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AIR is a community of innovative chefs, mixologists, brewers and bakers who are passionate about creating delicious food that not only feeds the body and soul but also fuels our local economy.

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ASAP helps our local farms thrive by linking farmers to markets restaurants, schools and neighborhoods. They build healthy communities through strengthening connections and access to good local food.

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Knowledge is power and AB Tech is dedicated to student success. From brewing and culinary careers to healthcare, cosmetology and aviation, A-B Tech delivers quality education to enhance academic, workforce, and personal development.

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DescubreAsheville is our region’s first Bilingual website, focused on promoting Asheville and the surrounding areas to those interested in multiculturalism.

Green Built Alliance has a long track record of success in educating and transforming the building industry throughout the western region of North Carolina. What began as a casual gathering of five building professionals over local food and drink in the spring of 2000 led to the environmental improvement of thousands green and energy efficient buildings in our region.

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Green Opportunities (GO) trains, supports, and connects people from marginalized communities to sustainable employment pathways. GO empowers students to overcome personal barriers to employment, and connects local employers to a diverse, dependable workforce. Through experiential training, GO engages students in projects that build community capacity and make Asheville neighborhoods healthier and more sustainable.

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The Green Restaurant Association is a national nonprofit that provides the only official Certified Green Restaurant® mark in the United States. The association, founded in 1990, certifies restaurants at four levels, from Level 1 to 4 Stars.

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In 2007, Just Economics became the organizational home for the Asheville-Buncombe Living Wage Campaign. But they do so much more! From improving our bus system to advocating for affordable housing, Just Economics educates and organizes for a just and sustainable economy that works for all in Western North Carolina.

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Mountain BizWorks envisions a thriving Western North Carolina in which small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs have access to the resources needed to make their dreams a reality—a region where collaboration, creativity, innovation, and investment generate opportunity and prosperity for all. Through accessible loans, workshops and trainings, they help small businesses start, grow, and thrive. Their mantra is when small businesses succeed, we all prosper.

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For 23 years the Mountain Xpress has been the free independent weekly voice specializing in all the news, arts and events that matter to us locals. Each year they gather over 10,000 votes for what our community deems are some of the best local businesses we have to offer.

View all best of WNC / Mountain Xpress 2016 winners

Invest your money where your heart is and make it work for your community! By investing in Self Help’s Go Local Term Certificate, you show your support for Self-Help’s work in the western part of our state, including financing for green businesses, women and minority home buyers and economic development projects. At the same time, you earn a higher rate than a standard savings account.

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As the only dedicated liberal arts institution in the University of North Carolina system, UNC Asheville kindles learning by offering students an intellectually rigorous education that builds critical thinking and workforce skills to last a lifetime. Small class size, award-winning faculty and a nationally acclaimed undergraduate research program foster innovation as well as recognition.

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Yoruba, the local Black-owned business directory, is a grassroots project, started in Asheville, NC. with the intention of encouraging community members to contribute by taking responsibility and action for the local communities of color. The website is offered as a resource to the community with support, advice and counsel from the many partners and volunteers who have given their time to make it all possible.

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