A $5 million dollar relief fund aimed to bolster Buncombe County’s tourism-based economy is now accepting applications from business owners impacted by the pandemic.
The Buncombe County Tourism Jobs Recovery Fund was included in a larger coronavirus relief package passed by the general assembly and signed by the governor earlier this month. It’s intended to help businesses that rely on tourist dollars, like breweries, shops and performance venues. Mountain Bizworks in Asheville is responsible for lending the funds out to applicants.
"Tourism is a big part of our economy, and it’s basically turned off during the pandemic," Matt Raker, executive director of Mountain Bizworks, said. "As we look towards reopening, this will be really important funding to help those businesses to reopen safely and sustainably."
Grants of up to $50,000 will be dispersed to small businesses and nonprofits. Raker says applications will be accepted through the end of the month. Funds will be awarded in mid-June. Information about eligibility requirements and the application can be found here.