of drawing local investors from all income levels and walks of life.

Q&A with Kareen Boncales, director of entreprene­urship at Mountain BizWorks

Many people who volunteer with the Peace Corps consider it a life-defining experience. Kareen Boncales is one of them. She served in Cameroon from 2009-11 in small enterprise development, teaching basic business skills to everyone from farmers to boutique owners. “I really admired that entrepreneurial spirit of turning challenges into opportunities,” she recalls. “I knew […]

BCTDA tourism business survey results

TDA will not support additional COVID-19 relief from room tax revenues

“I think we’re failing our community if we don’t get that $3 million out there,” said Andrew Celwyn, a member of the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority board and owner of downtown Asheville’s Herbiary retail shop, in reference to a pot of money the authority had successfully used to support tourism businesses last year.

Biz Briefs: Mountain BizWorks, Dogwood Health Trust team up for PPP 2.0

PPP 2.0 Help is at hand for qualifying local businesses seeking to access federal pandemic relief funding. In partnership with Dogwood Health Trust, Mountain BizWorks has opened the application process for a second round of Paycheck Protection Program awards. As with the first round of funding, DHT is committing $2 million to enable Mountain BizWorks […]

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.