One Buncombe Grant Fund

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


Reminder About the Paycheck Protection Program

With limited grant funds, we are encouraging any small businesses that are eligible to receive PPP funding to do so.

Learn about PPP eligibility and apply here


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 closed on February 28 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 and here as a Word doc

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

  • Most recent filed tax return (unless business start date was in 2020)
  • 2020 profit and loss statement
  • A schedule listing the positions to be rehired and/or retained and the corresponding wage rates. Download the form here.


Eligibility Criteria

  • Business Must Have Been in Existence Prior to October 1, 2020
  • For-Profit Business Located in Buncombe County: Business must be a for-profit entity based in Buncombe County
  • Must Have Less than 25 Full-Time Equivalent Employees: The business must have no more than 25 Full-Time Equivalent employees at the time of application. 
      • 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

  • February 8: The application window opens
    • All applications completed and submitted before the deadline will be considered equally. There is no benefit to rushing an application.
  • February 8: Self-scheduled one-on-one application assistance opens
  • February 9: The first webinar will take place at 2 pm
  • February 11: The second webinar will take place at 9:30 am
  • February 26: Technical support around submitting your application will conclude at 5 pm
  • February 28: The application window closes at 11:59 pm
  • March 21: Grant awards will be publicly announced


Get Answers to Your Questions

Watch a past webinar

In this webinar, we did a detailed review of the Fund’s eligibility requirements, supporting documents needed, as well as a walkthrough of the application process itself, with time for a live Q&A.

Previous webinars

MOST RECENT: February 11, 2021 February 9, 2021


Check our Frequently Asked Questions Page

Our most recent batch of FAQs was published on Friday, February 12.

Check the FAQs


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