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.
Cherokee businesses feel pandemic impact
With the economic powerhouse that is Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort surfacing as one of the pandemic era’s most-impacted local businesses, it stands to reason that the future of Cherokee’s business community would be among the region’s most uncertain.
Why not grow? Mike Coble’s hope for downtown Waynesville
By Boyd Allsbrook • Contributing writer | It’s 10 O’Clock on a Monday morning. I stroll into J. Gabriel Home and Gifts on Waynesville’s Main Street and am greeted by a blur of commotion. Though the store’s just opened, people are already popping in and milling around displays of jewelry, clothes and chocolate truffles. There’s a flash of grey fur by my feet and I’m suddenly being nuzzled by a gorgeous ice-eyed husky. Pleasantly shocked, I reach down to pet it, but am interrupted by a short whistle that sends the dog careening away across the shop.
Half of 2020 is behind us, thank goodness
I was walking my animal last night at sunset, enjoying the evening views and cool temps, thinking back to the July 4 weekend. Along the way, it hit me that half of 2020 is now in the history books. The verdict is still out as to how this time will be viewed by those who look back, but hell, it sure feels like the world is in a different orbit.
Economic development boom in Maggie Valley
After years of languishing in the shadows of a shuttered amusement park, Maggie Valley’s west end is now seeing substantial commercial development resulting in several major new or renovated businesses.