On June 24, 2020 at the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority Board meeting the 394 recipients of the Buncombe County Tourism Jobs Recovery Fund were announced. Awards totaled $5m and ranged from $2,000 to $30,000/ per business to help small businesses in the tourism industry safely and sustainably reopen, covering expenses such as payroll, supplies, rent, inventory, and more.
The Buncombe County Tourism Jobs Recovery Fund’s mission is to preserve and safely reopen the region’s unique and diverse small business ecosystem and protect tourism-related jobs.
The Tourism Fund helps tourism-related small businesses and nonprofit organizations reopen through:
- Simple and streamlined micro-grants of $2,000 – 5,000
- Full grants of $5,001 – $50,000
The Tourism Fund aims to:
- Preserve the diverse, vibrant local economy which makes Buncombe County a sought-out travel destination.
- Protect thousands of tourism-related jobs in Buncombe County.
- Provide businesses with the resources and strategies to help them reopen safely and ensure their long-term viability.
The Buncombe County Tourism Jobs Recovery Fund, authorized by the N.C. General Assembly and administered by Mountain BizWorks, was created by the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority with occupancy tax revenue dedicated for tourism product development. Buncombe-based businesses that provide a direct visitor experience were able to apply for COVID-19 relief to help pay for the expenses of reopening, including rehiring employees.