Local conference highlights renewable energy economy-attachment0

Local conference highlights renewable energy economy

Of the 30 utility-scale solar projects built in the Southeast last year, 21 were in North Carolina. That’s the kind of good news business leaders heard when they gathered June 19 in Asheville to celebrate the successes and discuss the challenges facing the rapidly growing renewable energy industry. (pictured: Ivan Urlaub of the N.C. Sustainable Energy Association; photo by Max Cooper)

Maps reveal how Asheville, county property values have shifted

Maps from the Buncombe County Tax Assessor’s office reveal how property values shifted — sometimes drastically — after the recent property revaluation. Almost every neighborhood within the city of Asheville saw values rise, while the housing market crash hit most areas of the county hard, with some areas even losing half their property value.

Post-recession Buncombe still struggling, local poverty rates surpass state and national average-attachment0

Post-recession Buncombe still struggling, local poverty rates surpass state and national average

After sharing 42 slides worth of charts, data and graphs, an independent economic consultant speaking to local doctors, health advocates, politicians and board members at the Feb. 22 meeting of the Buncombe County Department of Health and Human Services made a conclusion: Though the recession started five years ago, the numbers show that Buncombe County still has “a ways to go.” Highlights of the presentation, along with the full presentation, can be found in this post. (Slide image courtesy of SYNEVA Economics)

Got broadband? If not, local nonprofit MAIN wants you to map it-attachment0

Got broadband? If not, local nonprofit MAIN wants you to map it

Although broadband or high-speed Internet access is fairly common in Asheville, many Western North Carolinians can’t get it if they wanted to, largely because the infrastructure doesn’t exist. Thanks to a grant, MAIN has a mapping tool that could help get access to the nearly 48,000 WNC residents who are missing out on the digital revolution.

Small-business snapshot

Four years after the economic collapse we’ve dubbed the Great Recession, how is the Western North Carolina economy doing? Mountain BizWorks checked in with some local Chamber of Commerce directors to get their big-picture take on the past year and their predictions for 2013.