One Buncombe Fund Grants for Small Businesses

One Buncombe Fund is a small business job retainage grant program to assist those individuals who have suffered substantial financial damages due to the pandemic.

We are excited to announce that another round of funding will be available for small businesses and their employees struggling from COVID-related issues. On Sept. 21, the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners approved $500,000 for the popular One Buncombe Fund that has already helped 200+ small businesses and resulted in the retention or hiring of 1,000 local employees.

Program Details

Applications will be accepted Oct. 1 – 31. All applications received prior to the deadline will be considered equally.

  • Sole proprietorships are eligible for up to $2,500.
  • Small businesses with 2-25 full-time equivalent employees are eligible for up to $5,000.
  • Businesses that received One Buncombe Fund GRANTS earlier this year will NOT be eligible in this current round. The intent is to expand the reach of these funds to those businesses that missed out last time.
  • Selected grant recipients will receive disbursements by the end of November


Program Guidelines

Download or view the PDF linked below to get detailed information about the One Buncombe Grant Fund program guidelines


How to Submit an Application

The application window will close on October 31 at 11:59pm. All of the applications submitted within the application window are being considered equally. A copy of the entire application is available here as a PDF (this application is only for preparation. Applications must be submitted online). 

At the time of application, applicants are expected to attach: 

  • Most recent tax return and 2021 year to date Profit & Loss statement

  • A schedule listing the positions to be rehired and/or retained and the corresponding wage rates. Download worksheet here.



Eligibility Criteria

  • Businesses that received One Buncombe Fund GRANTS in March are NOT Eligible

  • Business Must Have Been in Existence Prior to January 1, 2021

  • For-Profit Business Located in Buncombe County: Business must be a for-profit entity based in Buncombe County

  • Must Have 25 or Less Full-Time Equivalent Employees: 

      • In calculating full-time equivalent (FTE), each full-time position shall count as 1 FTE and each part-time position shall count as 1/2 FTE. For example, a business with 5 full-time positions and 4 part-time positions would be 7 FTE.

      • Owners who are actively working in the business do count as employees for the purposes of determining FTEs; passive owners and independent contractors do not.

  • Supports Job Rehiring and Retention: The applicant must be able to clearly demonstrate how the grant will help rehire or retain a committed number of positions in their business, and keep those positions for at least 6 months. Further, only jobs that are at or above Just Economics’ 2020 Living Wage standards will be considered (owner-employees are exempt from this requirement).

  • The Living Wage Rate for 2020 was $15.50/hour without qualifying employer-provided health insurance, or $14.00/hour with employer-provided health insurance. 

      • For employees that receive tips, commission, or alternative means of compensation besides an hourly rate, employees must be consistently making a living wage when you combine their base wage and other forms of monetary compensation.

  • Other COVID-19 Funding Assistance: Applicants must list all grants or other relief funds received to assist their business since March 10, 2020. 

  • Agree to Report at 6 Months After Grant: The applicant must agree to report on the financial condition of the business, jobs retained and hired, and use of funds received 6 months following the receipt of funds. 

  • Agree That Funds Will Only Be Used for Business Expenses: The applicant must certify in writing that they will only use this grant for business expenses incurred for business activities in Buncombe County, and which support the retention and hiring of the employee positions named in this application. 

  • Agree to Award Announcement: Applicant understands and agrees that all grantee business names and grant amounts will be publicly announced. 

  • Submits a Full and Complete Application including all required attachments prior to the application deadline.

  • Existing One Buncombe Fund Loan clients must be in good standing to be eligible to apply for the grant funds.


Program Timeline

  • September 29: The first webinar will take place at 3pm (Register Below)

  • October 1: The application window opens

    • All applications completed and submitted before the deadline will be considered equally. There is no benefit to rushing an application.

  • October 1: Self-scheduled one-on-one technical assistance calls begin (Register Below)

  • October 6: The second webinar will take place at 9:30am (Register Below)

  • October 29: Technical support around submitting your application will conclude at 5pm

  • October 31: The application window closes at 11:59pm

  • Mid-November: Grant awards will be publicly announced



Get Answers to Your Questions

In these recordings Mike Ames goes over eligibility, supporting documents needed, how to apply, and fields questions from attendees.

Webinar #1 | Watch Here

Webinar #2 | Watch Here


Still Have Questions?

We encourage you to watch one of our training webinars to get your questions answered. For additional questions please email


Need 1:1 Help With Technical Questions?

If you need any assistance, please schedule a time to meet with one of our Technical Assistance Providers. These providers can not tell applicants what to write or help with crafting responses to prompts but can provide clarity on any technical elements of fund, provide support regarding eligibility, and assist with preparing the required documents. Our goal is to be as equitable as possible and allow all applicants equal access to information.

Schedule an Appointment Here


Get The Latest Updates

Please sign up for the interest list below to receive the new updates and application reminders.



March 2021 Award Announcement

One Buncombe Fund Grant Money to Help Save 410 Living-Wage Jobs, Assist 116 Small Businesses

View the full list of grant awards




The mission of the grant funds is to support COVID-19 affected Buncombe County-based small businesses in their ability to re-open and rehire employees.

The One Buncombe Grant Fund helps small for-profit businesses reopen and rehire staff through grants. Please note that funds are limited and not all who apply will be awarded. The eligible grant amount will be based on firm size:

  • Up to $2,500 for solopreneurs or single-member organizations
  • Up to $5,000 for firms with up to 25 full-time equivalent employees


The One Buncombe Fund’s goal is to help small businesses, and especially those owned by women and people of color with an additional emphasis on sole proprietorships.