Avenod – Avenod VI, a marginal world at the border of Republic and Federation space, has fallen on hard times recently. Minmatar Mining Corporation put significant investment into the planet when it was establishing itself in the system shortly after the Minmatar won their independence. As a result, Avenod VI became a primary staging point for the construction of their stations in the system. Service industries on the planet, which was primarily a Sebiestor stronghold, experienced a boom thanks to the thousands of construction workers, starship crews, and other support personnel who spent their time there.
Unfortunately, the Republic's worsening economy has taken its toll on Avenod VI. In the last decade, Minmatar Mining has cut their operations in the system by 40%, leaving many on the planet out of work and the once thriving service sector fighting over an increasingly small market. Unemployment on the planet is nearly three times the Republic average, and recent years have seen a rise in crime, drug use, and other social ills symptomatic of a planet in decline. Efforts by the Sebiestor tribe and the Republic government to remedy the problem have met with failure, largely due to lack of funds and interference from the Angel and Serpentis cartels, who have become entrenched on the planet.
However, last year, Transstellar Shipping announced an expansion of its storage and routing center in the system, and a number of smaller Gallente corporations, including Quafe subsidiary Quality Agroproducts and CreoDron subsidiary Applied Automation, have bought up previously abandoned properties and started a number of new industries on the planet. New corporate farms and factories have provided a wealth of new jobs and vocational training. According to the man responsible for attracting most of this new investment, Gallente entrepreneur Jean Ogorard, the Republic presents unique opportunities for the Federation corporations.
“When I came to Avenod three years ago as a consultant for Transstellar Shipping, I was surprised to see so many people and buildings simply sitting idle and empty. With so many Gallente corporations looking to expand right now, it seemed silly to let this go to waste, especially with Sinq Laison only a jump away.”
Though progress is still slow, and the economic situation in the system is far from perfect, locals have noticed a distinct change on the planet thanks to the injection of funds and jobs. “I've been teetering on the edge of bankruptcy for four years now,” said Heskidi Allsvert, the owner of a small restaurant in one of the capital city's poorest districts. “Since Applied Automation bought the factory down the street though, I've seen more customers every day than I used to see in a week sometimes.” Food prices, she says, have dropped this year as well, as the planet's growing agricultural sector has reduced the need for imports. “I had to double my staff just to handle all the new business.”
Allsvert's success is better than most, but Sebiestor tribe authorities on the planet report that unemployment has nearly halved over the last year, and crime is down thanks to the planet's improving job market and a renewed effort by Republic law enforcement in the system to crack down on the Angel Cartel. “We're not out of the woods yet,” said one Sebiestor tribe aide, “but we've been able to hang on to the coattails of the Gallente boom here, and it's made a big difference.”