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re imagine polk newsletter

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Chairman’s Message


The leaves are turning and we’re reminded that another season is upon us. Our new ETDC board welcomes new members (Marc Blazer of The Orchard Inn in Saluda, Fred Baisden of Saluda and Cindy Viehman of Foothills Realty).  We also bid farewell to some dedicated board members, Dennis Hill and Robert Morgan.  With new retail opening their doors, new life for developments White Oak and Bright’s Creek and new tourism opportunities, we are excited about what’s around the corner for Polk County.


Ambrose Mills

image communityre imagine Community

Officially launched, the  2-1-1 system in Polk County, is working to  get the word out. 2-1-1 is available to connect people in our community to the resources they need.


Thank you for all you do to make Polk County a healthier place to live.

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Business  and CommunityExpo


 January 18, 2014

12 pm – 5:00 pm

1681 East NC 108 Hwy.

Polk County High School Gymnasium


Why Exhibit?

Increase business visibility to three markets:

Exhibitors Business Professionals and the Community

Connect with potential new customers and clients

Why Sponsor?

Enhance community image

Increase visibility

Differentiate from Competitors

Shape Customer Attitudes

Sponsored by Carolina Foothills Chamber

To reserve a booth, call 828-859-6236 or EMAIL 

Graphic for eq jumpingre imagine



Isothermal Community College is in the process of launching an Equine Studies program at the Polk County campus. The program is set to launch Fall 2014 with a partnership agreement with North Carolina State University.  The unmounted program will focus on equine business management, facilities management as well as horse and stable management.



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Congratulations are in order. The Orchard Inn of Saluda has been awarded for the second consecutive year Trip Advisor’s Certificate of Excellence as well as Green Leader’s Silver Level Designation and a Four Star Top Rating from Restaurant.com. Owners Marc and Marianne Blazer have owned the inn since 2010 and have upgraded many amenities and rooms in addition to the fine dining restaurant.


Alvin Pack

re Imagine Entrepreneurship



“Lighthouse Business Planning Essentials” 

 Thursday December 5th (9am – 5pm)

The Depot, 22 Depot Street, Tryon, NC 

Sponsored by Mountain BizWorks, Polk ECTC and Carolina Foothills Chamber


Plug into Business Resources by attending this power packed one-day retreat.

o   Estimate start-up, expansion and overhead costs

o   Determine your sales and profit goals

o   Analyze cash flow

o   Develop your marketing plans

o   Create an plan to move your business forward

Set some time aside to “get away” and make plans for 2014.   Class fee is $125.  Fee includes materials & lunch.


Space is limited and pre-registration is required.

No Online Registration:

Contact Ashley Epling at ph. 828-253-2834, ext. 27 oremail  to register for this class.

This class is part of our Business Basics curriculum. Learn more here.  This event is co-sponsored by the Swain and Jackson County Cooperative Extension Services.

* Learn more about our programs for Food, Agriculture and Rural Enterprises (FARE of the Carolinas)


Jo Ann Miksa-Blackwell

Director of Rural Entrepreneurship
Ph: 828-253-2834 x29 | Cell: 828-919-1000
Mountain BizWorks | www.mountainbizworks.org
We’re helping smaller businesses grow and larger businesses thrive.


color plain edc logo

The Polk County Economic and Tourism Development Commission meets at the First Peak Center, corner of Mills and Walker Streets in Columbus on the last Wednesday of each month.  Meetings are open and citizens are invited to attend.

ETDC Board


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Polk County

is Thriving

Business is good pin

New Businesses for September 2 013

 Air & Moisture Testing LLC

Hooper Creek Farm Property Owners Assoc.

Infinite Insurance Inc.

Isabell Builders LLC

MAM Global Solutions LLC

MJ’s Auto Repair LLC

Rent 2 U LLC

Worf Run Art Gallery LLC

Rirst Federal SCBT

Gale Contractor Service

Stepping Stone Support Services

Tower Beacon & Strobe

Our next

ETDC Meeting is

October 30, 2013

5:30 pm

at the

First Peak Visitor Ctr

 in Columbus.

All meetings are open to the public.

For more information call 828-894-2895.

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Visiting horse country?  Our hospitality shines.

Visit Us


The Numbers


Aug  Unemployment:  6.2%, down again from July’s’s 6.5%

Polk EDC flower logo

See What All The Excitement is About

Polk County, NC video

Produced by TurnerHDMedia

Watch the video



North Carolina is consistently rated among the best business climates in the nation byForbesCNBCChief Executive and Site Selection magazines.

Why Polk?

  First Peak mtn

A Quality of Life That Attracts Talent

From our isothermal climate with excellent recreational opportunities to our Appalachian culture, rich history, low crime and a low cost of living, Polk County has what people want.

*Moderate climate *Culture rich in history and the arts 

*Recreational opportunities 

*Quality health care

*Low cost of living-housing, utilities, supplies and groceries, transportation and health care are all below the national average

*Low construction costs 

*Diverse educational opportunities 


Why Polk?

Why not?