The Great Reboot - Soaring U.S. business starts in pandemic show new normal evolving
Category: OtherVia: hallux • 8 months ago • 10 comments
By: Howard Schneider - Reuters
ASHEVILLE, N.C., Oct 28 (Reuters) - The pandemic shuttered large parts of the U.S. economy in 2020 and may have driven hundreds of thousands of businesses into failure, but for entrepreneurs in North Carolina it triggered a wave of activity.
Healthcare chief executive Dana Allison quit one startup to begin another; restaurateur Eric Scheffer leveraged demand for outdoor dining into a new oyster restaurant with ample patio space; hotel owner Himanshu Karvir pushed ahead with a new Westin Element banking on Asheville's appeal as a smaller town with an outdoor culture; Axie Blundon pivoted his cannabis firm to add hand sanitizer under a separate brand.
"When the pandemic happened the world kind of stopped. That does not mean our minds stopped," Lincoln Walters, the family life director at a local church, said in explaining why amidst a global shutdown he committed $75,000 to convert a former stove shop in nearby Black Mountain to a consignment space for local gear manufacturers, centered around an open air coffee and beer garden
"Retail is changing. What can you do different, physically, to create space that people want to be part of? Create community...People may not need a climbing harness every day but they may need a beer to tell the story about their climb," Walters said.
It may be a leap in …