Business Buzz: 1/21/21

January 21, 2021

Achievement or Award

  • Avadim Health, Inc. (“Avadim”), a healthcare and wellness company, announced that their flagship retail brand, Theraworx® Relief for muscle cramps and spasms and symptoms associated with Restless Legs Syndrome according to 2020 Pharmacy Times and U.S. News and World Report survey is now the 2nd most recommended brand with retail pharmacists for homeopathic topical analgesics. In the annual Pharmacy Times and US News and World Report survey, pharmacists listed Theraworx® Relief ahead of more than hundreds of brands available in the category.



  • Buncombe County Health and Human Services (BCHHS) has launched a COVID-19 wait list for individuals in the first two phases of the state’s vaccination priority list: adults 65 and older and all health care workers. Individuals can sign up for the wait list by calling 828-250-5000 or by going to As vaccines are received from the state, representatives from the Ready Team will contact individuals on the wait list via phone and email to schedule their appointments. Vaccine supplies remain much lower than demand, so wait list opportunities are only available at this time to those active groups identified by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS). As new phases become active, those wait lists will be opened up. View the phases here:
    While Buncombe County has bolstered its web and phone infrastructure, we anticipate that phone and web traffic to be heavy, and we ask the community to continue to be patient.
    Vaccine supplies are distributed weekly from the state and are currently very limited. More appointments will be added as vaccines become available. As we move through the wait list, our staff will make two attempts to reach individuals using the contact information on the wait list registration. If individuals cannot be reached after first attempt, they will remain in their position on the list and a second attempt will be made as appointments remain available or in the event appointments fill, when additional appointments are available. The second attempt may not occur on the same day if appointments fill completely. For planning purposes, individuals will receive a call from the Ready Team at (828) 419-0095. If an individual misses their call, they can call 250-5000 with their wait list number provided in the voicemail or email, and if an appointment is available, it will be scheduled. After two unsuccessful attempts, individuals lose their position on the waitlist and will be moved to the end of the waitlist for available appointments. Please know demand is incredibly high, and staff is working to contact those who sign up as quickly as possible.
  • Through a new joint venture between HCA Healthcare and A Plus International Inc., and support from the HCA Healthcare Mission Innovation Fund, LLC, production of personal protective equipment (PPE) will be brought to North Carolina through a new manufacturing center. The joint venture will produce PPE Level 1 and Level 3 masks meeting American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards for quality and safety starting in early 2021 from a manufacturing center located in Asheville. The joint venture will be co-managed by A Plus and HealthTrust, a global leader in purchasing aggregation and performance improvement for healthcare.
  • Following a successful and healthy fall semester of primarily in-person, on-campus classes, Mars Hill University is carefully planning for the upcoming spring semester. University leaders anticipated a surge in COVID-19 cases as winter and the typical flu season arrived, so they strategized to delay move-in and in-person learning during the spring semester by several weeks. With the institution of an online January term, or J-Term, students now are learning online and are scheduled to return to campus during the weekend of January 30-31.for spring semester in-person instruction beginning February 2. Peer leaders known as Student Health Ambassadors will play a large role in helping students stay safe. The Student Health Ambassador program at WNC colleges and universities is coordinated through MAHEC, with a goal of providing health outreach and promotion, and assisting in establishing a culture of wellness and safety that helps reduce the likelihood of COVID-19 transmission on campus.  Mars Hill will continue to implement adjusted schedules and social distancing measures for classes, dining facilities, and extracurricular activities as the spring semester begins in February.


  • Walnut Cove Realty, the Sales and Marketing leader for The Cliffs at Walnut Cove and an independent luxury real estate company, has named Josh Smith as the company’s president. Mr. Smith succeeds Kent Smith, founder and managing partner of Walnut Cove Realty, who served as president since the company’s inception in 2006 and who will continue as managing partner. In his role as president, Mr. Smith will be responsible for establishing Walnut Cove Realty’s overall direction and strategic initiatives. With more than 15 years of experience in the high-end luxury real estate industry, Mr. Smith specializes in gated lifestyle communities. Since joining Walnut Cove Realty in 2013, he has been the top sales producer every year since 2014 closing nearly $100 million in transactions during that time, and has been the top producer across all seven of The Cliffs communities three times. Across Western North Carolina, he was named one of the top 10 realtors twice, and a top 100 realtor seven times.


  • Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity has several employment opportunities: Operations Associate, ReStore Associate, VP Finance and Operations, Home Repair Project Supervisor  and Construction Supervisor.  For more detailed information, visit To apply please submit your cover letter and Resume to


  • Hospital distributions for convalescent plasma have increased about 250% since October, and the Red Cross is asking those who have recovered from COVID-19 to donate blood or plasma to help. There are two ways COVID-19 survivors can help – through a convalescent plasma donation ( or by simply giving whole blood. Plasma from whole blood donations that test positive for COVID-19 antibodies may be used to help COVID-19 patients.
  • Mars Hill University’s Weizenblatt Gallery’s first exhibit of the spring 2021 semester will feature works by Asheville artist Cyrus Glance. The exhibition runs from Tuesday, February 2, through Thursday, February 25. Glance records his friends, family, self, and strangers in drawings and gouache (an opaque watercolor). His style is described as raw, powerful, and honest. Glance works as a nurse, which brings him into contact with a wide variety of people, many of whom become the subjects of his art. This exhibition is an unfiltered look at humanity. Weizenblatt Gallery is located in the Moore Fine Arts Building on the Mars Hill University campus. It is open from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, and admission is free.


  • Mountain Bizworks is now accepting applications for the 2021 ScaleUp program (due by Feb 21). ScaleUp is an intensive cohort-based program for existing WNC small businesses with strong growth potential. Ideal applicants are founders or executives of existing small businesses 1) based in WNC, 2) with annual revenues between $150K – $1.5m, and 3) with a compelling opportunity for business expansion. Mountain Bizworks also encourages applications from a diverse range of companies and over 2/3 of participants have been rural-based, women-owned, minority-owned, or veteran-owned companies. Those interested in learning more are invited to attend the Trailblazing WThis virtual series is open to any entrepreneur wanting to bring a ScaleUp strategy and mentality to their 2021. Each session will also include a preview of the full ScaleUp Cohort 10 program. Workshop Series Dates: Wednesday, February 3, 6pm – 8pm; Monday, February 15, 2pm – 4pm; Thursday, February 18, 10am – 12pm Details and registration here
  • CommunityLab launched a new mobile COVID-19 testing site open to the public starting Wednesday, January 13, 2021. The testing site is stationed in the parking area at 401 Depot St. in Asheville and will be open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday each week from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Testing performed will be gold-standard PCR testing for COVID-19 via nasopharyngeal swab collection and is available to anyone regardless of symptoms or known exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Results are available within 24-36 hours. Walk-ups are welcome and tested on a first come, first serve basis. No appointment necessary. While CommunityLab offers walk-up COVID-19 testing for the public at the Depot St. mobile testing site, drive-through testing is available at its headquarters in Arden by appointment only. Additionally, CommunityLab aims to partner with local businesses, healthcare providers, healthcare organizations, public institutions, or private corporations of any size. Their team can customize services such as medical courier pick-up or Spanish translators to meet each organization’s unique needs. To learn more or set up a testing account with CommunityLab, please visit or email


  • The 2021 Winter Buzz Breakfast series, hosted by Leadership Asheville and the Asheville Area Arts Council, focuses on Equity in Creative Placemaking. This approach uses arts strategies to involve those that live, work, and play in a community, and give them a voice in the urban design process. This four-part series will include presentations from nationally recognized experts followed by Q&A moderated by Darin Waters, special assistant to the chancellor at UNC Asheville and executive producer of The Waters and Harvey Show, and Aisha Adams, founder and executive producer of The Asheville View. All four events in the series are available online, free to everyone via Remo, with pre-registration required, and links provided at
  • The A-B Tech Small Business Center is happy to announce a new interactive webinar in collaboration with Nicole Lee – author, entrepreneur and visionary. How to Eradicate Fear is a guide for any entrepreneur who has had to navigate an environment filled with doubt due to the pandemic, unemployment and the uncertainties of our future. People’s hopes, dreams, desires and aspirations have been covered by the smog of fear, depression and negative influences. Creating a space of authenticity and transparency, without judgment, creates a mindset of hope and ignites the idea of a bright future. During this program, Nicole will work with participants and discuss ways that they can create that authentic space which is key to forward progress. She will offer visual solutions and tools that entrepreneurs can use to assist with our current times. Realistic, actionable and successful growth strategies will also be discussed. This virtual program will be hosted via the Zoom platform on Wednesday, February 24 from 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm. Please visit to register.