The Explore Asheville team continues efforts to provide information and resources to help industry partners navigate the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Asheville SCORE is a national, nonprofit, volunteer organization of successful executives who provide free business consulting services to entrepreneurs, business owners and professionals that want to start a company or expand an existing business.
Carolina Small Business Development Fund
Founded in 1990, the Carolina Small Business Development Fund (previously known as The Support Center) is a statewide, nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that provides small business loans, financial training to businesses, and lending services to community-based organizations. Since 2010, the CSBDF has invested $32.7 million in 458 small businesses across North Carolina helping to create or retain more than 1,018 jobs.
Mountain BizWorks makes business loans ranging from $1,000 to $150,000 to small businesses in Western North Carolina who are unable to secure funding from banks and other traditional sources with a particular focus on low-income, minority, women, and immigrant entrepreneurs, and businesses that operate within the local food system.
They also offer highly customized peer-to-peer business coaching by an extensive network of local, successful business owners. MBW’s coaching helps entrepreneurs overcome obstacles, grow strategically, and create jobs.
Natural Capital Investment Fund
Natural Capital Investment Fund provides loans up to $500,000 to triple-bottom-line businesses and farms that drive growth, increase profitability, create employment opportunities, and have positive environmental impact.
NCWorks Career Center
The staff at NCWorks Career Center helps match job seekers with local businesses. As of the first of April, there were more than 5,000 jobs listed withing a 50-mile radius of Asheville.
Pisgah Legal Services
Pisgah Legal Services provides legal assistance and advocacy to help low-income people in Western North Carolina meet their basic needs and improve their lives. Find COVID-19 resources here.
Self-Help Credit Union
Self Help Credit Union makes numerous business loans and offers the Golden LEAF Small Business Assistance Fund, which aims to create jobs by helping businesses expand. Priority industries include healthcare, construction, green industries, agriculture or manufacturing.
Small Business Center at The BASE
The Small Business Center (SBC) at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College fosters and supports entrepreneurship, small business, and economic development. The SBC provides:
- Free one-on-one, confidential business counseling for startups and small businesses
- Free business seminars, interactive workshops, and classes in key areas such as bookkeeping, pay-per-click advertising and more
- Free business resource library featuring books and audio/video as well business plan software
Thread Capital: A Subsidiary of NC Rural Center
Thread Capital offers financing customized to the needs of small business, with loans from $500 to $5 million. The experts at Thread Capital can provide business owners with feedback on business plans and provide information about items such as the importance of credit history and the effect it can have on a business.
Other Agencies & Organizations Offering Information
Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce
The Chamber has created a Coronavirus Resource Guide with business and community information.
Asheville Grown Business Alliance
Asheville Grown Business Alliance has an ongoing collection of resources and information.
Beverly-Hanks, a local real estate firm, has assembled a list of business support resources.
Economic Development Partnership of NC
The EDPNC has developed a comprehensive list of North Carolina Business Relief Resources.
Go here to see help for entrepreneurs and businesses affected by the Coronavirus pandemic.
US Chamber of Commerce
A new 4-page booklet has been created for small businesses: Coronavirus Emergency Loans – Small Business Guide & Checklist. >> Download the booklet here.