Thursday, April 16, 2020

Weekly Village Update 4.16.20

Chamber News
Blowing Rock Business Relief Grant Request
The Blowing Rock Chamber is excited to announce the creation of the Rock United Relief Fund in partnership with The Village Foundation of Blowing Rock. The money in this fund will be made available through a grant application process to local business in need of support until government aid is available. 

Businesses can apply for a grant from the Rock United Relief Fund using the grant application found on our website here. The application deadline is April 30th. 

For more information or questions on the Rock United Relief Fund or the Business Relief Grant Application please visit our website or call the Business Relief Hotline at 828-414-2888. 
The Blowing Rock Visitors Center is closed to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. We would like to echo our friends at the Blowing Rock TDA and High Country Host and say #StayWell and #VisitLater. 

NC Blue Ridge Parkway Closures - Effective 4.15.20
MP 292 - 294.5 
Road closed near Blowing Rock, including Moses Cone Parking Area and Hwy 221 Bass Lake Parking Lot. 

MP 294.5 - 296.4 
Road closed, including Price Park Picnic Area 

MP 298.6 - 305 
Road closed through Grandfather Mountain area, including Rough Ridge and Linn Cove Viaduct 

MP 305 - 308 
Road closed 

MP 316.4 
Linville Falls Spur Road closed, including parking at Linville Falls trailheads 

MP 334 - 342 
Road closed, including Crabtree Falls Area, near Little Switzerland, NC 

MP 355 - 375.6 
Road closed from Mt. Mitchell to Ox Creek, including Craggy Gardens 

MP 377.4 
Parking areas closed at Craven Gap (Town Mountain Rd) for MST Trail access 

MP 384.7 
Roadside parking closed at MST Trailheads at US 74A Parkway access ramps 

MP 393 - 469 
Road closed from French Broad River Overlook to Southern Terminus of Parkway 

Business Updates
Visit for a list of Blowing Rock Businesses operation updates.

Restaurants are able to provide takeout.
Please consider calling our local Blowing Rock restaurants and ask about take out services.

When posting on social media, remember to tag us and we encourage you to show your support for the town by using the hashtag #LoveBlowingRock
March Real Estate Sales Remain Strong During Pandemic
Though impacted like most every industry in the country by the coronavirus pandemic, area REALTORS® conducted business throughout the month of March. Unit sales for the month were slightly lower than a year ago, while unit sales for the first quarter of the year were up.
Property Owners Traveling to Watauga County to Self-Quarantine Upon Arrival

While the best thing to do is stay where you are and not travel, all residents and non residents of Watauga County arriving for overnight stays are ordered, while present in the County, to self-quarantine for a period of 14 days or until 7 days after symptoms have resolved, whichever is longer, if arrival was preceded by overnights outside the County. The only exceptions to this provision are the commuting “essential” workforce and emergent response as coordinated through the Watauga County Emergency Services Director, AppHealthCare Director, and/or Sheriff and their designees.
The Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce has compiled extremely valuable information for business owners and their employees. Please take some time to review this information. 

A few brief updates:

  • Gov. Roy Cooper issued executive order 131 on Thursday, April 9, further limiting the occupancy of retail businesses. The order limits to the number of individuals in a store to 20 percent of the store's stated fire capacity, or to five customers for every 1,000 square feet of retail space. The order also orders businesses to clearly mark six feet of spacing in lines at cash registers and in other high-traffic areas for customers.

  • As of April 13, 2020 more than 1 million loans have been approved nationally, through the PPP, for a total of almost $248 billion.

  • In North Carolina, 23,786 loans have been authorized resulting in the approval of more than $5.7 billion.

Guides and Resources from the U.S. Chamber

The U.S. Chamber continues to create, update, and evolve its various guides and resources to continue bringing you and your members the information you need during this difficult time. We encourage you to utilize and share the following items as you see fit:

Your Contact in Western NC for the SBA is: 
App Regional Health System
If you suspect that you may have COVID-19, APHRS has arranged a safe, convenient, and cost-effective option for your screening, so that you can avoid unnecessary hospital or clinic visits. Start with a screening through a virtual physician visit for just $49.

