Economic Development

About Us

The Economic Development Division is part of the City’s Community & Economic Development Department.

The Division works to drive economic prosperity in Asheville. This division manages Outdoor Special Events, Workforce Development programs, Minority Business program, business resource support and the development of Business Toolkits. Working with a long list of partners, the City is responsible for implementing programs and services that attain job creation and retention, and increasing income within the city by attracting higher-wage job opportunities.

Through traditional and equity-based approaches, the Community and Economic Development department leads the business expansion, urban regeneration, small business development, cultural arts and music efforts for Asheville. We develop innovative programs that increase the prosperity of all Ashevillians, our businesses and our diverse communities.
Economic Development oversees a youth workforce development program, CAYLA, which mentors and supports high school students to ensure college readiness. This and other workforce development programs prepare our workforce to meet the demands of current and emerging industries. Through partnerships with business organizations, we create Business Toolkits to help specific geographical areas get the tailor-made resources they need grow and thrive within the local economy.

The Division supports Asheville area citizens on issues related to wealth-building and job growth.

Related Services

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Cold weather emergency shelter

When extreme cold weather is expected, the Asheville Homeless Coalition issues a Code Purple Alert. Participating homeless shelters voluntarily add space beyond their normal capacity to keep as many people as possible out of the cold. To find out when Code Purple is in effect, visit the Homeless Coalition’s Code [...]

Economic Development News

Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME applications now open

    The City of Asheville’s Community and Economic Development Department is now accepting applications for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME, “Home Investment Partnerships Program program.The application process is online, and the link to the webinar for CDBG and HOME application is here.   The deadline for applications is Friday [...]

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Thomas Wolfe Auditorium celebrates 80th anniversary with public information session to view the conceptual design for a venue transformation project

  Thomas Wolfe Auditorium set to celebrate 80 years of events this month   On Jan. 8, Thomas Wolfe Auditorium will celebrate its 80th year anniversary of providing a civic home for music, arts, and entertainment in Asheville, beginning a year-long celebration of the venue’s history and plans for potential future development. In conjunction with this announcement, the City [...]

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Asheville 2019 in review: Electric buses, election format, red pandas and more

  With 2019 nearly in the books, it’s time to take stock of City of Asheville projects and developments from the past year. Here are 10 initiatives that your City government advanced in 2019. Read about the Asheville Police Department’s accomplishments for 2019 at this link. We’ll have 2020 initiatives to look [...]