News and Updates

Workplace Wellness and Alleviating Back Pain

Tuesday, October 16, 2018


Some of those attending the Lunch & Learn were, from left, Dodie Huffman of Image Source photography, Gayle Martin of Foresters Financial, Belmont Mayor Charlie Martin, Ann Sikorski of Advanced Prosthetics, speaker Bob Forman, manager at CaroMont Health Fitness Center, and Chamber staff members, Andrea Schrift, Ted Hall and Teresa Rankin.

Back injuries cause 100 million lost workdays each year

Back injuries cost American industry $10-14 billion in workers compensation costs and about 100 million lost workdays annually Chamber Lunch & Learn participants learned at the October meeting at Estia's Kouzina in Belmont. 

Bob Forman, firtness manager for CaroMont Health & Fitness Center presented the program on workplace wellness and alleviating back pain. He has a masters degree in exercise physiology and has worked more than 35 years in the fitness and wellness field managing award-winning programs in the corporate, medical and private club sectors. 

He began the program by explaining the anatomy of the spine and said most back discomfort and injury results from muscle imbalance within the musculoskeletal system. He demonstrated simple methods for determining whether pain is resulting from specific muscles being weak or too tight and showing exercises to alleviate the pain and to prevent the occurrence. 

Foreman teaches classes on alleviating back pain at the CaroMont Health Fitness Center, near CaroMont Regional Medical Center at 660 Summit Crossing Place, Suite 302, Gastonia, NC 28054. Membership in the fitness center is open to the public. For more information on the center or the back pain classes, call 704.671.7930.  

Belmont McDonald's celebrates with ribbon cutting

Friday, October 12, 2018

Jeff Stanton and his father Greg Stanton cut the ribbon to reopen Belmont McDonald's after major interior renovations. With them are McDonald's supervisors Marty Alvarez (left) and James Duncan (right). Others, from left, are Chamber Board Secretary Melia Lyerly of Lyerly Agency, Norris Lamb of Carolinas Realty, Elaine Dimeo of Watson Insurance, Freda Hall of Belmont Realty, Shaun Jones of PMI Realty, Belmont Mayor Charlie Martin, Chamber Board member Brad Frazier of Belmont Abbey College, Molly D'Avria of Warlick Family YMCA with daughter Olive and Mary Lima of Stowe Family  YMCA.

Updated McDonald's features wood and stone and 6 kiosks

Belmont McDonald's at 505 N. Main Street, which temporarily was closed for major interior renovations, reopened on October 12, 2018, and celebrated with a Chamber ribbon cutting. Restaurant owner Jeff Stanton of Stanton Enterprise cut the ribbon with his father Greg Stanton, staff members and Chamber members.

This was the second major renovation of the restaurant in six years. Extensive exterior and interior improvements were made in a million-dollar project in 2012. The current half-million-dollar project resulted in a total redesign of the interior, including:

  • A wood & stone design.
  • 6 customer kiosks, with table service provided.
  • A new play place for children.
  • 4 Kidspaces on which to play games.
  • A sofa and more TV screens.
​In addition to Belmont, Stanton Enterprise owns McDonald's restaurants in Mount Holly and Mount Island.
New McDonald's design includes screens where kids can play games.

October is Gaston Outside GO MONTH

Monday, October 1, 2018

October is GO Month, a month-long celebration of Gaston County. From high graduation rates and award-winning business recruitment and retention programs, to great-value housing options and farm-to-table-dining experiences, Gaston County is a great place to live, work and play. Come experience it for yourself through family-friendly events and deals, remarkable food and entertainment. You won’t want to miss GO Month.

  • 1 – 7: Business & Economic Development week
  • 8 – 14: Restaurant & Retail week
  • 15 – 21: Culture & Recreation week
  • 22 – 28: Education & Workforce Development week 

Special events and activities planned for each week. CLICK HERE FOR EVENT LIST

More information at

GO MONTH is coordinated by the Greater Gaston Development Corporation ...  

The City of Belmont is projecting this giant Gaston Outside GO MONTH image on a building beside City Hall in downtown Belmont during the month-long promotion.

Cyber Security for Small Businesses

Friday, September 21, 2018


CaroMont Health Director of Technology Systems Ed Brown (center and in the small photo below) is here with CaroMont Health Chief Information Officer Robin Lang, Belmont Abbey faculty members Brad Frazier, who also is a Chamber board member, and Debbie Windley (right), and five Belmont Abbey students. Students are (from left) Landon Isaacs, Troy Gregor, Luke Glunt, Johnny Gahagan and Jamie Mayberry. 

Small businesses big targets for cyber security attacks 

Download Ed Brown's Presentation Slides

“If you think you are safe because you are small, think again …” That’s the way CaroMont Health Director of Technology Systems Ed Brown began his presentation on Cyber Security for Small Businesses at the Chamber Business Buzz breakfast on Sept. 21, 2018.  

And his message got even more frightening as he cited statistics such as: 58% of malware attack victims are small businesses; last year cyber attacks cost small and medium-sized businesses an average of $2,235,000; 92.4% of malware is delivered via email; 90% of small businesses don’t use any data protection for company or customer information. 

A Marine for 21 years as a communications systems chief, who has worked at CaroMont Health for 16 years, Brown went on to list a few of the major types of cyber attacks, such as phishing, ransomware, drive-by attacks, denial of service, and social media attacks. He said You Tube is one of the most common sites where attacks occur.

