State releases 2020 economic tier rankings

The North Carolina Department of Commerce released the county tier designations for 2020 this week. The designations, which are mandated by state law, play a role in several programs that assist in economic development.

2008: Real estate takes a major hit

The housing bubble was finally bursting in 2008 as the Great Recession became the new reality in Western North Carolina and throughout the nation. 

Gov. Cooper touts tourism at Nantahala Outdoor Center

It’s no secret that Western North Carolina has long been a haven for outdoor recreational enthusiasts, but as that particular segment of North Carolina’s economy continues to expand, Gov. Roy Cooper is doing all he can to foster further growth. 

Economics and the tilt to socialism

My son was home from college for spring break. As we ate dinner one night, he described to my wife and me how a professor warned the students that many of the jobs they are studying for will be gone within a few years. Artificial intelligence and automation could put millions out of work in the very near future, the professor had told the class, and my son seemed genuinely worried.

In the next breath, he recounted a speech he heard from one of the lesser-known Democratic presidential candidates who discussed a future where U.S. citizens may receive a “universal basic income,” particularly if AI and automation take us to the point where there just aren’t enough jobs for a growing population. 

Canton sets bold agenda

Officials in the town of Canton have been throwing around the term “Canton Comeback” for a few years now, noting the very visible progress made in economic development and administration.

The future for this region is bright

In last week’s edition of The Smoky Mountain News we published articles about positive political and economic signs in two towns in our coverage area. Sylva and Canton both have a lot of momentum right now and were the towns we wrote about.

But for the most part, the entire coverage area of The Smoky Mountain News — Haywood, Jackson, Macon and Swain counties, along with Cherokee — is actually doing pretty well and beating the odds versus a lot of places in North Carolina. Unemployment is low, population is growing modestly, and the small businesses we deal with on a weekly basis remain optimistic about the future.

Comprehensive plan update coming for Waynesville

Inasmuch as any document can be truly hallowed on a local government level, that document is the comprehensive plan.

Meadows gets an earful at town hall

A boisterous crowd in a packed auditorium on the campus of Blue Ridge Community College engaged in a lively two-hour give-and-take with Congressman Mark Meadows over the economy, gun laws and the Mexican border wall, but most of the audience had just one thing on their minds — health care.

What’s in the cards? It all starts with a visit

Since before the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was chartered in 1934, Western North Carolina has been a sought-after destination for tourists from across the country and across the world. 

Tiers of joy and sadness: State’s designation for Haywood brings mixed feelings

A recent designation by the North Carolina Department of Commerce could have a detrimental impact on Haywood County’s economic development efforts.

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