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LETTERS / Announcing the “Rock United Relief Fund” to Help Small Businesses

Dear Readers,

As difficult and frightening as the COVID-19 virus is to all of us as individuals, it is even more so to the restaurants, hotels, retailers and other small businesses at the heart and core of Blowing Rock. The future and vibrancy of our wonderful Village is dependent upon the continued success and ongoing operation of these small businesses, especially those in the travel and leisure business. Hopefully we as individuals will survive this crisis, but the survival of our small businesses is increasingly at risk as the COVID-19 economic shutdown continues. As a community, there is a growing realization that we must do something to help our small businesses through this unprecedented and difficult time.

To this end, I am pleased to announce the creation by the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce of the “Rock United Relief Fund”, dedicated solely to helping our small businesses survive. Today, as your mayor, I am asking every individual and organization in Blowing Rock to support and promote the Rock United Relief Fund by making monetary contributions to the Fund and by forwarding this letter to your friends and members in order to ensure that we get the word out throughout our community. I realize that this is a difficult time for all of us – financially and otherwise – but we must each do what we can to help our small businesses.

The Rock United Relief Fund will be established by The Village Foundation of Blowing Rock at First Citizens Bank as a restricted account. The Village Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization, and all contributions will be tax deductible to the extent provided by law. The Board of Directors of The Village Foundation has delegated the authority to receive, review, and act upon grant requests from small businesses to a special, community-based Grants Review Committee composed of five members of the Blowing Rock community. The members of the Grant Review Committee are Tim Hilton, Chair, J B Lawrence, Charles Hardin, Tim Gupton and myself. The committee members have been carefully chosen based on their business expertise and leadership positions in the community.

Starting immediately, small businesses located within the Blowing Rock postal code will be entitled to apply for grants by completing and submitting Business Relief Grant Requests on the form found on the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce website at www.LoveBlowingRock.com, or The Village Foundation website at www.VillageFoundationofBR.org. Questions regarding the Rock United Relief Fund may be emailed to VillageFoundation@BlowingRock.com or called in to the Business Relief Hotline at 828-414-2888

Contributions to the Rock United Relief Fund should be made to the order of The Village Foundation (for Rock United Relief Fund) and should be mailed to the Rock United Relief Fund, c/o The Village Foundation of Blowing Rock, PO Box 2716, Blowing Rock, NC 28605. Alternatively, the Chamber has created a GoFundMe site at https://charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/rock-united-relief-fund through which contributions will be remitted to the Rock United Relief Fund.

As your Mayor, I will keep you up to date on both contributions to the Rock United Relief Fund and on grants made to Blowing Rock businesses. In addition, from time to time, I will give special recognition to organizations and individuals who contribute, support and help promote this special initiative. THIS IS A TIME FOR US TO PULL TOGETHER IN ORDER TO ENSURE THAT OUR LOCAL ECONOMY SURVIVES TODAY – AND THRIVES TOMORROW!

Thank you and stay safe!


Charlie Sellers

Mayor, Blowing Rock