Business Buzz: 3/30/21

March 30, 2021


  • Mountain BizWorks has announced nine Western North Carolina-based companies selected for their tenth cohort of the ScaleUp program, which began on Friday, March 26 and runs through the end of May. Through the ScaleUp program, the companies will receive intensive growth-management training, connect with experienced mentors, and receive access-to-capital support. The 9 companies will join more than 120 alumni of ScaleUp since its launch in 2015. Nearly two-thirds of this year’s cohort are women or people of color, and four are from rural communities. The companies are: AS Appliance Repair, Asheville Glamping, Blackbird Landscapes, Hummingbird Candle Co., Mountain Laurel Digital, Proxy Home Services, Skin Spa Asheville, Sow True Seed and Spillway Bridge. More details on the ScaleUp program can be found at 


  • The technology platform, coUrbanize, which lets community members participate in planning and development projects in their community, is working with RCG to help engage residents and give them an opportunity to share their ideas regarding plans for the 101 Charlotte Street project. The proposed redevelopment will include retail, public art, housing and open space. To get involved and leave feedback, visit the community engagement website at and click on the feedback section to add comments and ideas
  • Asheville Community Theatre is seeking 20 local designers for their tenth annual Costume Drama: A Fashion Show, a fundraiser benefiting the theatre that features inventive fashion created from unconventional materials from four categories. The categories this year are toybox, garage sale, knots landing, mix and match throwback. Submissions are due by April 10, the show will be filmed August 9-10, 2021 for a streaming broadcast on September 11, 2021. Click here to learn more and apply.


  • Asheville Regional Airport has released a sneak peek of their new terminal design project, which began nearly 18 months ago, working with architects at Gresham Smith. The design project, which is nearly fully funded by Federal Aviation Administration grant funds, is part of the airport’s strategic long-term planning and growth of the airport. Check out the sneak peek of the design concepts here. 


  • The Irene Wortham Center is holding their 21st Annual Benefit Golf Tournament on Friday, July 16. All funds raised from the event will help disadvantaged children receive equitable access to early childhood education, individuals with developmental disabilities reach their full potentials and underserved folks receive access to necessary therapies and medical care. See participating sponsors and register as a player or sponsor here. 
  • Mars Hill University’s Theatre Arts Department is bringing Little Shop of Horrors to the stage April 21-24 at 7:30 p.m., with a rain delay performance April 25 at 7:30 p.m. Performances will be held at the Ellen Amphitheater on the campus, which seats 150 people, and will be limited to approximately 50% capacity with a maximum of 75 patrons, based on seating configurations of family groups and pods. Social distancing and extensive health and safety protocols will be in place. Due to the limited number of patrons allowed in the amphitheater, it’s recommended to get tickets in advance. Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for children (recommended for ages 8 and up), free for Mars Hill University students and staff with identification the day of the performance. For more information click here. Contact the box office at (828) 689-1377 or at
  • The Magnetic Theatre’s outdoor variety show Magnetic In The (Smoky) Park is returning every Tuesday evening all spring and summer long. Shows will begin Tuesday, April 13 through October 26 at Smoky Park Supper Club (350 Riverside Dr.). The “doors” will open at 6 p.m. and the show starts at 7 p.m. The kitchen will be open for food and the bar will be open for drink service. These are BYOC (bring your own chair) events and safety protocols will be in place. Tickets are $18 for general admission, with discounts available for members of The Magnetic Theatre. Learn more or buy tickets here.


  • Buncombe County Communications & Public Engagement has welcomed Leonard Jones as a Community Development Specialist. Jones is a third-generation Asheville native who is already familiar with Buncombe County, having worked in the Health and Human Services Department for six years. In his new role, Jones will coordinate and work at weekly community markets, a critical point of contact for the department to better understand and serve the county’s various and diverse neighborhoods. “These markets are an opportunity for community partners and the County to serve, listen, and address some of the challenges various communities are facing,” Jones said. “I have passion for history, especially local history… I want to use that knowledge to learn from our past and strive to incorporate that knowledge as we move toward solutions for the future of Buncombe County.”
  • CooperRiis Healing Community has announced Laurie Rovin has joined their team as Chief Development Officer. Rovin previously led two different organizations, A Child’s Haven and Pendleton Place as their CEO. Prior to that, she spent ten years with United Way of Greenville where her last position was the Director of Community Affairs and also served as a licensed clinical social worker. Rovin plans to work into her role by developing the department as she raises funds and is most looking forward to connecting with alumni, alumni families, and even past employees to launch an Ambassador Program at CooperRiis. Learn more about CooperRiis.


  • A new boutique, Merc 828, is opening at the Asheville Outlets in April. Merc 828, a fashion, accessories and cosmetics boutique, will feature pieces for local vendors and give other small businesses a store front. Merc 828 is the sister store of Mercantile 423 in Johnson City, TN and the fourth location from the retailer’s owners. 


  • Friday Services currently has more than 150 jobs on their job board to get filled for the Western North Carolina Area. The employment agency specializes in hiring for administrative, manufacturing, professional, and technical positions. Click here to learn more and apply for a job.
  • Genova Diagnostics is celebrating their annual “Laboratory Professionals Week” April 18-24, in which they recognize, support and reward their employees for their hard work. They are looking for financial sponsorship of an event to make their event a success. Click here for the sponsorship information. 

Scam Alert:

  • BBB Scams are back with a COVID-19 twist. A phony survey claiming to be from Pfizer, the pharmaceutical company, with questions about their COVID-19 vaccine is coming in email and text message form. In some versions, the message claims that you will receive money for completing the survey or a free product and provides a link. The link, however, is bad. The link may lead to a real survey, which upon completion offers a sign up for a “free trial offer” where you are asked to enter your credit card information for a shipping fee. Watch out for similar scams from other pharmaceutical companies, as well. In general, the best way to avoid a scam, is to not click on a link in an unsolicited text or email. Many times these texts or emails push you to act immediately, have typos or strange phrasing or claim to have information about you, but you never signed up for it. You can also hover over URLs to reveal their true destination, as well. Typically the hyperlinked text will say one thing, but the link will lead elsewhere.