TIDAL WAVE: Walter Vicente is a master stitcher, sample maker and worker-owner at the Valdese-based company Opportunity Threads. With nearly half of local businesses owned by baby-boomers, economic analysts are working to draw attention to the impending mass retirements of these owners, while others advocate alternative succession plans, like employee cooperatives. Photo courtesy of Opportunity Threads.

Passing the torch: What happens when local business owners retire?

With 45 percent of business owners in Buncombe County alone facing retirement in the next decade, local groups and service providers are encouraging them to start planning for their company’s next chapter, while simultaneously devising ways to turn an impending crisis into an opportunity for employees to shoulder new responsibilities.

Bike to Work Week is May 16-20 and each day a local brewery will host a fundraising event. At the end of the week the money will be awarded to local nonprofits Asheville on Bikes and Friends of Connect Buncombe.

Breweries help fuel Bike to Work Week

National Bike to Work Week kicks off Monday, May 16, and the initiative is getting a boost from a slew of local breweries. Each night, from May 16-20, a different brewery will host a bike-centric bash, culminating with proceeds from all events being presented to local nonprofits Asheville on Bikes and Friends of Connect Buncombe.

Thirsty Monk’s Beer City take on the Big Apple ball drop-attachment0

Thirsty Monk’s Beer City take on the Big Apple ball drop

Not to be outdone by New York City, Asheville is about to introduce its own Beer City version of the Times Square New Year’s Eve ball drop. The ever-innovative folks at Thirsty Monk will ring in 2014 by dropping a decorated and illuminated beer keg down a 20-foot cast-iron pole at the stroke of midnight at the brewery’s newest location in Biltmore Park.