Been a long time since I rock and rolled: Facing uncertainty amid the shutdown, WNC bands aim even higher

In the depths of The One Stop in downtown Asheville on Saturday, members of the Travers Brothership and Abby Bryant & The Echoes were setting up and sound checking for that evening’s inaugural “Blue Ridge Blues Jam.” 

The human component makes the difference

Apple was once a small business that was started in a garage by two college dropouts. It was the pipe dream of Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak to make computers small enough to fit in people’s homes or offices. We all know how the story ended, but it’s important to remember how it began. 

Female farmers survive a challenging year

By Laura Lauffer • Contributing writer | During the holiday season, we often recognize and appreciate the farmers in our community for the abundance of food on our tables. Three women farmers in the region shared their farming experience during this challenging year, what it means to them to farm as women and how they continued to grow and distribute their goods to the community in the challenging times of COVID. 

Shop Local Saturday: Support local businesses onsite and online

By Boyd Allsbrook • Contributing writer | This year’s post-Thanksgiving weekend of shopping holidays will be unlike any other. This should come as no surprise when one considers a market made unpredictable in the wake of a global pandemic, large swaths of the consuming public now reticent to venture outside and their consequent move to the safety of purely online vendors. 

Pandemic multiplies demand, complicates operations for outdoor businesses

As the Coronavirus Pandemic continues, people worldwide are rediscovering the outdoors in a big way — leading to record visitation at public lands in Western North Carolina and offering a marked boost to outdoor-oriented businesses and communities even as the nationwide economy continues to suffer. However, even this successful sector has met its share of challenges related to labor market shortages, supply chain disruptions and the sheer challenge of making up for revenue lost during full-on closures this spring.

Businesses adapt to survive pandemic

Despite the setbacks and challenges the COVID-19 Pandemic brought about in March, a surprising number of businesses in different industries have been able to weather the storm with quick-thinking, innovative changes to their operations. In some cases, businesses have made a full rebound and are reporting their best numbers ever. 

Haywood businesses become COVID-resilient

By Boyd Allsbrook • Contributing writer | When the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns hit Haywood County in March, business owners braced for the worst. Some closed their doors forever, while others scrambled for ways to reopen under the new normal. Months later, local entrepreneurs were able to give a retrospective on how they survived and changed with the times. 

Jackson businesses find their place in the post-pandemic world

Lured by the promise of drivable, socially distanced adventure, visitors from across the region have flocked to Jackson County in record numbers this year.

Macon merchants adapt during pandemic to stay open

During the initial pandemic panic back in March, many merchants in Macon County closed up shop while they tried to reassess all their plans for 2020. 

Swain businesses survive, thrive during pandemic

Swain County’s economy relies heavily on the tourism industry from outdoor recreation businesses to downtown retailers, restaurants and the railroad. 

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