AdvantageWest gets $1.2 million for ScaleUp WNC
(Asheville Citizen-Times) With 14,000 gallons produced this year, Noble Cider is not the same company it was two years ago when the market’s big thirst for their small batch of 2,000 gallons caused the barrels to run dry before the next apple season. In less than two years, the local hard cider company has grown its production by 700 percent, increased its contracts from 5 to 75 and is in the process of opening a 9,000-square foot facility in the former Carpet Connection building in West Asheville. The startup phase is over. However, a new opportunity to help Western North Carolina businesses like Noble Cider to grow has just begun. AdvantageWest, the nonprofit economic development partnership for the state’s 23 westernmost counties, was recently awarded a five-year, $1.2 million contract to develop ScaleUp WNC. The initiative will provide intensive growth strategy development and implementation assistance to 150 local, high-growth entrepreneurs — a resource that Matt Raker, vice president of entrepreneurship at AdvantageWest, said the region sorely needs.
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