ATTENTIVE AUDIENCE: Over 250 businesswomen listen to a keynote speaker during the Western Women’s Business Conference. The sellout conference brings together businesspeople ranging from restaurateurs to attorney recruiters gathered for a day of workshops, networking and female empowerment. Photo by Molly Horak

Western Women’s Business Conference celebrates diversity and empowermen­t

With balloons, fancy hats, Zumba and gospel singing all featuring as part of the activities in the full-day Western Women’s Business Conference on June 21, it wasn’t your average business gathering. Designed to support and empower women in business, especially women of color and those from disadvantaged backgrounds, the conference was chock-full of inspiration and success stories.

Xpress' interactive maps use privilege license data from the City of Asheville to plot areas of relatively concentrated brick-and-mortar business development. All maps created by Kyle Kirkpatrick

Location, location, location: Asheville’s 2014 brick-and-mortar business developmen­t by the maps

Where were Asheville’s “hot spots” for brick-and-mortar businesses in 2014? Despite ample buzz about growth in downtown’s South Slope, local development was surprisingly modest, according to an Xpress analysis of city data. A heat map created by Xpress Web developer Kyle Kirkpatrick shows that downtown areas just north of Patton Avenue have been 2014’s most dense hot spots. Small but noticeable pockets of development […]

FEEDING SUCCESS: Jack's Nut Butters owner Jack Fischer will talk about his business and expansion goals at the Financing Our Foodshed Gathering on Sunday, Aug. 24. Photo by Alicia Funderburk

Local dollars, local food: Slow Money NC hosts Financing Our Foodshed Gathering

Carol Peppe Hewitt is a matchmaker of sorts. As cofounder of the North Carolina chapter of the international nonprofit organization Slow Money and author of Financing Our Foodshed: Growing Local Food With Slow Money, Hewitt’s goal is to help sustainability-minded food entrepreneurs and community members interested in supporting their work meet and — quite possibly — fall in love.

Tensions run high over tackling Asheville’­s graffiti

Local business owners raised their voices and things got, by the moderator’s own admission, “a little out of hand” at Friday morning’s Council of Independent Business Owners meeting when it came to the issue of graffiti. With the district attorney, city leaders and a state representative on hand, opinions differed — sometimes sharply — on possible solutions and who should foot the bill.

Commissioners approve $50,000 for Mountain Bizworks microloans on party line vote-attachment0

Commission­ers approve $50,000 for Mountain BizWorks microloans on party line vote

Buncombe Commissioners voted along party lines April 1 to give Mountain Bizworks $50,000 toward a new microloan program that will help small local businesses get needed capital. The local business nonprofit will leverage the county funds to receive an additional $300,000 from the federal Small Business Association Microloan Program.