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.

Buncombe residents voice concern over residential project

December 12, 2013

(Asheville Citizen-Times)

Area residents and a developer met this week to discuss a proposed project that would bring 300 homes and 50 rental units to a rural tract in eastern Buncombe County. The developer wants the land to be rezoned to include commercial uses, such as a farm-to-table restaurant. 

Sale of hospital to Duke LifePoint would boost tax revenue in Swain County

December 12, 2013

(The Smoky Mountain Times)

The potential sale of WestCare's hospital in Swain County could bring more tax revenue to the county and Bryson City. That's because MedWest Swain will likely be purchased by Duke LifePoint, which is a for-profit corporation and would be required to pay property taxes on the land and buildings. 

Shareholders approve First Citizens-Mountain 1st merger

December 11, 2013

(Hendersonville Times-News)

Shareholders of 1st Financial Services Corp. approved a merger between the Hendersonville-based bank and its subsidiary Mountain 1st Bank & Trust Co. and Raleigh-based First Citizens Bank. Mountain 1st operates 12 branches primarily in Western N.C. counties.