Staying in the game: New policies could define Waynesville economic development for decades – Smoky Mountain News
“After realizing small but consistent gains in local business development over the past few years, the town of Waynesville has recently undertaken several initiatives designed to strengthen the economic vitality of the town while also guiding that development in a direction acceptable to the community as a whole. And as those investment dollars roll in — generating property taxes, sales taxes and other economic benefits — keeping those dollars as close to home as possible is just as important as attracting them in the first place… Communities benefit substantially whenever expenditures — whether personal, professional or municipal — remain in that community. The beginning of the “buy local” movement came about as a result of this economic truth, which is even more important for isolated, rural mountain communities like Waynesville… Mayor Brown said that economic incentives wouldn’t transform the town overnight. When companies look to locate, first and foremost they look for a good workforce, a cheap and steady power supply and convenient transportation. “I’d agree with that,” Clasby said, adding that competition for new businesses is withering, and that an incentive plan would make his job just a little easier. “At that stage of development, you’re just trying to stay in the game,” he said.”
In Burnsville, and beyond, fall color means business – Citizen Times (Asheville)
“Like many small towns and villages across Western North Carolina, Burnsville — population 1,800, town seat of Yancey County, population 18,000 — is capitalizing on October as the biggest month of the year for business, banking on a colorful fall leaf season… The streets and shops have been busy so far, even with the almost uncomfortably hot October to date, reaching 80 last week. "I've seen bad fall seasons, but people didn't care," Higgins said. "They still come."… The Smokies is a half-million acres of forest, and the parkway is a 469-mile scenic drive cut through the mountains. Both are some of the busiest national park sites in the country, and October is the busiest month of the year as people come for the drives, hikes and overlooks peering out at the leaves… The word has gotten out about the elk — a plentiful species out West that was extirpated in the East — which were reintroduced to the Smokies in 2001. The elk are in the height of their bugling season.”
NC in Focus: Hispanic Employment & Business Ownership- Carolina Demography
“Hispanic residents are active participants in North Carolina’s economy. Mexico is a leading source of Latino residents in part due to long-standing trading partnerships with Mexico that were established over several decades…North Carolina’s Hispanic/Latino population is very young: just 3% of the state’s Hispanic residents are 65 or older (versus 16% statewide) and half of the population is under the age of 25. In addition, many of North Carolina’s Hispanic and Latino residents initially moved to the state to work. Reflecting these two factors, Hispanics/Latinos typically have higher labor force participation rates than other racial/ethnic groups in the United States…In North Carolina, 71% of all Hispanics/Latinos are in the labor market; only 6.3% of those who are looking for work do not have a job…The Hispanic/Latino population is also highly entrepreneurial, establishing many new businesses in the state…In 2012, Hispanic-owned businesses made up 4.3% of all North Carolina firms, a significant increase from 2.7% in 2007.”
How Asheville Revitalized its Downtown: Part I – UNC Community and Economic Development
Asheville, North Carolina – “New Age Mecca,” “San Francisco of the East,” “Land of the Sky,” “New Freak Capital,” and “America’s Happiest City.” These are just some of the nicknames that Asheville enjoys, due to its more recent prominence in the social, economic, and political domains of North Carolina and larger southeast region. It is difficult to ignore this meteoric rise to fame, particularly for those who enjoy majestic mountain views, craft beer, vegetarian eats, and homegrown arts and crafts. But just what factors explain this downtown renaissance and revitalization Asheville is current experiencing? Who shapes downtown Asheville, and what can we learn about urban governance and downtown revitalization from their success? This blog post will explore the former question, and a subsequent blog post will examine the latter.