News and Updates

Chamber's 2nd Get Ready Gaston Forum held at Belmont Abbey

Wednesday, August 15, 2018


In the photo below are (from left) Robert Larrison, Chamber Board member and President of Carolinas Rehabilitation for Atrium Health; Brian Leary, President Commercial & Mixed Use at Crescent Communities; and Belmont Abbey College President Dr. William Thierfelder.

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Get Ready Gaston: A Forum on Preparing for Growth 

About 100 elected officials and economic development professionals attend the second Get Ready Gaston Forum on Preparing for Growth at Belmont Abbey College on Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2018. 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 elected officials and community 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 in their direction. 

The 2018 forum focused on learning more about developments in Charlotte that will impact Gaston County. Topics included expansion plans for Charlotte Douglas International Airport, with Aviation Director Brent Cagle speaking; The River District project, presented by Elizabeth McMillan of Crescent Communities and Scott Williams of Lincoln Harris; light rail on the West Corridor, with Jason Lawrence of the Charlotte Area Transit System presenting; and regional community health, presented by Ruth Krystopolski of Atrium Health. 

Crescent Communities President for Commercial & Mixed Use Brian Leary was the keynote luncheon speaker at the forum, which took place in the Haid Theater and Ballroom at Belmont Abbey College.

The following presentations are available to download:

Charlotte Airport Economic Impact and Strategic Plans by Aviation Director Brent Cagle 

River District by Crescent Communities Director of Development Elizabeth McMillan and Lincoln Harris Vice President of Investments Scott Williams  

West Corridor Light Rail by Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) Senior Transportation Planner Jason Lawrence

Community Health by Atrium Health Senior Vice President Population Health Ruth Krystopolski


Atrium Health Senior Vice President of Population Health Ruth Krystopolski presenting at the forum.


Sub Station II Grand Opening in Belmont

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Owners Holly and Jonathan Camp and their daughters, staff and Chamber members begin the celebration as the ribbon falls during the grand opening of Sub Station II in Belmont. Holding the ribbon, are Chamber Board members Brad Frazier of Belmont Abbey College and Nicole Flowers of Wilbert Plastic Services.

Hot or cold sandwiches, salads, desserts and more on menu

Owners Holly and Jonathan Camp with their daughters, staff members and Montcross Area Chamber members celebrated the grand opening of Sub Station II in Belmont's South Fork Station retail center (between Famous Toastery and Belmont ABC Store) on Aug. 8, 2018. Belmont Mayor Charlie Martin attended and welcomed the new restaurant to the Belmont business community. Sub Station II offers customers more than a dozen choices for hot or cold sandwiches, as well as salads, side items, chips and desserts. The address is 6425 Wilkinson Blvd., Suite K, Belmont, NC 28012. Hours are Monday – Thursday, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.; closed Sunday. For more on Sub Station II, call 704.829.8230.

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Opportunity Zones designated in Gaston County

Monday, August 6, 2018

Seated with U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry after the program are, Montcross Area Chamber Board Chair Carey Roberts (left) of Carey Roberts Design and Board Chair-elect Shannon Thomas of Creative Solutions Special Events. Standing (from left) are Gastonia City Manager Michael Peoples, Cramerton Commissioner Houston Helms and Cramerton Planning Director Josh Watkins, Belmont Mayor Charlie Martin, Cramerton Town Manager David Pugh, Chamber Board member Julie Roper of PSNC Energy, Dr. David Layne of Landmark MD and staff members Duwana Davis and Melissa McAtee, Lowell City Manager Kevin Krouse, Cramerton Commissioner Susan Neeley, Lowell Mayor Sandy Railey, Chamber Board member Robert Larrison of Atrium Health, Chamber Board Secretary Melia Lyerly of Lyerly Agency, Chamber Board Past Chair Bill Ingram of Regions Bank, Cramerton Commissioner Donald Rice and Stanley Town Manager Heath Jenkins.

9 Opportunity Zones identified in Gaston County

U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry came to Belmont last week to talk with the Montcross Area Chamber Board of Directors and other guests about a new national “Opportunity Zones” program. 

