In June, 394 local businesses that provide a visitor experience received grants from the $5 million Buncombe Tourism Jobs Recovery Fund to help them safely and sustainably reopen, providing the support to reinstate or generate as many as 4,787 jobs.

Created by the Buncombe County TDA using occupancy tax collections designated for tourism product development, the fund was administered by Mountain BizWorks, a nonprofit that provides loans, classes, and coaching for small businesses.


Select Media Coverage

Here’s a roundup of media coverage about the Fund that includes stories and comments from industry partners on how the initiative is helping them.

“Spotlight on Mountain BizWorks” – 08.01.2020, The Laurel of Asheville

    • Featured partners: Hi-Wire Brewing, Lexington Glassworks, The Village Potters Clay Center

“Tourism businesses patch together local, federal funds in bid for survival” 07.17.2020, Mountain Xpress

    • Featured partners: Asheville Symphony, Button & Co. Bagels, Curate’, Green Sage Cafe

“Costs of COVID: Restaurant owners bear burdensome new operational costs” – 07.03.2020, Asheville Citizen Times

    • Featured partners: AIR, Bouchon, Strada, The Social Lounge, Vivian, White Duck Taco

“From basic survival to PPE purchasing, what business owners are doing with TDA grants” – 07.02.2020, Asheville Citizen Times

    • Featured partner: Wedge Brewing

Hundreds of small Asheville businesses get relief this week from TDA funding” – 06.24.2020, Asheville Citizen Times/Asheville Scene

    • Featured or mentioned partners: Asheville Beauty Academy, Asheville Yoga Center, Biscuit Head, Hood Huggers International, Rhubarb, The Orange Peel, Ultimate Ice Cream

“Orange Peel, Hop, more: winners of $5 million Buncombe County Tourism Jobs Recovery Fund” – 06.24.2020, Asheville Citizen Times

    • Mentioned partners: The Hop, The Orange Peel, and the full list of all 394 recipients

“Nearly 400 Asheville businesses get grants funded by tourism money” – 06.24.2020, WLOS-TV

    • Featured partners: Asheville Pizza & Brewing, Biscuit Head, Hood Huggers International, Ultimate Ice Cream

Presentations & Updates on the Fund

08.18.2020: Presentation to Buncombe County Commissioners

    • Recording of Presentation by Explore Asheville CVB Interim Executive Chris Cavanaugh and Mountain BizWorks’ Director of Sector Development Noah Wilson (presentation starts at about 37:15 into the recording of the Commissioners meeting)
    • Presentation includes remarks (in-person and virtual) by fund recipients Zebulon Artisan Ales, Hood Huggers International, Black Mountain Center for the Arts, and The Village Potters

07.29.2020: Update on the Fund & Grant Recipients

06.24.2020: Announcement of Fund Recipients & Methodology for Selection

    • Recording of Presentation by Mountain BizWorks’ Executive Director Matt Raker and Director of Sector Development Noah Wilson at Buncombe County TDA’s June meeting

Press Releases + More