Thursday, April 23, 2020

Weekly Village Update 4.23.20

Chamber and Community News
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 #VisitLater and #LoveBlowingRock

Business Information
Visit for a list of Blowing Rock Businesses operation updates, including restaurants offering take-out. It's always good to touch base with a business before you visit or make plans for future visits.

Virtual Visits
A number of Blowing Rock Businesses are getting creative; offering "virtual visits" for attractions, streaming events live and recorded. 

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

Mother's Day Gift Guide
Send us information of a special package or great gift ideas for Mom! The Chamber will compile the list and send it out. Include all the helpful information (including information about online ordering and curbside pick/up or shipping) and a photo.

You can email Harrison all of the information at
Rock United Relief Fund
The Rock United Relief Fund has been established by the Village Foundation of Blowing Rock to assist small businesses in Blowing Rock.  

Blowing Rock small businesses may apply for grants by completing and submitting Business Relief Grant Requests on the form found on, or 

Questions regarding the relief fund may be emailed to  VillageFoundation@BlowingRock.comor call the Business Relief Hotline at 828-414-2888. 

Want to contribute? Visit the websites or email for more information about how to contribute to the fund, or visit the GoFundMe page.  

Many thanks to all of those who have contributed! 
Property Owners Traveling to Watauga County:
Self-Quarantine Upon Arrival

DO - Stay in your home or on your property for 14 days 
or 7 days after symptoms have resolved, whichever is longer.
DON’T – Go to the Grocery Store, Pharmacy, Post Office, ABC Store, Lowe’s, etc. during the 14 days or 7 days quarantine, whichever is longer
DO – Have a plan. Bring with you adequate food and medicine for up to 14 days
DON’T – Visit ANY public spaces during the 14 days 
or 7-days timeframe, whichever is longer, including Town Parks and Green spaces
DO – Enjoy the outside at your residence, within your property
DO – Practice social distancing
DO – Wear protective masks when in public after the quarantine

Thank you for your understanding during this difficult time. These additional measures are intended to reduce the exposure to the entire community. Please call 828-295-5200 with any questions about this order. For health-related questions, please call AppHealth at 828-264-4995. 
Covid-19 Updates and Resources

With Guest Speakers:
  • Dr. Harry Davis - Professor of Banking/Economist
NC Bankers Association/Appalachian State University
  • John Loyack - Vice President Global Business Services Economic Development Partnership of NC
  • Wit Tuttell - Vice President of Tourism
Visit North Carolina Economic Development Partnership of NC

Small businesses across the country are confronting extreme economic challenges as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Financial support at this critical time can make the difference between staying in business or closing permanently, leading to lost income, jobs and economic stability.

Governor Updates
  • Gov. Roy Cooper: "Right now, North Carolina has 14 labs able to test for COVID-19, but to continue increasing our testing numbers we need help from the federal government getting more testing supplies and personal protective equipment. More testing is necessary to be able to start lifting restrictions in a safe way."
  • Gov. Roy Cooper announced a new executive order allowing furloughed workers to be eligible for unemployment benefits.

  • The N.C. Department of Health & Human Services received approval from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to temporarily waive certain Medicaid policies as part of North Carolina’s response to the COVID-19. The waivers will provide flexibility to North Carolina Medicaid and providers to address the urgent health care needs of beneficiaries during this public health emergency.

  • North Carolina has been approved for the new Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program, which will help families purchase food for children affected by school closings due to COVID-19. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services is working to operationalize the program, and families will begin to receive this benefit in coming weeks.

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.

It's National Volunteer Week!
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.

If you have any questions, or to receive a gift receipt for your donation, please contact: Brian Whitfield at or 828-262-9105.
Consider giving some of your extra time, supplies, food, funds to the following organizations:

How are you helping your small business community this week?

