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Hitting rare high note, business expansions rise (access required)

By Hannah Mitchell Last fall, Helen Foessett moved the music school she started in her home to a commercial building with soundproof instruction rooms and four pianos. By January, her student load had grown so much that she started adding teachers and pianos, 15 and two, respectively. Now Charlotte Music School has nearly 300 students tinkling, strumming and banging on their instruments of choice, representing a healthy demand for musical training and expression in spite of the still sluggish economy. The new jobs created to meet that demand helped make January through March the best first quarter in a decade in announcements of new or expanded businesses in Mecklenburg County, according to Charlotte Chamber of Commerce figures. In fact, it was the third-best first quarter in more than 30 years of record-keeping at the chamber, behind only those of 1999 and 2000.

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