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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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Green Opportunities connects youth and adults from low-wealth neighborhoods to sustained employment that supports families and improves community and environmental health. By working closely with like-minded businesses they create a myriad of opportunities for program graduates.

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WNC Green Building Council 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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The Green Restaurant Association, an international nonprofit organization, has pioneered the Green Restaurant® movement as the leading voice within the industry, encouraging restaurants to green their operations using transparent, science-based certification standards. With its turnkey certification system, the GRA has made it accessible for thousands of restaurants to become more environmentally sustainable in Energy, Water, Waste, Food, Chemicals, Disposables, & Building.

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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

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

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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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