News and Updates

Gaston Arts Council hosts Chamber members

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Arts Council celebration a big hit with Chamber members

The promise of a spring evening on the riverside with barbecue, live music, craft beer and rum tastings brought out lots of Chamber members and friends when Gaston Arts Council hosted Network After Work at Riverside Marina in Belmont on Thursday, May 11, 2017.

Hogzilla BBQ provided the food, Muddy River Distillery offered tours and tasting, York Chester Brewing brought the beer and the Shu Band performed. Kim George, executive director of the Arts Council, coordinated the Chamber networking event. 

Riverside Marina opened recently at 1500 River Drive in Belmont, at the same location as the Riverside Complex, a large former textile mill that now is home to many small businesses and provides warehousing space for many others.

Network After Work is offered free for Chamber members and others interested at least once each month. Its purpose is to provide networking opportunities and also to allow members to learn about a fellow member business.The receptions usually take place at he host member's business.

For more on Gaston Arts Council call,704.853.ARTS (2787), or visit  

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Taylor Law opens new office in Belmont

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

In the photo, Yansea Taylor is cutting the ribbon with her husband Alex and Taylor Law team members (from left) Miranda Skates, attorney Hailey Hawkins, Rebekah Valour, Rachel Jenkins and Hailey’s husband and daughter Matt and Natalie Hawkins. Among a large group of Chamber members and friends attending, are, on the front row from the left, Chamber board chair-elect Carey Roberts of Carey Roberts Design, Belmont Mayor Pro-Tem Martha Stowe, Myra Hanks of Coldwell Banker MECA Realty, Dodie Huffman of Image Source Photography and Timothy Roberts of Cottage Keepers.

Now at 217 Glenway St., across from Belmont Post Office

Taylor Law has grown into its third location in Belmont since opening five years ago in the Stowe Building. Attorney Yansea Taylor and her team hosted a grand opening celebration and Chamber ribbon-cutting ceremony on Tuesday, May 9, 2017, at the firm’s new and larger home at 217 Glenway Street across from the Belmont Post Office. In the interim, Taylor Law was located on Wilkinson Boulevard in Belmont.

The firm practices  in several areas, including bankruptcy, family law, wills and estate planning and real estate.  For more information, call 704.461.8785, or visit


Yansea Taylor was interviewed live at the grand opening by Bill Jordan of  WGNC Radio.


Right at Home packs Stowe Building for ribbon-cutting

Thursday, May 4, 2017

 Onloookers cheer as Bill and Karanda Osborne cut a ribbon symbolizing the grand opening of Right at Home. With them, at left on the front row, are Bill's brother Michael Osborne and Karanda's parents Bob and Joanie Mills, with staff member Yolanda Robinson at right in green dress. Holding the ribbon are Montcross Area Chamber Board members Chris Kennedy of Kennedy Business Services (left) and Jason Ramey of PSNC Energy.

Caring for people motivates Right at Home owner Bill Osborne

Caring for people is what motivates Marine Corps and Iraq veteran Bill Osborne and what led him to start a business called Right at Home, which provides in-home care for those who need assistance,

Bill, his wife Karanda and Right at Home staff members hosted a grand opening and ribbon-cutting celebration on May 4, 2017, with members and friends of the Montcross Area and Gaston Regional Chambers of Commerce. Offices for Right at Home are in the Stowe Building at 100 N. Main St., Suite 107, Belmont, NC 28012. The lobby and hallways were filled with more than 60 who attended to learn about Right at Home, to network and to enjoy refreshments. Drawings for valuable door prizes also were a big hit. 

After his military service, Osborne spent more than a decade in the medical field as a respiratory therapist at Duke University Hospital and as a member of a critical care flight team working for a Charlotte healthcare system, He is eager to apply his passion for helping others to serving those in need of in-home care throughout Gaston County.

For more information on Right at Home, call 704.412.3366 or visit  

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Sake Express Opens New Restaurant in Lake Wylie

Monday, May 1, 2017

 Cutting Ribbon are owners Linda Park (left) and Lisa Nguyen. Others from left are Sake Express staff members Bethany McGinnas and Victoria DiPietro, with Thomas Garrone and Jane DuBois (holding ribbon), Carey Roberts of Carey Roberts Design, Gaston Chamber CEO Anissa Starnes and Membership Director Angela Saunders, Montcross Area Chamber President Ted Hall, Michael Park, Sally Dunn of Alliance Bank, Susan Gauff of Lake Wylie Bedding, Elaine Dimeo of George Stowe Insurance, Tommy Pope, Tisha Walker, Doug McSpadden of McSpadden Custom Homes, Michela King, and Lisa Jubenville of the Lake Wylie Chamber.

Lake Wylie boasts largest Sake Express location

Entrepreneur sisters Linda Park and Lisa Nguyen have opened their fourth and largest Sake Express Japanese Steakhouse in Lake Wylie in the Mill Creek Commons center near Walmart and Lowes. The address is 5360 Hwy. 557, Clover, SC 29710.

