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fr sylvaAsk any Sylva long-timer, and they’ll tell you that Main Street today looks a lot different than it did ten, five or even just a couple years ago. There’s an energy, a bustle, and a new cohort of businesses moving in to drive the feeling.

fr frystreetWhile November is usually still a busy time for downtown Bryson City merchants, Paige Christie said her sales are down a third over last year.

art frIt’s been a dream come true for Kelsie Baker.

“This first year has really been a whirlwind of learning and getting our feet under us,” she said. “The public reception has been beyond what we could have hoped for, and we want to do everything we can to keep people excited and proud to have us here.”

op frWhile I was living in Elizabethtown in southeastern North Carolina in 1988, Walmart opened a brand-new store. Most everyone was excited, and how could you blame them? The retail giant hadn’t yet taken over the world, although it was already by then the largest retailer in the U.S. But how could you argue with the cheap prices all the one-stop variety, especially in an area that was poverty-stricken as textile mills were shuttering their operations?

fr oldtownOld Town Bank, a local start-up bank based Waynesville, is selling to Macon Bank, a regional bank headquartered in Franklin, for $13.5 million.

fr hazelwoodburginFrom the outside, John Burgin looks like a lucky guy, a guy in the right place at the right time to cash in on the revitalization sweeping Hazelwood.

haywoodHazelwood will soon be home to a sculpture of a Plott hound, the fabled bear-hunting breed steeped in local lore and history.

fr hazelwoodparkingWaynesville is stepping up to the plate to solve a parking bottleneck in Hazelwood Village, with plans to double the size of the public parking lot and spiff up its curb appeal.

coverIt was barely 11 a.m. and Hazelwood was hopping. The scent of freshly roasted coffee beans spilled out of Smoky Mountain Coffee Roasters. Two doors down, a pair of workmen on ladders balanced a sign for a new artist studio. Across the street, a pack of women with shopping bags on their elbows strolled out of Hazelwood Soap Company.

SEE ALSO:
Maxed out: parking crunch in Hazelwood will soon be fixed
Plans under way for Plott hound art piece in Hazelwood
Meet John Burgin, the wizard of Hazelwood

fr smallbizWhat would Western North Carolina’s small towns be like without a strong base of small businesses?

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