Here is a fun way to see if you are being a good, supportive customer for our local business community at this time. While these are certainly not an exhaustive list of ways you can help, it's a good start! Can you get 5 in a row? Can you cover the whole board?
Member News 
Blowing Rock Retailers Facebook Page
Janet Calhoun of Bolick Traditions & Pottery started a Blowing Rock Retailer Facebook group. This group is designed for retailers to share product, sales and more with customers!

Join the page here and then share with your friends!
It's National Park Week!
And while many areas of our back yard national park are closed there's still ways to show your support!

Stay connected with the Parkway however you can:

  • On the road: While many national parks have closed completely, the Parkway staff members have worked hard to keep large sections of the scenic route open. Visit the Real-time Road Map to find out where you can visit.

  • Giving: We continue to put your dollars to work for the betterment of the Parkway, from reopening Bluffs Restaurant to rehabbing the Cone Estate and more. Your gift now will help us keep these and other projects moving forward. Give online. P.S. When the entire Parkway is open again, there will be trails to repair, overlooks to clear, and facilities to restore. This is a chance to show your support at a critical time. Your national park needs you, just as you need it.
An Appalachian Summer Festival 2020 Replaces Live Events with Online Programming

The annual Boone, NC-based celebration of music, dance, theatre, film and visual arts cancels summer season due to the impact of COVID-19; offers reformatted online programming

Carolina Mountain Life gets a new look!
Carolina Mountain Life Magazine is excited about launching their brand-new website. 

They invite you to take a peek and let them hear from you

Turchin Center is open- Virtually!
Based on guidelines announced by Appalachian State University, the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts has revised its schedule. Schedules and guidelines are subject to further change in the coming days and weeks. All schedule changes specific to public events at the Turchin Center will be posted on the Turchin Center’s website and on Facebook.

HCAR Announces New Association Executive
The High Country Association of REALTORS has selected a new association executive to help manage the organization supporting real estate professionals in the four-county area. 

Duncan Martin will assume the duties May 1. He was chosen by the HCAR board and an executive search committee. “Duncan has been active in real estate since 2003 and has been actively engaged in real estate association governance since 2005,” said Pam J. Vines, president of HCAR. “As a certified instructor for the National Association of REALTORS® he has vast experience in adult education and curriculum creation.”
BRAHM has a new Website and an Online Exhibit Starting April 25th
The Blowing Rock Art & History Museum has a brand new website! 

Visit to see their virtual offerings and fresh digital face. P.S. They've hidden the dragon puppet, "Sir BRAHM" on one of the pages. Find him for a chance to win a special gift.

Blowing Rock Art & History Museum announces their first online exhibition Terra Ludis: PlayGround, opening on Saturday, April 25. 
Live vicariously through photographs and interviews with 19 locals who share their love for outdoor activities such as hiking, rock climbing, kayaking, mountain biking, road cycling and fly fishing. 

This online exhibit also features an interactive map where you can find directions to the best trails or climbing spots around (with social distancing as a number one rule). If you don't see your favorite place on the map you will be able to add it!

Visit on April 25th and beyond to view the new online exhibition.
Joe Shannon's Mountain Home Music:
2020 Season Cancelled
Due to all the uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the board of Joe Shannon’s Mountain Home Music has made the difficult decision to cancel all public performances for 2020. This decision was not taken lightly - the uncertainty about the trajectory of COVID-19 in the coming months and the likelihood of an extended stay-at-home order, along with concern about the health and safety of our performers and audiences, has led to the realization that canceling the JSMHM Concert Series is the responsible thing to do.
A New Service Provided by VPC: Homewatch
With travel limited or restricted VPC has introduced Homewatch. Their service allows you to not worry about your home while you are away and provide comfort in knowing that a home specialist is actively looking after your home as they would their own. Contact VPC for more information

Tips from Blue Ridge Energy on being more efficient.
Now is a great time to take a moment and look where you could be saving money around your home or business.

Blue Ridge Energy has provided this graphic to assist you in identifying where you may be able to boost your energy efficiency.
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!