Mountain BizWorks

Mountain BizWorks is a U.S. Treasury-certified nonprofit community development financial institution that serves Western North Carolina, with offices in Asheville and Boone.

BOONE — Thanks to the fundraising success for the ReEnergize Watauga Fund, Mountain BizWorks, the Watauga County Economic Development Commission and the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce announced July 13 that the program has now been expanded to include businesses that offer short-term lodging.

The ReEnergize Watauga fund provides a low-interest option for businesses to access capital during this crucial time of reopening. Unlike the EIDL and PPP loans, ReEnergize Watauga Funds offer no stipulations on allocations. The ReEnergize Watauga Fund is especially helpful as businesses reopen, assess cash flow and work towards compliance with local and state health and safety standards.

“We are happy to see that some Watauga County businesses have already put these loan funds to good use,” said Boone Area Chamber of Commerce President/CEO David Jackson. “As North Carolina’s Phase 2 of the easing of restrictions has remained in place, several businesses in the short-term rental and Airbnb worlds have struggled to maintain operations due to the realities of our current tourism economy. We know these businesses help provide a unique brand of mountain hospitality to visitors as they come to the High Country. Hopefully those that are in need of capital infusion can find this fund helpful as they look to balance their financial picture.”

“This expanded offering by no means eliminates businesses that were previously eligible,” said Chris Grasinger, High Country regional manager for Mountain BizWorks. “There remains a multitude of industries in Watauga that have pressing needs for this type of funding — tourism and entertainment businesses specifically are under financial stress due to restrictions on their operation. Clarifying the route for short-term lodging businesses’ access to the fund comes as we’ve learned more about the most constrained industries in the community at this time.”

“We want local small businesses, including those who depend upon short-term rental income, to be aware of the opportunity to tap into this local fund,” said Joe Furman, director of Planning & Inspections and Economic Development for Watauga County. “This was designed to be a way for local businesses to get the financial support they need during these difficult times and we are eager to see as many businesses take advantage of this opportunity as possible.”

Loans are available for up to $10,000, based on the business’s pre-COVID-19 revenue. 

For more information about eligibility requirements and loan terms, and to apply, visit mountainbizworks.org/coronavirus/covid-19-loans/reenergize-watauga.

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