Mill town riddle: Bearing the burden and reaping the rewards

fr millCanton exists against the backdrop of the paper mill. Both literally and figuratively. 

For generations, the paper mill — currently run by Evergreen Packaging — has helped to define the community of Canton. Its billowing factory by the railroad tracks are as much a part of Canton’s horizon and landscape as the setting sun. 

Canton economic initiative strives to hold on to past while looking to the future

fr cantonHanging out at the confluence of crossroads that embraces downtown Canton, two young skateboarders while away a lazy afternoon. They’re leaping stairs against the backdrop of a mural depicting the town’s glory days — a ball team from the 1950s, the Labor Day parade and, as ever, the mill.

It’s pretty quiet around town. Slow streets and green lights wanting for traffic. Jason Burrell would like to see that change — he’d like to see more action. More energy.

Jackson’s optimistic cheerleader

fr richpriceAfter a few months on the job, Jackson County’s economic development director laid out the landscape for community leaders. He painted a portrait of cautious optimism. 

Haywood revives film commission

art frBecky Seymour can see the bright lights of Hollywood from Haywood County.

“Right now we’re in the major infancy stage, but we want to basically put Haywood on the map in the film and television world,” she said. 

As video marketing manager for the Haywood County Tourism Development Authority, Seymour is leading a charge to tap the niche industry. 

Candidates all want more business in Canton

fr cantonWhile infrastructure and economic development tops each candidate’s agenda, a far more consequential matter could await those who fill the four open seats on the Canton Board of Aldermen — who will Canton’s next town manager be?

Deserted factory to morph into agriculture venture

An abandoned, county-owned furniture factory in Whittier could transform into a center for agritourism in Jackson County, or it could become something entirely different.

Jackson to name new economic development director soon

Jackson County has extended the application deadline for a new economic development director after the first round failed to attract a large pool of applicants from Western North Carolina.

WNC leaders worry that region will be left behind economically

coverWestern North Carolina business and political leaders are wondering who will go to the mat for them to attract new and expanding businesses now that the N.C. General Assembly has severed ties with two important rural economic development entities.

 “Who is going to be our advocate, and where are we going to find funds?” said Ron Leatherwood, a member of Haywood County’s Economic Development Commission. “Someone has got to fill that void.”

Rural Center cut may negatively affect WNC

A recent government audit of the North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center has divided much of the state. 

Survey says … Business poll sets the stage for new day in Jackson economic strategy

fr econsurveyAfter several stumbling blocks, disbanded boards and departed directors, proponents of a Jackson County economic development program hope to soon be back on course.

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