Community Helping Community: One Buncombe Fund Seeks Donations, Small Businesses Affected by COVID

Buncombe County -- Buncombe County News: Like many Buncombe County small business owners, Stephen Smith was

significantly affected by COVID-19, noting the onset of the pandemic was difficult, “especially for Black businesses.” However, he was able to secure revenue for his company M.S. Lean Landscaping through the One Buncombe Fund. “[It] came at a much-needed time and allowed me to not only avoid laying off employees, but actually hire more as new clients came on,” said Smith. And that’s exactly the point of the One Buncombe Fund: community donations helping small businesses stay afloat while keeping employees working.

While some things might seem back to normal, there is a demonstrable need for additional relief in our small business community. In one week, One Buncombe Fund has received nearly 70 applications for grant funding, with about a quarter of those coming from minority-owned businesses. Further, about half of those applicants do not qualify for federal PPP relief, demonstrating the immediate need for local initiatives like the One Buncombe Fund. More applications are expected in the days leading to the Feb. 28 deadline. While there is finally a light at the end of the tunnel in terms of the pandemic, Buncombe County still has many employers and workers that need community support getting there.

Want to get involved? Give to the One Buncombe Fund.

Fundraising is ongoing, and we’re making progress toward our goal of raising $500,000 or more for grants that will be directly distributed to small businesses. We need about $200,000 more toward that goal, and your donations are one of the easiest ways to help keep locals working.

Here’s what you need to know:

Donations are tax deductible.
Donations go directly to Buncombe County small businesses.
Donate here.
Additional details, including impact data and a list of donors, can be found here.
Does your small business have a staff of 1-25? Apply for funding.

The One Buncombe Fund is open to small businesses across all industries with a particular focus on:

Creative sector – art and music businesses
Sole proprietorships
Women- and people of color-owned businesses
However, all Buncombe County small businesses are encouraged to apply. Here’s what you need to know:

Applications will be accepted until Sunday, Feb. 28.
Sole proprietorships are eligible for up to $2,500.
Small businesses with 2-25 full-time equivalent employees are eligible for up to $5,000.
For detailed specifics on eligibility, click here.

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