Western

Business accelerator coming to downtown Asheville

January 14, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

The Iron Yard accelerator program will open in downtown Asheville this fall, providing green-tech software startup companies with $20,000 in seed money and three months of mentoring by experts and investors. About 10 companies will be recruited and $500,000 invested for the business accelerator's opening in September. 

Bernhardt Furniture expanding in Caldwell County

January 13, 2014

(The News-Topic, Lenoir)

Bernhardt Furniture Co., which employs 1,200 at seven plants in Caldwell County and one in Shelby, will expand its operations due to increased demand for two of its product lines. The company will create 10 new jobs initially, with more expected later.

Sierra Nevada brewery could open to public in August

January 13, 2014

(The Hendersonville Times-News)

A representative from Sierra Nevada says the first phase of construction is complete at its new Mills River brewery, which should open to the public in August. The company is working to mimic the product flavor profile of its beer produced at its headquarters in Chico, Calif. Sierra Nevada has invested more than $100 million in the project and plans to create 150 jobs.

Packaging company expanding in Wilkesboro

January 7, 2014

(The Winston-Salem Journal)

A Wilkesboro packaging company is investing $10.2 million in an expansion of its North American headquarters and will add 63 jobs over the next three years. InterFlex Acquisition Co., which was purchased in 2012 by a Chicago-based private equity firm, makes flexible packaging for items including fresh foods and pet products.

Boone craft brewery takes unconventional path to going public

January 6, 2014

(The Winston-Salem Journal)

Appalachian Mountain Brewery, which will celebrate its first anniversary in February, became a publicly traded company through a rare strategy known as a reverse merger. The company's shareholders put up $3.5 million of its stock to purchase a defunct energy company, and the Boone company is now trading on the Over-the-Counter Bulletin Board.

Florida investment group buys The Cliffs communities

January 3, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

A Florida-based investment firm has acquired shareholder interests to become the sole owner and operator of The Cliffs communities, including those at Walnut Cove and High Carolina near Asheville. Arendale Holdings was a member of Silver Sun Partners, which brought the Cliffs out of chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2012. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Morganton brewery to open second location in Asheville

January 3, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Catawba Brewing Co. plans to open a brewery near Biltmore Village in Asheville. The Morganton beer-maker will open a temporary tasting room until the brewery is up and running; construction is expected to be complete this summer.

Marion's Key Gas expanding, creating 37 jobs

January 2, 2014

(The McDowell News)

Key Gas Components Inc. will expand its Marion manufacturing plant, creating 37 jobs and investing more than $2.2 million over the next three years. The family-owned company makes valves and fittings for the gas appliance industry.

Biotechnology sector growing in Caldwell County

December 31, 2013

(The News-Topic, Lenoir)

While manufacturing remains the dominant industry in Caldwell County, biotechnology is gaining ground as three out of four biotech firms increased their labor force there by 15% in 2013. 

Cherokee nonprofit uses gaming profits to preserve culture, promote small businesses

December 30, 2013

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

The nonprofit Cherokee Preservation Foundation uses revenue from gaming profits to support culture and business efforts for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. The foundation has leveraged $150 million in the past decade for a variety of projects, including helping entrepreneurs and giving the town of Cherokee a facelift.

WCU receives $500,000 Golden LEAF grant to support manufacturing programs

December 24, 2013

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Western Carolina University will receive a $500,000 Golden LEAF Foundation grant to expand its engineering programs, including advanced engineering at its main Cullowhee campus and its undergraduate program at Biltmore Park. The money will also be used to fund educational partnerships with community colleges and the purchase of 3-D printing apparatus.

Board of Elections won't hear complaint against Watauga BOE members

December 24, 2013

(The Watauga Democrat)

At a meeting last Friday, the State Board of Elections acknowledged ongoing problems with the Watauga County Board of Elections but voted 5-0 not to pursue a formal hearing of a complaint against two board members. An Oct. 8 petition from a group of local Democrats requested the removal of Republicans Bill Aceto and Luke Eggers, citing unethical actions related to changes in polling sites at Appalachian State University.

Biochemist makes brownies using Asheville craft breweries' byproduct

December 23, 2013

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

A former biochemist has opened a business which makes brownies using spent brewer's yeast, a byproduct of the beer-brewing process. Robert "Rusty" Bryant of Asheville Brew Bites says the yeast is high in protein and antioxidants. 

Haywood County paper mill concerned over $50 million EPA upgrades

December 20, 2013

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Haywood County's largest employer must spend $50 million over the next five years to meet EPA boiler regulations. Evergreen Packaging has applied for state grants to help finance the installation of new natural gas-fired boilers which would replace its current coal-fired ones.

A-B Tech business incubator will launch new biotech company

December 19, 2013

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

A new biotech company will launch its business from Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College's business incubator program. F(X) Immune Co., a spin-off of a St. Louis-based Flow Applications Inc., will develop support services for biologic research.

Solar panel manufacturer to open McDowell County plant

December 18, 2013

(The McDowell News)

The Solar Connection, a solar panel manufacturing company will open a plant in Marion, investing $500,000 and creating 50 new jobs over the next three years.

Propane gas company opens research center in Asheville

December 17, 2013

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Blossman Gas will open a propane research center in Buncombe County to study the transportation fuel version of propane, which is used in 23 million vehicles worldwide. The 62-year-old company wants to increase awareness of propane as a less expensive and cleaner alternative fuel.

Shareholders approve Forest Commercial-Carolina Alliance bank merger

December 17, 2013

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Shareholders of both banks approved the merger between Asheville-based Forest Commercial Bank, and Spartanburg, S.C.-based Carolina Alliance Bank. The merger will close in April, pending regulatory approval.

Diamond Brand announces second Asheville store

December 16, 2013

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Arden-based Diamond Brand Outdoors will open an adventure boutique this summer at Asheville Aloft Hotel in downtown Asheville. The outdoor sporting-goods retailer recently announced a new store in South Asheville that could open by spring.

Western NC hospital group moves forward with Duke LifePoint deal

December 13, 2013

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

WestCare Health System took another step toward a deal which would allow Duke LifePoint Healthcare to acquire Sylva's Harris Regional Hospital and Bryson City's Swain County Hospital. The board of  the Sylva-based health-care company signed a "memorandum of understanding" with the Brentwood, Tenn.-based company, which is a joint venture of Duke University and LifePoint Hospitals.