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The next big thing: As Charlotte looks beyond banking, diverse sectors vie for future play (access required)

By Austin Light and Sam Boykin CHARLOTTE — When former Mayor Pat McCrory left office after 14 years of leading the city, he said Charlotte is far more diverse than many give it credit for. It’s a good thing, too, since instability in the city’s banking sector means Charlotte’s reliance on its “bank town” reputation might be coming to an end. Fortunately, several diverse sectors — from green energy to the film industry — are vying to become bigger players in the city’s economy, and the advocates of each believe it could be the next big thing people associate with the Queen City. As the recession ends, a new decade begins and the election of Mayor Anthony Foxx puts the city under new leadership for the first time in more than a decade, any one of them could come into play.

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