When the Rev. Tami Forte Logan learned that the Buncombe County Tourist Development Authority and allies won legislative approval to offer $5 million to small businesses crushed by the pandemic, she didn’t join the chorus of congratulations. “This bill is making sure that the hoteliers don’t fall, making sure that they will be OK,” said Forte Logan, a leader in Faith 4 Justice Asheville, which advocates for racial equity. “But what about the people? I don’t see how this will trickle down to the workers who are being hit the hardest.”
The grant money is available to restaurants, retailers, breweries, art galleries and other small businesses that in the judgement of the TDA will “significantly increase patronage of lodging facilities in Buncombe County” when they reopen, the legislation says. Mark Barrett
Area restaurants have been especially hard hit by the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.