Economic Development

Picture of the Flatiron Building, with a large iron statue in front and the sun peeking through the trees on the right-hand side.
Cass Herrington / BPR News

Two weeks after the Asheville City Council passed the new Flatiron Building proposal, residents are divided on what the building's transformation means for the future of downtown.


Cass Herrington / BPR News

City Council plans to review a revised proposal to redevelop the Flatiron Building in downtown Asheville at its Tuesday meeting. The revised proposal cuts the number of hotel rooms from 80 to 71, which preserves the second floor for office space.


Lilly Knoepp

Franklin-based Entegra Bank has announced a merger with First Citizens Bank. This is a swift change from the merger between Entegra and Smart Bank announced in January.

 

governor.nc.gov

 Asheville’s Brandi Hillman, co-owner of Hillman’s Beer and Josh Dorfman, CEO of the nonprofit climate business incubator The Collider are among the sixteen members of governor Roy Cooper’s new entrepreneurial council.  The group is charged with helping design policies that encourage entrepreneurship, foster economic development and support sustainable high quality jobs.                             Josh Dorfman says an important part of the council’s mission is helping shape the state’s entrepreunial bra

Lilly Knoepp

  The North Carolina Department of Commerce released its economic development ratings for all 100 counties. Here’s more on what that means and how Western North Carolina ranked:

 

Davin Eldridge

In the age of the internet the future of the American department store has grown increasingly uncertain.

Earlier this year, Toys "R" Us—a company with nearly 900 stores across the country— filed for bankruptcy. Kmart and Sears underwent another round of store closings—from nearly 1,600 last year, to just over 1,200 this year.

Whenever these so-called “big box” stores close, it can often stifle development in the communities they once served, and hurt the bottom line of nearby small businesses. BPR’s Davin Eldridge takes a look at the little-known phenomenon of “ghost box stores”, and how these stores impact Western North Carolina in their own small way.

Buncombe County's larger population gives it advantages in economic development its smaller neighbors in Western North Carolina don't have.  So what's there to do for those counties?  Smoky Mountain News reporter Corey Vaillancourt has been looking at what Haywood County has been doing.

Davin Eldridge

The town of Canton is in the early stages of planning a new bicycle and pedestrian lane, with the hopes of revitalizing its downtown area. 

WNC Officials Seek Rural Broadband Solutions

Jan 23, 2017
NCBroadband.org, 2016

Representatives cite adequate broadband as essential to economic development

As technology advances, Basic access to broadband internet is essential to everything from economic development to education. Yet access is lacking in many areas throughout Western North Carolina, and officials like state Representative Kevin Corbin want to better connect the region.

New In-Roads For WNC Public Transit

Sep 22, 2016
ashevillenc.gov

 

For millions of people across the United States, the beginning of their day starts at a bus stop.

 

The Search for Jobs and Qualified Employees

Jan 12, 2016

More than 120 employers and job placement services from across Western North Carolina were on hand for the recent Home Coming Career Fair. That's a record number for the annual fair organized by the Asheville Regional Chamber of Commerce.  This years' event was held at the Western North Carolina Agriculture Center. David Hurand was there and has our story.