The Community Equity Fund: Helping Businesses Scale

Eagle Market Street Development Corporation is happy to report that the Community Equity Fund (CEF) is in operation. We welcomed our first cohort of funding recipients despite the pandemic and all odds. We are still actively interviewing businesses that may qualify for a second funding opportunity, projected for October, November of 2021. This program is designed to help BIPOC majority-owned businesses scale up by increasing market share or job creation. The signature feature of the program is, “it’s an equity program rather than debt” on the balance sheet of the business.

We are recruiting businesses that have the capacity to scale by job creation, increase in average wages or increase in market share to impact jobs and wages. Initial eligibility, businesses need to have been in operations for three years or more and have annual gross revenues trending at a minimum of $50,000. All businesses are vetted on a case-by-case basis, and any business that doesn’t meet the initial criteria are also considered based on additional factors.

If you believe your business may qualify, please do not hesitate to contact our Community Equity Fund Manager, Steven Lawrence, at

To make a contribution to the Community Equity (a philanthropic impact fund):
Donate through our website, or mail,
EMSDC Community Equity Fund
70 South Market St Asheville, NC 28801

COVID – 19 Updates: Office Hour Changes

Unfortunately, due to the spike in COVID-related deaths and hospitalizations, we have resumed working remotely until further notice. There will continue to be in-person drop-in opportunities for Incubate to Innovate Program participants at our 70 S Market Street office with Kasia Maatafale, our Incubate to Innovate Coordinator who can be reached at

For general inquiries, we can be reached at and (828)281-1227.

Immediate Need Funding for Rent and Utility Assistance

Unfortunately, our Individual Development Account Program (IDA) is currently closed (19/20 funding). However, we are still accepting applications for COVID-19 Immediate Need Funding. Applicants are eligible to receive a grant of up to $4,250 for rent and utility payments. Please follow up if you meet the following qualifications:

  • You own an LLC or S-Corp
  • The business is located within Asheville City Limits
  • Your household meets HUD income guidelines (see attached guidelines-)

For updates regarding the IDA program and to apply for COVID – 19 Immediate Need Funding, please contact our Executive Administrator Kamryn Mason at or (828)281-1227 ext. 102 for further details.


WWBC Presents: AABA Podcast – Aisha Adams Media

Please take some time to support our partner Aisha Adams, local entrepreneur, and change agent. Aisha discussed the African American Business Association and the assistance they offer through Western Women’s Business Center on this month’s WWBC Presents: AABA podcast. You can check out the podcast on Spotify. We thank you in advance. Check out this episode and let Aisha and WWBC know EMSDC sent you.

Job Opportunity: Opportunity Asheville Liaison Role

In partnership with Western Women’s Business Center (WWBC) and Mountain BizWorks, Eagle Market Streets Development Corporation (EMSDC) seeks to bring in an Opportunity Asheville Liaison. This position is for Opportunity Asheville, a collaborative community economic development alliance between EMSDC, WWBC, and Mountain BizWorks that is working to provide an integrative and equitable approach to small business development. This role is a project manager meant to guide clients through our services and be a champion for individuals who typically experience barriers to business development. For more information on qualifications and how to apply, please refer to the Opportunity Asheville Liaison Position Description.

Eagle Market Street Development Corporation is a 501(c)(3) not for profit but for community benefit organization that welcomes community thought leaders’ engagement. Please support us in the work that we do by gifting a donation.

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