Chinese importers tour North Carolina distilleries

February 14, 2014

(Lenoir News-Topic)

A group of Chinese business representatives visited Lenoir's Carolina Distillery to sample the company's apple brandy this week as part of a tour of North Carolina distilleries. The companies are looking for hand-crafted spirits and new products to bring to the Chinese market.  

Millions of dollars invested in Asheville craft breweries

February 10, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

In 2004, Highland Brewing opened Asheville's first craft brewery with three employees. Twenty years later, area breweries employ more than 250 workers, a number that should more than double when New Belgium and Sierra Nevada open operations there. 

Apple farmers, vendors share ideas at winter conference

February 7, 2014

(Hendersonville Times-News)

About 200 people attended the 2014 Winter Apple School in Flat Rock this week, where topics included cold-weather crop damage, disease prevention and marketing. Henderson County is No. 1 in the state in apple production; a bumper crop in 2013 brought in $39 million in gross revenue and provided jobs for more than 8,000 people.

Asheville's Hi-Wire named Best New Brewery

February 6, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

The website ratebeer.com has named downtown Asheville's Hi-Wire Brewing Co. the Best New Brewery in N.C. The Hilliard Ave. brewery opened just seven months ago.

Zoning approved for downtown Asheville hotel

February 6, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Asheville's Planning and Zoning Commission approved plans for a 12-story Cambria Suites hotel to be built downtown across from the historic Grove Arcade. Developer Tony Fraga expects contruction to begin this summer.

Co-defendant in Seven Falls case gets sentence reduced

February 5, 2014

(Hendersonville Times-News)

Former bank president George Gordon "Buddy" Greenwood received a six-month reduction in a four-year prison sentence for cooperating with federal prosecutors in the Seven Falls development case. Greenwood pleaded guilty to embezzlement and money-laundering charges in June 2011.

Western NC hospital joins Mission Health

February 4, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Highlands-Cashiers Hospital has joined Mission Health, hospital officials announced Monday. Highlands CEO Craig James will now be an employee of the not-for-profit Mission, the state's sixth largest health system.

Weddings boost Asheville economy by $75 million

February 3, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

According to market research company The Wedding Report, the Asheville area will host 3,647 weddings this year with an estimated market value of more than $75 million. The city's variety of venues and talented professional caterers, florists and photographers make it ideal as a destination for many couples from outside the area.

Asheville's Moogfest expects $30 million economic impact

January 31, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Organizers of the revamped Moogfest music festival anticipate a $30 million economic impact for Asheville during the April 23-27 festival. This year's event will feature a two-day business expo and job fair as part of its partnership with the North Carolina Technology Association, as well as trade shows and film screenings. About 30,000 participants are expected.

New Belgium to build distribution center in Enka

January 30, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

New Belgium Brewing Co., which has a brewery under construction in Asheville, will open a distribution center in nearby Enka. The 92,975-square-foot distribution center will be built concurrently with the brewery and both are expected to open in 2015, creating a total of 140 jobs.

Asheville's FLS Energy get $30 million investment for growth

January 30, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

A group of private investors will help Asheville-based FLS Energy expand nationally with a $30 million investment. The initial investment of $18 million will help FLS construct more solar photo voltaic farms, buy existing projects and acquire other solar and related businesses.

Asheville's HomeTrust Bank expands into Tennessee

January 24, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

HomeTrust Bancshares will acquire Jefferson Bancshares, a Tennessee-based bank with 12 branches and $489 million in combined assets. The merger, expected to be completed this spring, will make HomeTrust the state's 5th largest community bank; it is currently 10th.

AdvantageWest to carry out mission without state funding

January 20, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

AdvantageWest, one of seven regional economic development partnerships that had state funding cut by 75% last year, plans to continue recruiting new businesses to Western N.C. using grants and private investment. Beginning July 1, the 20-year-old organization will lose all state funding as the Commerce Department's new public-private partnership assumes economic development responsibilities for the entire state.  

Chancellor Anne Ponder to retire from UNC Asheville

January 17, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

UNC Asheville Chancellor Anne Ponder will retire effective July 31 after nine years in the position. Ponder held the position longer than anyone else since the university's first chancellor, William Highsmith.

Packaging company expanding in Henderson County

January 16, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

ASG will expand its packaging plant in East Flat Rock, investing $8.5 million and hiring 50 additional workers. The worldwide packaging company makes products for the entertainment, personal care, health-care and pharmaceutical industries.

Asheville's Thermo Fisher Scientific wins Best Plant award

January 16, 2014

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Thermo Fisher Scientific's Asheville plant was named one of seven best plants in North America by IndustryWeek magazine. The plant, which makes laboratory storage equipment, was selected for its leadership, teamwork, operational excellence and improvement programs. 

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.