Look for the best in this new normal

By Nick Breedlove • Guest Columnist | Every May we commemorate National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW) to celebrate the value travel holds for our economy, businesses, and personal wellbeing. This year’s NTTW theme is “Spirit of Travel.” As we look at the recent events and the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic and how it has forever altered communities and lives around the world, it proves difficult to celebrate anything at the moment. However, now more than ever is the time for us to band together in support of the industry that offers so much hope, joy, and inspiration. 

Hard-hit small businesses grapple with ‘new normal’

The nation’s annual Small Business Appreciation Week is held around this time each year and, coincidentally, couldn’t have come at a better time this year. 

Cosmetologists ready to get back to work

Melissa Walker opened her salon in Sylva in 2006, which means she’s been able to build a thriving business in a small town for 14 years even through all the challenges, including the 2008 economic recession. 

Hope remains at Lake Junaluska amid pandemic challenges

The cross situated over Lake Junaluska has been lit at night for years to give railroad workers some guiding light and inspiration as they rolled through Haywood County.

City Lights alters business model to weather dine-in closure

City Lights Café has been a fixture in Sylva since first opening its doors in 2011. Those doors are now closed as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, but behind them owner Bernadette Peters is working to find new ways to sustain her business even as dine-in eateries like hers are ordered closed. 

Rebuilding, brick by brick: MGC of WNC

Though most of us have acclimated to the idea and implementation of silence in this era of the Coronavirus Pandemic, the sounds of hammers and sawblades have been echoing down McCracken Street in Waynesville as of late.

Galleries adapt to the struggle of pandemic shutdown

Like much of the economy in Western North Carolina, art galleries in the region depend on tourism for survival. Just ask co-owner/manager of Twigs and Leaves, located in downtown Waynesville, Carrie Keith. 

Keeping the wheels in motion: Waynesville Tire

Though the front door is locked, the large garage and repair bays of Waynesville Tire are wide open and ready for business.

Haywood commissioners push to reopen after terminating ‘stay home’ order

Less than five weeks after issuing a “stay home” order and barely three weeks after extending it, Haywood County commissioners approved a resolution May 4 to terminate their countywide order and told Gov. Roy Cooper they hope he’ll do the same with his statewide order when it comes up for possible renewal May 8.

Swain County’s COVID-19 restrictions terminated

Following a two-and-a-half hour meeting on Monday, Swain County commissioners voted to lift their countywide COVID-19 restrictions with the understanding that residents and businesses still must adhere to Gov. Roy Cooper’s stay-at-home order. 

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