Haywood’s economy, along with that of the rest of the state and nation, was in an upheaval for most of 2020 as a result of the COVID-19.

Some aspects of the economy did poorly after mass gatherings were prohibited, taverns were closed and indoor dining was significantly restricted.

Many retail stores and small, overnight rental operations, however, did well as visitors flocked to the outdoors to find a comparatively safe haven.

Real estate sales hit all-time record highs, and the building business saw a sharp spike, perhaps after many visitors saw the appeal of working remotely while enjoying Haywood amenities.

The federal government relief package was a lifeline for many Haywood businesses — and their employees — as the forgivable loan program offered a way to stay open during the worst of the pandemic. Here’s a recap of how the program helped Haywood’s economy do well, all things considered, along with several stories of various business sectors coped.

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Haywood County got a big boost from federal COVID loans — with 671 Haywood businesses employing 6,500 people netting $44.7 million collectively.

At the national level, the forgivable pandemic loans have been criticized as pork giveaway for giant corporations. But that was far from the case in Haywood County.

The vast majority that received federal dollars got less than $100,000 and were for small businesses with fewer than 10 employees.

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Some of the top sectors getting loans in Haywood County were medical fields — from dental practices to nursing homes — construction fields, dining establishments, tourism and professional services. Despite retail being a top economic sector in the county, retail establishments were relatively few in number.

Businesses did not have to repay the loans if they met employment retention goals, so in effect, the loans were free money.

Below is a snap-shot of key take-aways from the Paycheck Protection Program in Haywood County.

• Only six businesses got more than $1 million, and five got between $500,000 and $1 million.

• The largest loan received in Haywood County was $2.2 million to Haywood Vocational Opportunities with 438 employees. The smallest loan was $600 to The Cuban Guy sandwich shop in Waynesville.

• Businesses receiving loans had 6,500 employees collectively. Only 3% had more than 50 employees, 8% had between 20-49 employees, 13% had between 10-19 employees, 36% had between 3-9 employees, and 40% had two employees or less. Numerous businesses reported zero employees.

• The average loan amount was $66,700. 76% of those receiving loans got less than the average. The top 5% accounted for 40% of the total loan dollars, while the bottom 50% accounted for 8% of the total loan dollars.

• 24% of those who got loans got less than $10,000, 46% got between $10,000-$50,000, 13% got between $50,000-$100,000, and 14% got between $100,000-$500,000.

TourismSeveral business in the hospitality sector were in the top 100, including Lake Junaluska Assembly ($1.175 million), Waynesville Golf Resort ($308,000), Maggie Valley Club ($250,000), Laurel Ridge Country Club ($240,000), Cataloochee Ski Area ($239,000), The Swag ($238,000), Springdale Country Club ($132,000) and Wheels Through Time motorcycle museum ($104,000.)

Nonprofits

There were 24 non-profits were among those receiving loans, including Mountain Projects ($374,000), Long’s Chapel ($305,000), First United Methodist of Waynesville ($202,000), First Baptist of Waynesville ($135,000), Haywood Christian Academy ($110,000), Haywood Pathways Center ($97,000), Sarge’s Animal Rescue ($56,000), Haywood Christian Ministries ($43,000), KARE ($43,000), Folkmoot ($30,000), Haywood County Arts Council ($10,000) and Canton Community Kitchen ($10,000.) Another dozen churches received between $10,000-$50,000.

Dining

Restaurants in the top 200 included Bogarts ($214,000), Sweet Onion ($191,000), Frankie’s Italian ($185,000), Fat Buddies ($156,000), Joey’s Pancake ($150,000), Blue Rooster ($146,000), Bocelli’s ($144,000), Clyde’s ($142,000), Angelo’s ($92,000), 209 Cafe ($90,000), Southern Porch ($82,000), Papa’s and Beer ($80,000), Maggie’s Galley ($75,000), Waynesville Pizza ($69,000), Legend’s Bar and Grill ($67,000), Frog’s Leap Public House ($63,000), Bourbon Barrel ($59,000), and Bearwaters ($58,000). A local LLC franchise holder of McDonalds, 7InHarmony, got $355,000.

Industry

Top businesses in the manufacturing sector included Boojum Brewing ($353,000), Oaks Unlimited ($312,000), Alltec ($238,000), Appalachian Antique Hardwoods ($132,000), Abundant Labs ($123,000), Sunburst Trout ($116,000) and the Lamp Factory ($112,000.)

DiningRestaurants in the top 200 included Bogarts ($214,000), Sweet Onion ($191,000), Frankie’s Italian ($185,000), Fat Buddies ($156,000), Joey’s Pancake ($150,000), Blue Rooster ($146,000), Bocelli’s ($144,000), Clyde’s ($142,000), Angelo’s ($92,000), 209 Cafe ($90,000), Southern Porch ($82,000), Papa’s and Beer ($80,000), Maggie’s Galley ($75,000), Waynesville Pizza ($69,000), Legend’s Bar and Grill ($67,000), Frog’s Leap Public House ($63,000), Bourbon Barrel ($59,000), and Bearwaters ($58,000). A local LLC franchise holder of McDonalds, 7InHarmony, got $355,000.

Long-term care

Four assisted living facilities and nursing homes were among the top 60 loan recipients: Silver Bluff ($1 million), Maggie Valley Nursing and Rehab ($815,000), Haywood Lodge and Retirement Centers ($422,000), and Haywood House ($175,000.)

Healthcare

Medical fields were one of the biggest sectors in the top 100, including Haywood Pediatric ($417,000), Midway Medical ($348,000), Mountain Eye ($288,000), Smoky Mountain Foot and Ankle Clinic ($239,000), Haywood Imaging ($212,000), Mountain Laurel Dermatology ($172,000), Hazelwood Family Medicine ($135,000), Envision Pain Management ($130,000), along with Kim’s Pharmacy, Waynesville Pharmacy, Haywood Pharmacy, Mark’s Pharmacy and Carolina Mountain Pharmacy.

Dental

With many putting off regular dental check-ups and dental work, several dental practices were among the top 100, including Cataloochee Dental Group ($367,000), Carolina West Dental ($281,000), Smoky Mountain Dentistry ($245,000), and more than 10 others.

Building

The construction industry was one of the biggest sectors, with numerous general contractors, plumbers, electricians, graders, HVAC installers, landscapers, masons and other building-related trades. Those in the top 60 included Buckeye ($627,000), WNC Paving ($450,000), Haywood Builders ($383,000), Ashe Construction ($290,000), Clark and Leatherwood ($237,000), Reece, Noland and McElrath engineers ($267,000), Southern Appalachian Grading ($208,000), Industrial Contractors ($204,00), and JM Teague Engineering ($172,000).

Top 50

Other notable businesses in the top 50 receiving more than $200,000 included Waynesville Auto ($1.1 million), Neo Corp ($611,000), Taylor Motor ($582,000), Junaluska Animal Hospital ($405,000), Haywood Appliance ($356,000), Manpower ($327,000), High Country Furniture ($300,000), Blue Ridge Glass ($200,000).

• Several local gas station and convenience store chains got loans of more than $100,000.

• A large number of professional practices and sole proprietorships received loans, including attorneys, insurance agents, accountants, real estate agents, consultants, and more.

• The Mountaineer received $116,000.

See the full list on Haywood County businesses on the website.

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