Watauga now has a stamp of approval for its job-creation efforts.
The Watauga County Economic Development Commission and Boone Area Chamber of Commerce hosted a Lunch and Learn Thursday to introduce a new certification for entrepreneurship.
The county was celebrating its new status as a Certified Entrepreneurial Community, which acknowledges local efforts to help people start their own small businesses.
"These certifications we are receiving tend to set the Boone area apart,” said chamber president Dan Meyer, adding that a recession was one of the best times to start a business.
Fowler Cooper, EDC chairman, said the distinction was rare and the result of much work. "We are only one of three in the state, as of today,” he said. "It takes about five stages of certification. It’s not something that’s handed out daily.”
He said qualifying counties needed a long-term economic-development strategy and that Watauga County had long supported entrepreneurship. The Appalachian Enterprise Center was a great example of business creation, Cooper said, noting that SCORE, Appalachian State University and Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute had partnered to help spur job activity. Read story here