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Kannapolis gets Small Business Community Award

KANNAPOLIS ó For its work with the N.C. Research Campus, Kannapolis is one of nine governments across the state recognized by Gov. Bev Perdueís office with an Innovative Small Business Community Award, the state said in a press release.
In its inaugural year, the award for recognizes ěcreative and innovative waysî the communities help small businesses bring jobs to North Carolina, the press release said. Two-thirds of all new jobs are created by small businesses, making them critical economic drivers for local communities across the state.
ěSmall businesses are the backbone of North Carolinaís economy. Supporting our small business owners and entrepreneurs is the best way to improve the unemployment rate,î Perdue said. ěPart of being the best place to do business is providing support for the innovators, risk-takers and small business owners who create jobs.î
The governor recognized Kannapolis, along with development company Castle and Cooke, for the public-private partnership to redevelop the former Pillowtex textile plants to create the N.C. Research Campus, a bioscience research campus that will include more than 3 million square feet of office, lab and civic space, including 1,000 on-campus dwelling units.
The Research Campus has partnerships with eight universities, houses a community college workforce training facility, has a nonprofit research institute and involves various private sector businesses. Currently, the campus employs about 300 people representing various organizations with the potential of employing 5,000 people.
The Innovative Small Business Community Award program ěrecognizes projects, strategies and initiatives that reflect excellence in community economic development, small business and entrepreneurship, and sustainability in North Carolina,î the press release said.
Nominated communities were evaluated based on their creative solutions to improve quality of life and well-being through job creation and job sustaining activities.
Other communities recognized in the initial round of awards were:
The town of Burgaw, for its kitchen incubator, a shared-use commercial kitchen facility that provides kitchen space, equipment, and regulatory and business advice to specialty-food makers.
The town of Elkin, for Elkin Center, a vacant grocery store converted to a workforce training center.
The city of Greenville, for its small business plan program for existing businesses in the cityís two redevelopment areas. Businesses submit business plans that compete for awards between $15,000 and $30,000.
The city of Lumberton, for its certified retirement community program. The first in the state to receive that designation, Lumbertonís goal is to attract people aged 55 and older to retire there based on identified assets including location, climate, affordable housing, cost of living, taxes and access to medical care.
The town of Maxton, for the Maxton Learning Academy, which assists low-income students with education and job training.
Rockingham County, for a business and technology center developed to encourage entrepreneurship and technology to enhance its traditional industrial recruitment efforts and to diversify its economic base.
The town of Star, for its partnership with STARworks that developed a clay factory, established a clay experience studio, built a modern energy-efficient glass blowing studio and provided workshops and technical assistance to entrepreneurs.
The town of Valdese, for the Valdese Economic Development Investment Corporation, which provides assistance to small businesses through operating two small business loan programs, conducting workshops, and supporting a mentoring and networking program on behalf of the town.

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