Mountain BizWorks receives $50,000 small business grant

Published 3:08 pm Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Mountain BizWorks has received a $50,000 grant for its Small Business Recession Recovery Project from the Commmunity Foundation of Western North Carolina (CFWNC) .

The project is funded in partnership with philanthropist Diana Wortham.

&dquo;We are grateful to Diana Wortham for funding a grant to Mountain BizWorks that targets jobs, small businesses and underserved populations,&dquo; said CFWNC President Pat Smith.&bsp; &dquo;Providing resources for these efforts helps our region now and will benefit us all in the future.&dquo;

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The grant was one of 52 Recession Response grants issued last week by The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina. The grants, totaling $297,448, support a wide range of projects.

&dquo;Our goal with the Recession Response Fund has been to encourage collaboration and partnership among our donors and other funders,&dquo; said CFWNC President Pat Smith. &dquo;The problems our mountain communities face are daunting but working together we are able to make a real difference.&dquo;

The economy has created distinct challenges for Mountain BizWorks, but with additional resources the organization says it will continue to build economic opportunities in 12 western counties through business development and loans. &bsp;

&dquo;These funds will allow our counselors to invest time in helping small businesses survive this recession,&dquo; said Greg Walker-Wilson, Mountain BizWorks CEO. &dquo;During past economic downturns, it has been the small businesses that have created jobs to get the economy out of a recession, and once again, we expect our diverse and vibrant small businesses to lead the recovery.&dquo;

In February, CFWNC launched the &dquo;Give from the Heart&dquo; campaign to raise $1 million for the Recession Response. The total secured to date is $645,067, contributed by hundreds of donors through gifts large and small to help people in need in the area. One hundred percent of the funds are available for grants as no administrative fees are charged by the foundation for this endeavor.

During the recession, CFWNC has expanded grant making for urgent needs and is also funding grants for nonprofit operating support, enabling organizations to focus on service delivery. To assess programs and respond quickly, this grant cycle was conducted on an expedited schedule and drew on regional expertise in the affiliate and partner communities for strategic decision-making. &bsp;

The next deadline for Recession Response Fund applications is May 15. Local nonprofits, churches and governmental agencies are invited to apply for grants to support emergency relief services, including food, shelter/housing, utility assistance, medical/mental health and employment issues exacerbated by the recession. Guidelines and downloadable application documents can be accessed at

The Recession Response program is a region-wide effort and needs far exceed resources to meet them. Anyone wishing to help can make a tax-deductible contribution at or by mailing a check to CFWNC, P.O. Box 1888, Asheville, N.C. 28802. Contributions of any size are welcome and make an immediate difference.

For more information about the Recession Response Fund or CFWNC, visit or call (828) 254-4960.