Part of North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory's plans to turn the Department of Commerce into a public-private partnership that would be run like a business, Senate Bill 127 would mandate the dissolution of regional organizations like AdvantageWest and strip it of state funding. It passed a second reading in the Senate Monday night, May 13, by a 31-17 vote.a
Asheville's creative culture fosters a lot of good business ideas, but big challenges remain to making many of those ideas come to life. That was one of the thoughts from Mark Erwin, president of Erwin Capital and a former U.S. Ambassador, as he spoke to about 375 attendees at AdvantageWest's Nov. 19 Economic Summit. He joined a panel of three other experts in a discussion that focused on defining and cultivating business innovation. Here's some of the highlights of what each of the panelists had to say.
A $130,000 grant from The Biofuels Center of North Carolina to a group of public and private partners led by AdvantageWest is providing “seed money” aimed at developing the clean energy industry in Western North Carolina. The project will pilot a new business model for the production of biodiesel from locally grown feedstocks that will reduce the region’s dependence on imported fuels.
On Nov. 15, AdvantageWest hosted its fall economic summit, featuring a panel discussion that included North Carolina State Treasurer Janet Cowell, N.C. Institute of Emerging Issues Director Anita Brown-Graham and banking expert Austin Adams. Here's what some of the panelists — and observer Asheville City Council member Gordon Smith — said afterward.
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