News and Updates

Creative Solutions opens showroom in downtown Belmont

Thursday, September 12, 2019


Cutting the ribbon are Brad and Shannon Thomas with family and team members. On the front row are Reg Thomas, Carey Ledford Roberts, Leigh Ann Calvert, Betsy Armistead, Jacob Henderson, Logan Thomas, Brad Thomas, Betty Payne, Shannon Thomas, Allison Lancaster, Amanda Ruby, Lauren Taylor, Nate Morrison and Clif Calvert. (Photo by Dodie Huffman of Image Source.) 

Showroom and Design Space is at 132 N. Main Street in Belmont

Wedding and corporate event planners from across the region now can make one stop in downtown Belmont to select from Creative Solutions Special Events everything they need for any size function from a small backyard party to a gala for hundreds of guests.

Creative Solutions Special Events will continue to maintain an office and distribution facilities at its Wilson Road location in Gaston County, while the showroom at 132 N. Main Street in Belmont features table displays, lighting, linens and examples of any other item a planner could need for an event. 

CSSE owners Brad and Shannon Thomas opened the space to clients, family, friends and Chamber members for a grand opening celebration and ribbon cutting ceremony on Sept. 12, 2019. A full house filled the large space, which has been extensively renovated. 

Belmont Mayor Charlie Martin was on hand to welcome the long-time local business to the new downtown location. Shannon Thomas, who also serves as chair of the Montcross Area Chamber Board of Directors, spoke of her excitement and that of other members of the CSSE team to become part of the Historic Downtown Belmont business community. 

For more information on Creative Solutions Special Events, call 704.825.8701, or visit

Watch the ribbon cutting video

The Creative Solutions team assembled for the grand opening of the new Showroom & Design Space.





Mercantile Barber Company

Wednesday, September 11, 2019


Jamie Price cuts the ribbon surrounded by family members, including his wife Meredith, children, Bayleigh Hoell, Jonah Hoell, Will Price and daughter-in-law Brittany Price. Other family members in the photo are Mackenzie Hamilton,  Randy and Vicki Giles, Katrina Maney, Nell Maney and Rusty and Diann Price. With them are barbers Alan Hall and Kyle Russell, Chamber Board Chair Shannon Thomas of Creative Solutions Special Events, Belmont Mayor Pro-Tem Martha Stowe, and, holding the ribbon Chamber Board members Dick Cromlish of School Resources and Nicole Flowers of Wilbert Plastic Services.

Young barbers right at home in historic Stowe Mercantile building

Three fewer workers now are commuting to and from Charlotte each day since the Mercantile Barber Company opened in the 115-year-old Stowe Mercantile building at 6 N. Main Street in downtown Belmont. Shop owner Jamie Price and his fellow barbers Kyle Russell and Alan Hall, all Gaston County natives, don't miss the drive and they love what they describe as "a no gimmicks, true blue barber shop focused on keeping traditional barbering alive."

The Mercantile Barber Company is in the back of the building, which also is known as the Belmont General Store. Until the store closed, Doug Brewer was the barber in a shop, cutting hair into his 90s. He was among the first customers to visit after the new shop opened.

Temporarily, access to the shop is from the rear of the building off Glenway Street. Renovations are being completed to convert the front of the building into a locally owned outfitters store. When Catawba River Outfitters opens soon, the barber shop also will be accessible from the Main Street entrance.

Chamber members and family, friends and customers of Mercantile Barber Company filled the space several times during the celebration, with the crowd rotating in and out to the shaded rear of the building for the ribbon cutting ceremony.  

For more information call 980.283.7220, or visit

Watch the ribbon cutting video

More video from the event


Jamie Price addresses the crowd, with his barber colleagues Kyle Russell and Alan Hall and members of his family beside him.

Mercantile Barber Company Mission

The Mercantile Barber Company is a no gimmicks, true blue barber shop focused on keeping traditional barbering alive. With every haircut, shave, conversation, or handshake we strive to build lasting relationships with the community around us and make folks feel as good as they will look when they walk out our doors. We are located in the iconic 115-year-old Stowe Mercantile building along with Catawba River Outfitters. Stop in and see us for great conversation, a great atmosphere, and a top notch haircut or shave!

