Business news in brief from the issue of Sept. 12, 2018

Michael L. Walden, economics professor at N.C. State University, will address the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce’s 2018 Metro Economy Outlook on Wednesday, Oct. 3, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at Amherst at Deerpark on the Biltmore Estate. More information at Image courtesy of the chamber

Building B-corps

B-corp certification recognizes for-profit companies committed to using business as a force for good. A group of local certified B-corp companies formed in June to help other local businesses interested in achieving the designation.

The B Local Asheville + WNC group offers monthly work sessions, each of which is hosted by someone whose company has already completed the certification process. Free and open to the public, the next session will take place 4-5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 20, at Mountain BizWorks, 153 S. Lexington Ave., Asheville.

Nine companies operating in Western North Carolina bear the B-corp seal: Big Path Capital, Cloud for Good, Crosby Hop Farm, Earth Equity Advisors, French Broad Chocolates, Forrest Firm, JB Media Group, Mandala Naturals and New Belgium Brewing Co.

B-corp certification is available through the nonprofit B Lab at

Chamber seeks WomanUP nominees

The Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce will present awards to outstanding local women in business at its third annual WomanUP celebration and awards ceremony on Thursday, Nov. 8. The chamber seeks nominees for the woman entrepreneur, woman executive, woman nonprofit leader and woman rising star (under 35) categories by Thursday, Oct. 12.

More information and online nomination submission are available at

What’s news

  • Mission Health announced it was named one of the Achievers 50 Most Engaged Workplaces in North America.
  • Asheville resident Dana Schiffman launched, an online bridal retailer, on Sept. 10. Schiffman received support in planning and financing the business from Mountain BizWorks.
  • The Grade Outdoor Structures in Saluda is now a U-Haul® neighborhood dealer.

Economic indicators

The Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce’s June-July 2018 Economic Indicators report highlights the following changes in the Asheville Metropolitan Statistical Area compared to July 2017:

  • Unemployment decreased by 0.6 percent, from 3.9 to 3.3 percent.
  • Total non-farm employment increased by 2.2 percent.
  • The manufacturing industry saw the largest change in employment with an increase of 4.8 percent.
  • While employment did not shrink in any sector, it failed to grow only in information and professional and business services.
  • The number of homes sold increased 9.7 percent, while the average price of homes sold increased 9.1 percent.
  • The number of new residential building permits fell 15.4 percent.
  • The total number of airport passengers at the Asheville Regional Airport increased 10.6 percent.

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About Virginia Daffron
Managing editor, lover of mountains, native of WNC. Follow me @virginiadaffron

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