With adventure-seeking foodies flocking to his mushroom-foraging tours of the woods in Asheville, North Carolina, Alan Muskat's business, No Taste Like Home, is thriving. Often, he arranges for participants to head to a local restaurant afterward, where a gourmet chef will prepare their harvest.
It's not just the farm-to-table trend that's keeping him busy. It's also North Carolina's business-friendly climate. "The tourism efforts for North Carolina are tremendous," said Muskat, who claims his business has five-figure revenues. Locally, for instance, the Asheville Convention and Visitors Bureau sends a steady stream of tourists to the one-man business he has operated for two decades. "They are my No. 1 source of business," he said.
North Carolina is one of many states that are vying to lure businesses of all sizes—and make them want to stay. For many, the reason is to create jobs and economic growth, given the nation's uneven recovery from the Great Recession.