Carolina Threesixty opens in downtown Lowell

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Brothers Cam Mitchell (left), with his wife Chelsy Mitchell, and Bryton Mitchell, with his wife Tillie Mitchell, and their parents Neal and Kelly Mitchell, cut the ribbon with their grandparents, Lowell City officials and members of the Chamber, including, holding the ribbon, Board Chair Shannon Thomas (left) of Creative Solutions Special Events and Board Past-Chair Carey Roberts of Carey Roberts Design.  
See samples and place your orders in the new showroom
Brothers Cam and Bryton Mitchell have opened a showroom and production facility in downtown Lowell for their brand merchandising, promotional products, embroidery, screen printing and videography business Carolina Threesixty. The address is 123-G Branch Street. 

On hand for the grand opening and ribbon cutting on Sept. 10, 2019, were their parents, Neal and Kelly Mitchell, and grandparents, Robert and Mary Mitchell, celebrating their 59th anniversary, and Melvin and Mavis Harris, along with Lowell city officials and a big crowd of Chamber members.

Mayor Sandy Railey welcomed the new business to Lowell, and Chamber Board Chair Shannon Thomas of Creative Solutions Special Events thanked Cam and Bryton for becoming members of the Chamber and encouraged all of those attending to support fellow members. 
The goal at Carolina Threesixty is "to help businesses promote and market themselves through professionally crafted, story-telling videos and quality stitched garments that they are proud to wear."
For more information, call 704.879.7186, visit, or send email to 
Lowell Mayor Sandy Railey (center) with Bryton Mitchell (left) and Cam Mitchell (right) and Lowell city officials. 

Riverside Flats top leasing apartments in the market

Tuesday, August 20, 2019


Riverside Flats owner Jason McArthur prepares to cut the ribbon in front of the restored clubhouse building, with Belmont Mayor Charlie Martin and Mayor Pro Tem Martha Stowe to his left,  property manager Julie Williams to his right and backed up by some of the Chamber members and friends attending. Holding the ribbon are Chamber Board Chair Shannon Thomas , right, of Creative Solutions Special Events and Board member Nicole Flowers of Wilbert Plastic Services. (Photo by Chase Photographics)

More than 80 of 102 units leased in two months 

Riverside Flats at Aberfoyle Village in Belmont is the fastest leasing new apartment community in the Charlotte market, owner Jason McArthur of Mission Properties told a large crowd of Chamber members and friends celebrating the grand opening with a Network After Work reception on Aug. 20, 2019. More than 80 of the 102 units have been leased in just over two months. Riverside Flats is at 1200 River Drive, just off East Catawba Street. 

The three, three-story apartment buildings on the banks of the Catawba River are designed featuring brick and large windows to reflect the heritage of the Aberfoyle textile mill that operated on the site for many years. Townhomes being built by Brookline Homes also are selling fast in Aberfoyle Village. 

Guests gathered for networking and to enjoy an assortment of dessert treats provided by Nellie’s Southern Kitchen in the Riverside Flats clubhouse, which is in the beautifully restored Aberfoyle Mill office building. They also were able to tour a fully decorated model apartment. 

For more information about the one, two and three-bedroom apartments still available at Riverside Flats, call property manager Julie Williams or leasing specialist Keith Yarborough at 704.829.8091, or visit

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Get Ready Gaston 2019

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

In the small photo below are: Charlotte Regional Business Alliance CEO Janet LaBar, left, with Belmont Abbey College President William Thierfelder, Atrium Health Director of Community Engagement and Corporate Responsibility Emily Wilson, and Atrium Health Vice President of Carolinas Rehabilitation Mount Holly Peter Cassidy.

Gaston elected officials meet on preparing for growth 

More than 100 elected officials, economic development professionals and business and community leaders attended the third annual Get Ready Gaston Forum on Preparing for Growth at Belmont Abbey College on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2019. Candidates for elective office also were invited.

The forum is a public service project coordinated by the Montcross Area Chamber of Commerce in partnership with sponsor Atrium Health. The objective is to help Gaston County leaders prepare for projected rapid growth here stemming from Charlotte’s development to the west.

The first Get Ready Gaston in 2017 focused on learning from counties such as York and Union, how they have been impacted in recent years by Charlotte’s growth. The 2018 forum focused on learning about developments in Charlotte that will impact Gaston County. Topics included expansion plans for Charlotte Douglas International Airport, the River District project, community health issues and the potential for bringing light rail beyond the airport into Gaston County.

