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Press release from Self-Help Credit Union:

ASHEVILLE – Self Help Credit Union is hosting a March 18 conference, “Bringing it Home: Building a Local Economy for Everyone,” exploring how local, regional and national programs are changing the face of economic development in Western North Carolina and across the country.

The daylong conference will be held at the Haynes Conference Center, Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College Enka Site, 1459 Sand Hill Road, in Candler. Tickets are $30, $25 for students, and are available at Some scholarships are available.

Featured speakers include some of the major innovators in economic development such as:

  • Ed Whitfield, Fund for Democratic Communities
  • Becky Anderson, economic development consultant
  • Joe Reimann, Coop Business Development, Northcountry Cooperative Development Fund
  • Franzi Charen, Asheville Grown Business Alliance
  • Carol Peppe-Hewitt, Slow Money and Community Sourced Capital

Conference Themes

  • Building a strong local economy from the ground up (local supply and distribution chains, local collaboration, etc.)
  • Creating a large, diverse economy that includes everyone, including all income levels, all races, all creeds
  • Looking both at successful existing structures as well as new, innovative models for building a new economy–from our region and other areas across the country

Who should attend?

  • Entrepreneurs and small business owners seeking technical support or funding
  • Investors in small business looking for new places to invest
  • Community nonprofits seeking awareness of economic development work in the region
  • Local, regional and state government officials interested in innovative models
  • Economic development professionals interested in innovation and creativity

The conference includes five rotating panels and a lunchtime keynote by Ed Whitfield with the Fund for Democratic Communities. The conference also includes a “Local Café,” affording participants opportunity to meet one-on-one with local capital source and technical service providers.

List of Conference Sponsors
Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce, Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, Asheville Grown Business Alliance, Catawba Brewing Company, Center for Local Economies, Eagle Market Streets Development Corp and Block-by-Block Industries, HomeTrust Bank, Lenoir-Rhyne University, Mountain BizWorks, Mountain Xpress, North Country Cooperative Development Fund, RiverLink, Self-Help Credit Union, Small Business Technology Development Center, Southern Appalachian Brewery, The Aloft Hotel, The Support Center and WNC MedWeek Committee.

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Angie Newsome is the executive director and editor of Carolina Public Press. Contact her at (828) 774-5290 or e-mail her at

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