Business Buzz: 1/11/22

January 11, 2022


  • Mercy Urgent Care’s West Asheville facility now offers Merck’s oral antiviral therapeutic, Molnupiravir, for the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in adults age 18 and up who tested positive for the virus. The five-day treatment course will be available for high-risk patients within five days of symptom onset. Per the state of North Carolina, due to high demand and limited availability, Molnupiravir can currently only be prescribed to immunocompromised individuals not expected to mount an adequate immune response to COVID-19 vaccination or infection due to their underlying conditions, regardless of vaccine status, or unvaccinated individuals at the highest risk of severe disease (anyone 75 years or age and older, or anyone 65 years of age or younger with additional risk factors); OR unvaccinated individuals at risk of severe disease not included in Tier 1 (anyone 65 years of age and older, or anyone less than 65 years of age with clinical risk factors). Mercy Urgent Care is one of few providers in WNC who is currently offering Molnupiravir and other oral antiviral therapeutics. Patients may request or receive a referral for the treatment, to be administered at Mercy Urgent Care West Asheville, from their regular health care providers. More information about Molnupiravir, as well as the treatment request form for providers, can be found here.


  • MANNA FoodBank has announced their next CEO is Claire Neal, the 6th leader in almost four decades of the organization’s existence. Claire Neal returns to her home state to helm the regional nonprofit in time of great change, bringing deep experience in health equity, food services, and a proven track record of achieving positive outcomes through collaboration focused on supporting people’s basic needs to live a better life. “I couldn’t be happier to be returning to my home state of North Carolina, and I am excited to begin listening, learning and working closely with our community to end hunger in Western North Carolina,” said Neal. In order to ensure a smooth transition in MANNA’s vital work across Western North Carolina, MANNA’s current CEO, Hannah Randall, has graciously agreed to stay on for several weeks to help onboard Claire following her arrival on January 31. Read more here.
  • After conducting a nationwide search, the Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC) has announced William Hathaway, MD, will succeed Jeffery Heck, MD, who announced his retirement in August after leading the organization through a decade of unprecedented growth. Dr. Hathaway will assume the role of CEO beginning February 7, 2022, and already has a strong understanding of MAHEC’s mission, having served as a member of the not-for-profit organization’s board of directors since 2014 and working closely with MAHEC to expand graduate medical education programs and clinical training opportunities in the region. Dr. Hathaway has been a practicing cardiologist in Asheville since 1999, but his ties to North Carolina extend back to his residency training at Duke University in Durham, NC, where he also trained in cardiovascular medicine. During his 23 years at Asheville Cardiology Associates and Mission Health, his leadership roles have ranged from chief medical officer and chief of staff to chief of cardiovascular services. Dr. Hathaway is dedicated to advancing health and equity in Western North Carolina and currently serves on the boards of the United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County, Pisgah Legal Services, YMCA of Western North Carolina, and the Economic Development Coalition for Asheville- Buncombe County in addition to MAHEC. Read more here


  • This month, Asheville Community Theatre is launching The Narrative, a new online series devoted to reading and discussing plays. The first discussion will take place on Thursday, January 13, 2022 at 7:30 pm. Tickets are free, but must be reserved in order to receive the link to the Zoom meeting. Tickets are available online at, over the phone at 828-254-1320, or in person at the Asheville Community Theatre Box Office. In January, two plays are on the agenda – Choir Boy and The Brothers Size – both by playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney. The discussion will be hosted and moderated by Asheville playwright, author, director, and producer Ria Young, who also selected the two plays for this first event. Scripts are available to check out at the Asheville Community Theatre Box Office, 35 East Walnut St., Asheville or at Noir Collective, 39 S Market St Suite C, Asheville. Learn more here.
  • Asheville Outlets will host American Red Cross Blood Drives on Fridays, January 28 and February 11, 2022 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Giving blood is a simple thing to do, but it can make a big difference in the lives of others. The donation drives will be held in Suite 348, across from RH Outlet. Donors are asked to register in advance by visiting and entering the sponsor code AshevilleOutlets. All Blood Donations will be tested for COVID-19 Antibody. Read more here.
  • Fisher Creative Marketing is hosting a 2022 Marketing Roadmap virtual workshop on January 25 from 11am – 1pm. A lot of businesses want to improve their marketing, but they aren’t sure where to start. Tackling new marketing initiatives feels daunting. Marketing professionals Holly Fisher and Amanda Bunting Comen have created your 2022 marketing roadmap. Holly Fisher, owner of Fisher Creative and a StoryBrand Certified Guide, will share the Marketing Made Simple Checklist. This five-part checklist helps business owners create a sales funnel so they can reach more customers. Learn to effectively develop, strengthen and communicate your brand’s story in the marketplace. Learn more and register here.
  • A critically acclaimed group comprising more than a dozen of the finest singers in the classical world, American Spiritual Ensemble has thrilled audiences across the globe with a dynamic and soul-stirring repertoire that highlights the Black experience. Tuesday, January 25, 2022 at 7:30 p.m. at Wortham Center for the Performing Arts, 18 Biltmore Ave., downtown Asheville. Tickets: $42 regular; $37 student; $20 children; $10 day-of-show student rush (with valid I.D.). Box office: 828-257-4530 or