Caldwell Valley Community College FREE Webinars
Caldwell Valley Community College is also offering FREE Seminars for smalll business owners. Find a list of the programs offered here which include creating online shopping, selling through Amazon and Etsy and more!
Donated Supplies, like N95 respirator masks, can be dropped-off at the front entrance of Charles A. Cannon, Jr. Memorial Hospital in Linville or the security checkpoint at Watauga Medical Center in Boone.

ARHS is accepting donations of personal protective equipment including:

  • Medical grade surgical and procedure masks
  • N95 respirator masks
  • Face Shields
  • Gloves
  • Gowns
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Homemade cloth face coverings

If you have any questions, or to receive a gift receipt for your donation, please contact Brian Whitfield at or 828-262-9105.
Consider Donating Food to a Local Food Bank or Masks to The Community Care Clinic
Member News 
Wine to Water Helping Feed Laid-Off Service Industry Workers
Their goal: To "serve the servers" of the community. "We wanted our people to not only eat to survive but also to thrive in this time, so we decided to put our boxes together a little differently, like a wholesome meal package, so we got everything from pancake mix to oatmeal to fresh pasta to grilled chicken breast, we got rice and beans, fresh fruits, vegetables," said Wine to Water founder Doc Hendley.

They say they can't do it alone.

To donate to the CARE.BOX Program, click here

To volunteer, please email
On the News: El Rincon: "We are Better Together"
Leticia Ruiz, owner of El Rincon on Main Street, appeared on WSOCTV with an important message for Blowing Rock, "we are better together". El Rincon has transformed into a neighborhood corner store selling hard to find supplies like cleaners and toilet paper, while still offering delicious meals. Check out the video here.
Zoom with Apple Hill Farm llamas
Apple Hill Farm is offering both private and group video call appointments via Zoom. All you need to join us is a stable internet connection and a phone, tablet, or computer with a webcam. They'll email you a link to the video call shortly before your appointment, and then join you live from the alpaca field!

The llamas and alpacas are also available to join your company's next meeting via Zoom!

Private zoom calls are just for your group, and are $10 for a 10-minute call. Apple Hill Farm is offering 10-minute appointments between 11 am and 12 pm Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. You can also reach out via email or phone if you or your organization needs to book an alpaca or llama call at a different time. 

Mast General Store is Here for You!
From 10am-3:00pm you can call 828.262.0000 or email to order games, grits or gear. It'll be delivered to your waiting vehicle. If for some reason you do not get an answer, please call 866.367.6278
A Different Type of Easter Eggs

Easter Sunday at Meadowbrook Inn was truly magical. On a day that is symbolic for hope and life, our Mama Duck welcomed her newborn ducklings to the world! Nine of them in total!
Precision Printing Re-Opening
Precision Printing re-opened their doors on Monday, April 13th. Please call and email orders - Curbside service is also Available.
Charter Spectrum Offering Specials for Businesses, Internet for Students.

Spectrum Reach has been working on some ways to help businesses stay relevant throughout this period by offering things like free commercial production and extremely low rates for getting that message on news networks or any other outlet.

They are also offering free internet services to anyone in the community with students K-12 and College in their household who doesn’t already have it. 

Insurance Payments Deferred for 30 Days. Check with Your Insurance Team. 
Insurance companies have taken important steps to work with clients. Several carriers are issuing credits or refunds (personally owned vehicles) on premiums due during COVID-19 when vehicle usage is low. Each company will vary in how they choose to handle the situation, and some companies are still in the process of analyzing their course of action.
The North Carolina Department of Insurance issued an order that all insurance companies defer insurance payments for thirty days as of March 27th. The deferral is not automatic but is available if a policyholder makes a request. When the deferral expires, policyholders will be required to bring their payment(s) current to avoid cancellation.
It is a good time to confer with your agent to understand your options, i.e. you may want to change your pay plans, deductibles, etc.
Your LifeStore Team wishes you and your family good health and well being. We’ll get through this together one day at the time.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns. Our contact information may be found in the link below:
More events can be found on our online calendar.

To submit your news to our weekly newsletter, email by Wednesday. 

Our newsletter reaches over 1,000 member contacts each Thursday!
Thank you to our 2020 Chamber Partners!

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