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$1.6M Slated to Help with Job Retention, Business Recovery as Buncombe Commissioners Approve Additional ARPA Funding

Buncombe County Commissioners are distributing $1.6 million of federal funding to help local businesses with job retention and creation. On Dec. 7, Commissioners unanimously approved using American Rescue Plan Act money for three projects aimed at assisting businesses struggling to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Thanks to these three organizations for bringing these projects forward. They are innovative proposals,” said Commission Chair Brownie Newman. “We reviewed over 100 proposals, and these really stood out. It’s a hard decision to make, but these are strong ideas to help people in our community who have a vision for owning or growing a business… and that’s really the heart of our economy.”

The $1,675,000 will go to the Asheville Area Arts Council, Eagle Market Streets Development Corporation, and Self Help Ventures Fund. These projects were approved by the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners at its Nov. 16 meeting and are included in the $11 million approved last month

Asheville Area Arts Council

Allocation: $50,000

Project: Creative Sector Recovery Grant

Economic Development Purpose: Assist arts nonprofits and arts professionals working as sole proprietors and independent contractors with recovery aid to create and retain jobs and rejuvenate revenue streams which have suffered substantial negative economic impacts from the pandemic.

Self Help Ventures Fund

Allocation: $1,250,000

Project: Mountain Community Capital Fund

Economic Development Purpose: To create and retain jobs and assist individuals who have suffered substantial negative economic impacts from the pandemic by providing a loan guarantee fund for small business loans.

Eagle Market Streets Development Corporation

Allocation: $375,000

Project: Community Equity Fund

Economic Development Purpose: Designed primarily for a target audience, BIPOC and women-owned businesses and sectors which have suffered substantial negative economic impacts from the pandemic by offering equity capital for business development

For a complete list of project applications, click here. Find a list of all funded projects here.

The next round of funding is expected in May of 2022. The federal government provides guidance about how this money can be used and when projects must be started and completed. Buncombe County is committed to investing these funds in projects that:

  • Align to County strategic plan and community priorities
  • Support equitable outcomes for most impacted populations
  • Leverage and align with other governmental funding sources
  • Make best use of this one-time infusion of resources
  • Have a lasting impact

If you or anyone you know are struggling to pay your rent, mortgage, or utilities, Buncombe County’s COVID Housing Assistance Program may be able to help. Click here for more information.

Follow along at Buncombe County’s COVID recovery funding webpage.

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Updated Dec 17, 2021 09:05 AM
Published Dec 07, 2021 06:30 PM

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