The new restaurant is 4,900 square feet, which is larger than the Belmont, Mount Holly and Gastonia locations. Members of three area Chambers of Commerce -- Montcross Area, Gaston Regional and Lake Wylie --  came together to celebrate the opening with a ribbon cutting on Monday, May 1, 2017. Hours are 10 a.m. - 10:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. on Sunday. For more information on Sake Express Lake Wylie, call 803.610.0146, or visit

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Belmont Walmart unveils a new look and new services;

Thursday, April 27, 2017


Lt. Joe Quin (left) and Sgt. Jason Davis of the Belmont Police Department present the colors as Walmart associate Michael Crawford sings the National Anthem. Store Manager Rusty Evans, a Cramerton native, is at right.

Grand Re-opening features free samples, specials, family activities 

A bright new look and new customer services were unveiled this morning at Belmont’s Walmart, and the store announced contributions to several local organizations including the Montcross Area Chamber. 

The grand re-opening activities and free samples continue through the weekend.  Pay and go and pick up services are among the new features being introduced. 

Store manager Rusty Evans, a native of Cramerton and a South Point High School graduate, led the program, introducing local store associates and regional Walmart officials. Belmont Mayor Charlie Martin spoke about Walmart’s many contributions to the community. 

Check presentations included a $2,500 grant to the Montcross Area Chamber to support the Chamber's work to create jobs by helping small businesses grow and helping entrepreneurs start successful new businesses. A $2,000 grant went to the Belmont Historical Society, and $1,000 contributions to the Belmont Police Academy and the Piedmont Council Boy Scouts of America. 

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26-year Walmart associate Loraine Stowe cuts the ribbon with store manager Rusty Evans. 

Belmont Trolley group hosts Chamber members and friends;

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Board members of Belmont Trolley are (from left) Nate Wells, Jennifer Church, Rob Pressley, Ashley McCallister, Ryan Schrift and Rod Smallwood. Behind them is Belmont Historical Society President Fred Dixon in his trolley motorman uniform. He’s a former motorman on the Charlotte trolley and is eager to serve in that role for Belmont’s trolley. 

Belmont’s 1913 trolley star attraction at Network After Work

Chamber members and friends got a unique opportunity to see the Belmont trolley, the Stowe Park Special train engine and the City of Belmont Public Works building during Network After Work on April 27, 2017. The Belmont Trolley organization hosted the event to raise awareness of the work to restore a 1913 trolley and return it to service on the former Piedmont & Northern Railway between downtown Belmont and Belmont Abbey College. 

Belmont Trolley, a non-profit, volunteer organization, raised funds to purchase the trolley in Canada and move it here by truck. It’s now stored and undergoing restoration in the city’s Public Works building at 1401 E. Catawba Street. Additional funds must be raised to complete the work. 

Trolley Board Chair Rob Pressley told more than 100 attending the event that the vision includes a downtown Belmont building to store the trolley and to serve as a trolley and train museum, giving the city a unique new attraction for residents to enjoy and to draw tourists. 

For more information on Belmont Trolley and how you can support the project, call 704.914.7730, or visit the group's Facebook page at: 

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International Express moves corporate office to Lowell

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

International Express President and CEO Howard Shope cuts ribbon with Lowell Mayor Sandy Railey, Michelle Reese, Ashley Hodge and Vice President James Childress.

International Express brings 24 jobs to Gaston County

International Express has bought a 77,000-square-foot building in Lowell and relocated its corporate offices and 24 jobs to Gaston County from the airport area of Charlotte. A grand opening and Montcross Area Chamber ribbon-cutting were celebrated with a lunch for clients, staff, vendors and friends on Wednesday, April 26, 2017, at the large warehouse facility at 141 Robins Street in Lowell.

International Express retains its Charlotte facility and also owns a building in Atlanta. President and CEO Howard Shope led tours of the Lowell building, including recently renovated offices, and talked with guests about the wide variety of cargo, warehousing and other services provided by the company.

In the photo, Howard Shope is cutting the ribbon with Michelle Reese, Ashley Hodge and Vice President James Childress and Nancy Childress. With them are Lowell Mayor Sandy Railey and Lowell City Council members Candy Funderburk and the Rev. Thomas Gillespie. Other International Express staff members visible in the photo are Deborah Ray, Ricky Pope, Robin Blalock, Morgan Tyler, Derick Pope, C.J. Shope, Rodney Adams, Dennis Creed, Jackson Childress, Zachary Childress, Kellie Hart, and Phil Morton and Tim Key of Carolina Premier Bank. Holding the ribbon are Chamber Board members Robert Larrison of Carolinas HealthCare System and Jennifer Church of the Chronicle Mill and Church Realty.

For more information on International Express, call 704.424.5454, or visit

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 CEO Howard Shope and Lowell Mayor Sandy Railey.


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