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Email Announcements Received Today:

1) High Country Entrepreneur Reveals Secrets to Success Dec. 5

With Western North Carolina’s history and heritage of entrepreneurial independence, an impressive number of training, funding, mentoring, and technical assistance resources are available across the region to aspiring small-business owners. Among those are the Advantage Opportunity Fund, Blue Ridge Food Ventures and Blue Ridge Entrepreneurial Council – all initiatives of AdvantageWest, the nonprofit regional economic development organization, and all serving primarily early-stage businesses. Now, thanks to a five-year, $1.2 million contract award from the U.S. Small Business Administration, a new level of support will be available to help scalable small firms grow and create jobs. Led by AdvantageWest, ScaleUp WNC will provide intensive growth strategy development and implementation assistance to 150 Western North Carolina growth-oriented entrepreneurs. This stage of companies, after startup but before maturity, tends to be underserved in the region and across the country. ScaleUp WNC offers a unique opportunity to help expand growth-oriented businesses and strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem across the region. Twice a year, with training and technical assistance from project partners Ascent Business Network in Boone, N.C., A-B Tech Entrepreneurial Development Foundation in Asheville, N.C., and the Sequoyah Fund in Cherokee, N.C., the  highly competitive program will provide an intensive six-week education curriculum developed especially for established businesses. Each cohort, consisting of 15 business executives, will also receive one-on-one management support, assistance in connecting with growth capital, and the opportunity to strengthen connections and networks. Using prior metrics as well as those from similar programs in other regions, this project aims to result in 600 new jobs created and $18 million in new capital raised by small businesses in Western North Carolina within three years of project completion. AdvantageWest was selected by the U.S. Small Business Administration as one of only eight organizations in the country to develop the project as part of SBA’s ScaleUp America initiative. “The SBA is pleased to be able to provide this funding to our good partners at AdvantageWest,” said Deputy District Director Mike Arriola, of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s North Carolina office, based in Charlotte. “Having served in the past as the SBA officer for Western North Carolina, I have known AdvantageWest for 10 years and am fully confident in their ability to help our deserving entrepreneurs in this region ‘scale up’ to their next level of business success. We look forward, as our entrepreneurs here do, to an outstanding initiative here in the west.” Applications are now being accepted through January 15 for the first cohort, which will start in late February. In December, AdvantageWest will host networking and informational events for potential candidates in four locations across the region, with each event featuring a presentation from a distinguished Western North Carolina entrepreneur [SEE SIDEBAR BELOW]. For eligibility requirements, dates and locations of networking events, and other facts about ScaleUp WNC, visit ScaleUpWNC.com.

2) Beech Mountain Sledding Hill Happy Hill Report

Greetings! We had a fantastic Thanksgiving weekend on The Sledding Hill, unfortunately due to the warm weather coming our way, The Sledding Hill will not be open Dec. 1-7. We will start making snow as soon as possible and we will let you know when the hill will open again. We hope you had a happy holiday. remember, the sledding hill, located next to the Visitor Center on Beech Mountain will be open during the following hours if the weather permits. Monday through Friday 1-5 p.m. and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

3) Parade Reception Held Dec. 6 at Watauga Public Library

A Christmas Reception will be held on Saturday, Dec. 6, after the Boone Christmas Parade at the Watauga County Public Library hosted by the Friends of the Library. Come join us for homemade cookies, hot chocolate and apple juice. There will be Christmas craft tables for the kids and there may even be a visit from a chubby fellow in a bright red suit! Come join in on the fun.

4) Apple Hill Farm’s Christmas Celebration Held Now through Dec. 14

Mini tours of the farm every 30 minutes between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekends until Dec. 14. Prices are $7 for adults and $5 for children ages 4-10. Children 3 and under are free. We do offer senior and military discounts. $10 pony rides are held on Saturday afternoons weather permitting. Complimentary hot chocolate, apple cider and cookies will be served. Public 90-minute tours are offered on Wednesdays at 2 p.m. $12 for adults, $7 for children ages 4-10 and free for children 3 and under. Private 90-minute tours offered by appointment only on weekdays. The store is open Wednesday and Thursday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Friday through Sunday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and closed Monday and Tuesday except by appointment. Join us to buy your table top tree, hand-tied wreaths and all your alpaca Christmas presents! Beginning Dec. 15, public tours on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 2 p.m. will be offered weather permitting. Please call ahead. The store is open for shopping Wednesday through Saturday weekly from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. weather permitting – please call ahead. Apple Hill Farm will be closed on Christmas day.

5) Campus Emergency Siren Test Conducted Dec. 3

Appalachian State University will test its campus-wide siren warning system on Wednesday, Dec. 3, at 11:55 a.m. The campus drill will also include a recorded message indicating the beginning and end of the test. To hear the tones that would be used during an emergency on campus, visit epo.appstate.edu/siren-warning-system. Also, in the event of an actual emergency, official university information will be posted at www.appstatealert.com.

6) Christmas Tree Fire Safety from Boone Fire

December brings us Christmas and Christmas trees. Evergreen Christmas trees, while fragrant and pretty, are fire hazards. Although Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do occur, they are more likely to be serious. One of every three home Christmas tree fires are caused by electrical problems and one in every six Christmas tree fires are caused by a heat source too close to the tree. When selecting your Christmas tree, make sure you choose as fresh a tree as possible with green needles that do not fall off when touched. Before placing the new tree in the stand, cut 1-2″ from the base of the trunk. Keep the tree at least three feet away from any head source and do not block an exit. Use a tree stand that will hold water and remember to add water daily. Always unplug Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed. Also, make sure that you safely dispose of the tree when it begins dropping needles. Dried out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home or garage or place outside against your house.

7) Events at Lost Province Brewing Company

  • Tuesday, Dec. 2 – Cheap date night at Lost Province. Dinner and a movie only $25 6-10 p.m. Movie starts at 8 p.m. and ther eis no charge to come and watch the movie. Movie feature this week is “Scrooged.”
  • Thursday, Dec. 4 – $3 Thursday – $3 pints on all Lost Province brewed beers (except high gravity). Live music from Erin Mason from 8 p.m.-closing.
  • Friday, Dec. 5 – Freakin’ Firkin Friday at Five continues with the release of a special 12-gallon cask of beer at 5 p.m. The live music will begin at 8 p.m. featuring Swing Guitars Trio.
  • Saturday, Dec. 6 – 8 p.m. live music featuring Justin and Josh from the Native L.
  • Sunday Dec. 7 – Lost Province Sunday – Residents of “The Lost Province” (Watauga, Ashe, Avery, Alleghany) receive ten percent off of food with verification of residency.
  • Tuesday, Dec. 9 – Cheap Date Night at Lost Province – Dinner and a movie only $25 from 6-10 p.m. Movie starts at 8 p.m. No charge to come and watch the movie. Movie feature this week is “Elf.”