One Buncombe Fund Offers Relief for Individuals, Businesses Affected by COVID-19

March 27, 2020

At the Asheville Chamber, we believe that together, we are more. Together, we are stronger. Together, we are more resilient. We are One Buncombe.

And that’s why we have joined with Buncombe County, the City of Asheville, the Town of Montreat, Mountain BizWorks, the Land of Sky Regional Council, and others to launch the One Buncombe Fund (, a centralized COVID-19 donation and relief center.

Buncombe County is strong and resilient. When times are hard, we look out for those with less and pool our resources to make sure our neighbors are getting by. Even though we are apart, we can come together as One Buncombe.

The One Buncombe Fund addresses those affected by the COVID-19 crisis by providing basic needs for unemployed individuals and bridge funding for small businesses. We need you to join us and our community partners to distribute meaningful and immediate relief to our neighbors. Please visit to make a donation.

If you or your business needs assistance, we encourage you to apply immediately (see below for details).

Assistance to individuals who have lost employment due to COVID-19

Individuals who have lost employment due to COVID-19 are eligible for direct assistance grants. Funds can be used for life-essential needs caused by the COVID-19 public health crisis such as electric bills, deposits, fuel oil, kerosene, natural gas, propane, wood, mortgages, overnight lodging, etc. Funds will be paid to the service provider, not directly to individuals. Assistance will be provided through the Buncombe County Department of Health and Human Services. County social workers will screen applicants to ensure all other potential sources are leveraged, including public assistance programs (e.g., unemployment insurance) and the services of our community partners. Social workers will also make referrals to Health and Human Services partners to assist the applicant to help alleviate their immediate crisis.

If you have questions or want to apply, please contact or call (828) 250-5500.

Assistance for locally owned, small businesses affected by COVID-19

Small businesses affected by COVID-19 will be eligible for loans up to $10,000. During the initial six-month period, there will be no payments of any kind. Interest will accrue at 4% during the six-month period, but will not be paid and rolls up into the loan at the end of the six-month period. Loans will be designed to provide low-cost bridge funding to help businesses stay open and limit job losses until they qualify for longer term disaster funding from SBA or others. At this time, small businesses are defined as having fewer than 50 employees. Loan underwriting and administration will be provided by Mountain BizWorks, a nonprofit community development financial institution. Eligible uses include payroll, accounts payable, fixed debts, or other bills the business is unable to pay due to effects of the COVID-19 crisis.

Business Eligibility:

  • Fewer than 50 full- and part-time employees
  • Must have a physical location and be principally based in Buncombe County
  • Demonstrated loss of revenue of 25% or more due to COVID-19
  • Agree to provide impact data

For full details and to apply online visit If you have questions, please contact Jeremiah Robinson at (828) 253-2834 ext. 14.

The Buncombe County Service Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, will serve as fiduciary for all One Buncombe Fund donations. Donations are considered tax deductible, but please consult a tax professional for any specific guidance.

Please donate here:

To donate by check, make it payable to “Buncombe County Service Foundation and mail to:
Buncombe County Service Foundation
200 College St., Suite 300
Asheville, NC 28801
*Please make sure to note that funds are for “One Buncombe Fund.”

We thank you in advance for donating. These are unprecedented times, and they call for equal measures. We know this is a big ask, but it’s not from us; it’s from our community’s most vulnerable, our neighbors, friends, and the future generation.

Members of the public who have questions about donating, please contact Angelyn Johnson at

For individuals in need, please contact

For questions about business loans, please contact Jeremiah Robinson at (828) 253-2834 ext. 14.

Interested in becoming a matching funds partner? Contact Sybil Tate at

Help Spread the Word:

  • Share Once Buncombe on social media (sample messages: image below)
    • For the Business & nonprofit audience: COVID-19 has taken its toll on local families, individuals, and businesses. Many in our community have been laid off, or have seen their business grind to a halt. You can help provide relief and support to those most impacted. Donate today at #onebuncombe
    • For grassroots individual contribution: Are you looking to help, but don’t know how, or where to give? Give locally to the #onebuncombe fund. Your small contribution can make a big difference. The fund goes toward local businesses and workers that have been most impacted by COVID-19. Donate at
  • Add a sign in your store window or outside signage: We are #onebuncombe
  • Add this to your email signature line: We are One Buncombe. Support the community
  • Share the image below:

One Buncombe Fund Partners

Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce
Buncombe County
City of Asheville
Land of Sky Regional Council
Mountain BizWorks
Town of Montreat
Biltmore Lake Charitable Fund
Ramble Charitable Fund
Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority