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Features Business & Finance

On Thursday, U.S. Congressman Heath Shuler (D-N.C.) paid a visit to Franklin to meet with staff and owners at a number of area businesses that are weathering the current economic slump and in some cases even growing in it.

The first location on the itinerary mixed business and pleasure with lunch at Rana Rinatta, an Italian eatery that opened on Highlands Rd. in December. According to restaurant co-owner Lisa Thordarson, who formerly ran The Frog and Owl on Main Street, the business has hired approximately 50 employees, including 6 fulltime salaried positions, making it one of the largest new employers in recent years.


After the Great Depression of the 1930s, the real estate market looked like a 98-pound weakling after going 12 rounds with Mike Tyson in his prime.

However, those market conditions sparked a post-Depression boom that sustained 65 straight years of appreciation in real estate. And according to one expert, it’s about to happen again.

“This is an unprecedented economic crisis, but it is spawning an unprecedented opportunity,” said Greg Rand, a 20-year real estate veteran and author of Crash-Boom (www.crashboom.com) from Career Press. “Real estate prices are at their lowest ebb in years, but anyone with a sense of history in the real estate market knows that those prices will rise as the economy improves and the people who got burned in the mortgage crisis are ready to try their hands at home ownership again. You can’t suppress the American Dream, but you can profit from it if you can have the strength and confidence to act.”


When it comes to insurance, many people face the Goldilocks dilemma: Am I buying too much coverage, not enough, or just the right amount? How do you determine your proper insurance levels while ensuring you don’t waste money on unneeded coverage – or worse, leave your family exposed?

Here are a few considerations:

Homeowners insurance. Your home is probably your largest investment, so don’t risk losing it and its contents through an unforeseen disaster, accident or robbery. Renters also need insurance: Although the building is insured by the owner, your contents are not. A few tips:


EXIT Smokey Mountain Realty celebrated its 9th Anniversary on March 4.

Kathy Clifton and Sherry Freimuth, owner/brokers attribute this success to the support they've received “from Macon County, their woderful clients and customers and their top notch agents.”


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