Light rail, the plans for which now include Gaston County, was a major topic on the agenda for Get Ready Gaston 2019. Charlotte Area Transit CEO John Lewis and CATS Senior Transportation Planner Jason Lawrence were the presenters. “Integrated Development: How the Next Generation of Workers is Impacting Economic Development” was addressed by Kathleen Rose, CEO of Rose & Associates SE. Pamela Atwood of the NC Housing Coalition spoke on “Workforce Housing: Preserving Diverse Communities Amid Rising Home Prices.”

Three presenters associated with TechWorks of Gaston County presented on “Developing An Entrepreneur Ecosystem.” They included TechWorks Executive Director Terry Cox, Alan Fitzpatrick, CEO of Open Broadband, which started at TechWorks and is connecting underserved communities with high-speed wireless internet service, and John Robinson, CEO of Wellzesta, a Belmont-based wellness software company helping senior citizens across the country maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Janet LaBar, president and CEO of the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance, was the speaker at a luncheon concluding the forum, which took place in the Haid Theater and Ballroom at Belmont Abbey College.

 From left, John Robinson, Alan Fitzpatrick and Terry Cox during their presentation at “Get Ready Gaston.”

Sellstate Premier opens real-estate office in Belmont

Friday, July 12, 2019

Owner Angelia Black cut the ribbon, with help from Broker in Charge of the Belmont office Sheryl Haigh. On the front row, from left, are Mary Carol Wright, Angela Anderson, Jason Morton, Evan and Samantha Black, Angela Preschel, Jan DePriest, Jodi Scates and Jim Hope. Holding the ribbon are Connie Gatlin of Gatlin Graphics and Adam Lee of Adam Lee State Farm in Mount Holly. Sellstate agents in the second row include Matt and Stacy Johnson, Christopher Barfield, Lynn Dellinger, Lynn Coffey, Greg Stokes, Kellie Ellis, Derek Jackson and Candice Wilson.

Sellstate also has an office in Huntersville

The former coin laundry never looked so good as it did Friday afternoon, when Sellstate Premier celebrated its grand opening with a Chamber ribbon cutting and an open house in the completely renovated building at 109 South Main Street in Belmont. 

Glass-walled offices, modern white desks and motivational messages on freshly painted walls have transformed the space. A single small drain intentionally retained in the center of the painted concrete floor provides the only clue to the building's former life. 

Angelia Black of Mount Holly is the owner of the full-service real-estate company, which also has a location in the Birkdale Business Park in Huntersville. Combined, the two offices have more than 40 agents. 

Broker in charge of the Belmont office is Sheryl Haigh, and other agents include Jodi Scates, Jan DePriest, Carole Ross, Matt Johnson, Stacy Johnson, Gregg Stokes, Lynn Coffey, Angela Anderson, Lynn Dellinger, Angela Pueschel, Christopher Barfield, Kellie Ellis, Derek Jackson and Candice Wilson..

More on Sellstate Premier in Belmont at 704.737.0659, or online at

Watch the ribbon-cutting video 

See more photos on Facebook


Watson Insurance - Belmont celebrates renovations

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Watson Insurance CEO Thomas C. Watson, Jr. (left) and Paul Hendricks, who heads the Watson office in Belmont, shake hands after the ribbon cutting to celebrate the new interior look at the Belmont office. Other Watson Insurance team members on the front row are Anita O'Donoughue, (third from left), Lisa Jones, Elaine Dimeo, Jenny Hope and Watson Insurance President Rob Watson. Holding the ribbon are Chamber Board Chair Shannon Thomas of Creative Solutions Special Events and Board member Dick Cromlish of School Resources.  (Photo by John Jacob)

New interior design greets customers at Belmont office 

Modern new cubicles with windows have replaced the dark wood teller counter and office panels leftover from when the Watson Insurance Belmont office once was a bank.

Paul Hendricks and his Belmont team celebrated the bright, upscale new interior design by hosting Chamber members, friends and customers for a Network After Work reception and ribbon cutting on Thursday, July 11, 2019. Refreshments were provided by Chamber member The Lodge Tavern & Tap.

Watson Insurance dates to 1934, and CEO Thomas C. Watson, Jr. attended the celebration along with Rob Watson, who is president of the company. The Belmont office is at 302 East Catawba Street. With its home office in Gastonia, Watson Insurance also has offices in Lincolnton and Lake Wylie.

For more information on Watson Insurance in Belmont, call 704.825.9642, or visit  

See more photos on Facebook.

Watch the ribbon-cutting video.  

Chamber members enjoyed networking, refreshments and getting a look at the bright new interior decor at the Belmont office of Watson Insurance. 





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