Economic Development Programs

The Economic Development Division is home to three program areas, the Business Inclusion Office, the City of Asheville Youth Leadership Academy (CAYLA), and the City of Asheville Real Estate Office. These programs support key economic and workforce development focus areas in our community.

Business Inclusion Office

The Business Inclusion Office implements the City of Asheville Business Inclusion Contracting Policy.

The office actively identifies minority and women-owned businesses for opportunities to participate as providers of goods and services to the city. To learn more about how we are working to increase equity in contracting, visit our Business Inclusion Initiative page, where you’ll also find helpful resources for MWBE business owners.

To learn more, visit our Business Inclusion Services page.

City of Asheville Youth Leadership Academy

The City of Asheville Youth Leadership Academy (CAYLA) provides its students with a meaningful summer work experience, leadership development through seminars and community service, and college preparatory activities, including yearlong academic support. Since its inception in 2007, CAYLA has been nationally recognized by the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. In 2011, CAYLA was honored with the North Carolina Governor’s Award for Volunteer Service.

To learn more, visit our CAYLA page or contact Alex Mitchner, CAYLA, and Workforce Programs Coordinator.

City of Asheville Real Estate Office

The City Real Estate Office manages City-owned properties and leads efforts to acquire, sell, and lease property on the City’s behalf to support core government functions and services. The Office works with partner departments within the City and partner organizations in the community to achieve Community & Economic Development Goals.

To learn more, visit our City Real Estate Office page or contact Ellen McKinnon, Real Estate Office Coordinator.

Economic Development Finance

The Economic Development Division works with our area Economic Development Partners to provide a range of development finance programs and opportunities to foster development within the City of Asheville.

Economic Development Incentives

Economic Development Incentives are designed to stimulate private sector investment, economic growth, and job creation in the City by offering grants consistent with the economic development incentive policy and availability of funds. View active and completed incentive projects here.

Industrial Development Grants (IDG) are designed to stimulate private sector investment in a specific industry.

Business Development Grants (BDG) are designed to stimulate local small business expansions.

Infrastructure Development Program (IDP) is designed to attract private industry investment in the City of Asheville through public infrastructure and site improvements.

Mountain Community Capital Fund (MCCF)

Sponsored by The City of Asheville, Buncombe County, Self-Help Ventures Fund (“Self-Help”), Carolina Small Business, and Mountain BizWorks, the Mountain Community Capital Fund (MCCF) is aimed at providing debt financing to small business enterprises within the city of Asheville and Buncombe County.

Opportunity Zones

Opportunity Zones were created as part of the 2017 federal tax reform package (Tax Cuts and Jobs Act). The City of Asheville received 5 census tract designations certified by the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury via his delegation of authority to the Internal Revenue Service.

Opportunity Zone Map

Contact Information

Promise Boseman, Business Services Administrator

Economic Development Division