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U.S. Senator Kay Hagan is applauding a new project to support Western North Carolina’s agriculture economy and spur job creation in 23 counties. WNC AgriVentures, a program developed by Advantage West and Land of Sky Regional Council, is launching the project with an $815,000 federal grant, which Hagan supported. The project will help expand WNC’s sustainable agriculture and natural resource industry and support local producers and entrepreneurs. It was announced Aug. 15 at Blue Ridge Food Ventures incubator in Candler.

“Western North Carolina is becoming a powerhouse in the local agriculture and local sustainable food movements,” said Hagan. “I am pleased that this project will allow AgriVentures to continue supporting initiatives that will expand the agriculture industry in our western region. By helping local producers grow their businesses, this project will help put people in WNC back to work.”

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Macon County’s Economic Development Center hosted the second entrepreneur networking night last Thursday at Appalachian Harvest in downtown Franklin.

“The Macon County Economic Development Commission is pleased to partner with our economic development partners in sponsoring our second entrepreneurial event of the year,” said Tommy Jenkins, Macon County EDC director. “Our first event in April brought together over 70 enthusiastic entrepreneurs for an evening of networking and fellowship. This event will build on that momentum.”

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Companies employ hundreds in Macon County

In 1985, two men opened a custom furniture shop on Depot Street under the name Brown’s Woodworking. From there, it evolved into a manufacturing facility in the early 1990s, producing large quantities of picture frame mouldings and component parts for Aristocraft Cabinetry and Baker Furniture. In 1998, the business name was changed to Liberty Wood Products and was relocated to a new 35,000 square foot facility in the Iotla Valley area. The new facility has allowed for more growth as the business continued to increase sales.

On the construction side, Liberty offers quality products including moulding profiles, flooring, interior doors, rustic siding, custom millwork, custom residential and commercial cabinetry, built-ins, closets, countertops, and one-of-kind specialty items with services including design work, material take-offs, door schedules, and more.

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For many people, cutting back on their grocery budgets can be an overwhelming experience. They know they're spending too much, but don't know where to begin to cut. Often, they fear that they will deprive themselves and their children if they become frugal. The good news is that there are ways to have your cake, eat it and save money at the same time. The whole secret is to start slowly. There are countless ways you can cut, but if you need to, target just one thing at a time - you will still be saving money if you do only one thing.

If you are a frugal beginner, try these simple suggestions for saving on your food bill:

Cooking frugally is like changing your diet. You need to learn gradually how to save money and cook frugally. Don't expect that you will get your food bill down to $300 for four people in the first month if you are spending $600 a month right now.

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