Strategies for security also were shared such as: know where your important data is located; backup, backup, backup; test recovery from backups; keep patches and anti-malware applications up to date, keep access to your data by others minimal, watch what you throw away; change all default passwords, educate employees. 

The Chamber’s Business Buzz breakfast programs on local business issues are sponsored by CaroMont Health and held several times each year at the Kimbrell Campus of Gaston College in Belmont.

See more photos on Facebook 

Chamber Board Chair Carey Roberts of Carey Roberts Design welcoming those who attended the Business Buzz breakfast and program on cyber security for small business. 

Carothers Funeral Home salutes military and veterans

Thursday, September 13, 2018


Representing Carothers Funeral Home (from left) are General Manager Andy May, Scotty Teague, Karen Allen and Marketing Director Scot Werkmeister, with Montcross Area Chamber President Ted Hall. In the smaller photo below, N.C. Rep John Torbett (center) is with members of the Honor Guard and representatives of Carothers Funeral Home and the Chamber.

Service groups provide valuable information for veterans 

Carothers Funeral Home and Dignity Memorial saluted our nation’s military and veterans while hosting Chamber members and friends for Network After Work at their beautiful building in Gaston Memorial Park on Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018. 

A short program at the start of the evening included a POW/MIA Remembrance ceremony and Pledge of Allegiance conducted by Jim Mayo and members of the Honor Guard. Speaking for Carothers were General Manager Andy May, Karen Allen and Scotty Teague. Montcross Area Chamber President Ted Hall also made comments. 

Veteran service organizations were on hand to provide information and answer questions for veterans and other guests. Toys were collected for the Marine Corps Toys for Tots program. 

Chamber members made business connections while enjoying refreshments and visiting information stations to have cards punched to qualify for a grand prize. Sandra Cromlish of Belmont walked away with that prize, which was tickets to a Panthers game. Many others took home door prizes from the event. 

For more information on Carothers Funeral Home, call 704.865.9521.

See more photos on Facebook.


The entire Carothers Funeral Home staff pitched in for the salute to the military and veterans at the Network After Work reception.

Charlotte Metro Credit Union

Thursday, August 30, 2018


CMCU Belmont Branch Manager Josh Lavere has just cut the anniversary ribbon with COO Nicol Matthews, other Charlotte Metro Credit Union representatives, Chamber members and friends. Holding the ribbon are Judy Capps (left) of CJS Wealth Management and Judy Closson of Keep Belmont Beautiful. 

CMCU serving 10 counties, 56,000 customers with 11 offices 

Charlotte Metro Credit Union opened its first office in Gaston County in 2017, and celebrated its first anniversary with an open house and Montcross Area Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting ceremony on Aug. 30, 2018.

The office is in the South Fork Village retail center, also home to Famous Toastery, Belmont ABC Store, Sub Station II, I Love Juice Bar and other businesses, at 6425 Wilkinson Blvd., Belmont, NC 28012.

CMCU Chief Operating Officer Nicol Matthews welcomed the Chamber members and friends, who enjoyed seeing the creative use of many local photographs throughout the office. Josh Lavere is manager of the Belmont branch.

Belmont Mayor Charlie Martin thanked Charlotte Metro Credit Union for choosing Belmont and becoming an important new corporate citizen in the community.

CMCU is a not-for-profit community financial institution that began in 1962 as the City of Charlotte Employees Credit Union. With assets today of more than $500 million and 11 office locations, it provides a full range of banking services to more than 56,000 customers in seven North Carolina and three South Carolina counties in the Charlotte region.

Anyone can be a CMCU customer who lives, works, worships or attends school in any of these counties: Cabarrus, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Rowan, Union in North Carolina, or Chester, Lancaster or York in South Carolina.

For more information on Charlotte Metro Credit Union, call 704.375.0183, or visit

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Gaston shows strong support for light rail

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

 CATS Senior Transportation Planner Jason Lawrence addresses a packed auditorium on planning for light rail to the airport and to Gaston County.

Crowd estimated at close to 200 for light rail presentation 

An enthusiastic standing-room-only crowd estimated at close to 200 turned out for the first public meeting in Gaston County on a light rail line along Wilkinson Boulevard that could connect the county to the airport, Uptown Charlotte and to present and future lines to the north, south and east. State, county and municipal elected officials attended along with many local business and community leaders. 

Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) Senior Transportation Planner Jason Lawrence made a presentation in the packed auditorium at the Kimbrell Campus of Gaston College in Belmont on Aug. 21, 2018, noting that the Gaston County meeting had drawn a bigger audience than any of the previous meetings in Charlotte. 

Lawrence emphasized that consideration of the West Corridor line is in its early planning phase, and the purpose of the meetings is to gather public comment before completing the initial planning and moving on to design, funding and other considerations. 

He noted that funding having been secured to replace the Wilkinson Boulevard bridge in the next few years make this the ideal time to develop future light rail plans that can be incorporated into the bridge design. 

Many questions and comments from the audience demonstrated a high level of support for the service, tempered by an understanding it will be years before a light rail system can be built to the airport and across the Catawba River into Gaston County. 

Those unable to attend the meeting can get more information and complete an online survey at:  



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