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Strategy Toolkit
Economic Development

From entrepreneurs to agribusiness operations and high-tech manufacturers, the region’s strength lies in the ability to support knowledge-based businesses of any size and sector. Craft brewers, clean energy companies, nutraceutical operations, and recreational goods manufacturers all find a place to grow and thrive in the five counties. An innovative, entrepreneurial, and creative workforce drives our diverse economy. A rich culture, unparalleled natural amenities, traditional and holistic health care options, and an accessible community college and university system foster productivity in our five counties and contribute to a highly desirable place to live, work, and grow.

Existing plans, data, and studies were collected, analyzed, and synthesized into an Existing Conditions Report for each topic. Here is a link to the Economic Development Chapter if you’d like to read more. Workgroups were formed around each topic area to review existing conditions, identify issues and goals, and recommend strategies. To learn more about the background of this topic, read the Existing Conditions Report and review the workgroup’s meeting notes and related information on the workgroup’s webpage. The goals identified by all the workgroups are listed in the GroWNC Regional Plan on pages 29-37.

Appalachian Designs in Fletcher | Image Credit: Land-of-Sky Regional Council The Trailhead Restaurant and Bar in Black Mountain | Image Credit: Land-of-Sky Regional Council

Sample Strategies

EI1.1: Establish an economic development and recruiting policy focused on expanding local energy resources, companies, and entrepreneurs, resulting in diverse sources of energy production. Read more »
BE3.1: Integrate arts and culture as a strategic advantage for the WNC region and essential to community, economic, and business development, encouraging arts-based development and enterprises. Read more »
RC2.9: Identify candidates in the region to apply for the USDA Forest Service Community Forests Program, where financial assistance is provided to communities to sustainably manage forests for multiple public benefits. Read more »
LU1.4: Conduct small area studies to determine land use policies that will encourage growth in rural centers and, where appropriate, allow for non-residential and medium-density residential growth. Read more »
BE4.2: Track and quantify the economic impacts of recreational activities through a regional study to establish the economic impact of the industry in the region. Read more »