The purpose of opportunity zones is to encourage growth in low-income and rural communities across America by providing a tax incentive for private investors to make long-term investments in communities which face economic hardships. To qualify as an opportunity zone, an area must have a poverty rate of 20 percent or higher or a median household income that is less than 80 percent of the surrounding area. 

The program provides a tax incentive for investors to reinvest unrealized capital gains into “opportunity funds,” which are dedicated to investing into small businesses and economic development in opportunity zones. 

Nine opportunity zones have been designated in Gaston County, including the FUSE District in Gastonia, zones in Lowell and Cramerton and a business park in Bessemer City. 

The meeting took place at the Kimbrell Campus of Gaston College, and Landmark MD of Belmont sponsored the lunch, which was provided by Nellie’s Southern Kitchen. Dr. David Layne of Landmark MD spoke also about his innovative direct primary care practice. (See related story on Landmark MD.)

Dr. David Layne and Landmark MD

Monday, August 6, 2018

Dr. David Layne is shown with information on direct primary care (DPC). 

Landmark MD office is in the Stowe Building in Belmont 

Landmark MD, an innovative direct primary care medical practice in Belmont, sponsored the Montcross Area Chamber Board of Director’s lunch with U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry on Aug. 6, 2018, and Dr. David Layne made a presentation before the congressman spoke on a new national Opportunity Zone program. (See related story on Opportunity Zones.) 

Dr. Layne, who founded Riverwood Medical Associates of Gastonia in 1993, adopted the direct primary care model and opened a new office in Belmont’s Stowe Building three years ago. In direct primary care, the patient pays his or her physician directly, resulting in less time and money spent on insurances, leaving more time for the physician to focus on the patient. 

Landmark MD members pay monthly fees of $50 to $75, with a family maximum of $150. The fee covers a broad range of services such easy and fast access to care, unlimited office visits, annual physicals, routine lab and office procedures and more. 

The Landmark MD office is at 100 N. Main St., Belmont, NC 28012. For more information, call 704.461.8111, or visit

McLean Self Storage Grand Opening

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Tripp McLean cutting ribbon with members of his family and staff, Belmont Mayor Charlie Martin and Chamber members, including Board Chair Elect Shannon Thomas of Creative Solutions Special Events holding the ribbon at left, with 2018 Board Chair Carey Roberts of Carer Roberts Design. In the photo at right below, are Tripp McLean, left, with his father Les McLean and staff members of McLean Self Storage.

Ask about the "Refer A Friend" discount program

Chamber members and friends helped owner Tripp McLean and his family and staff celebrate the grand opening of McLean Self Storage on Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018. The new storage center is at 1322 South Point Road in Belmont. 

McLean Self Storage features 400 units from 5 X 5 feet to 10 X 30 feet, all behind a brick facade and monitored by 16 high-quality security cameras. About 70 percent of the units are temperature controlled with dehumidifiers. McLean Self Storage also offers RV and boat storage from 20 to 40 feet. 

Cherubs Cafe provided food for the grand opening, which attracted a large turnout of Chamber members and friends to welcome the new business to the Chamber and the community. Drop by and ask about the "Refer A Friend" policy, which can earn a new customer 50% off on first month's rent and a $25 credit for a current customer who refers a new customer. 

For more on McLean Self Storage, call 704.825.0669.

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Anatomywise Scoliosis & Spine Center Grand Opening

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

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Anatomywise owners Karen Kleiner and Karena Thek cut the ribbon with family members, Mount Holly city officials and Chamber members.

Former Miss NC, who has scoliosis, makes appearance

People are coming to Mount Holly from around the country for scoliosis therapy camps and one-on-one sessions at the new Anatomywise Scoliosis and Spine Center. The center is 115 N. Main Street, suite 212. 

Owners Karen Kleiner and Karena Thek, founder of Scolio-Pilates, celebrated their new Mount Holly location with an open house and Chamber ribbon-cutting ceremony on July 10, 2018. The Montcross Area Chamber and Gaston Regional Chamber partnered on the ribbon cutting. Catering was provided by Chamber member H&M Catering of Mount Holly.

Former Miss North Carolina and Miss Mount Holly Katherine Southard, who has scoliosis (curvature of the spine), made a special appearance at the event. As Miss North Carolina, she made helping others with scoliosis her mission.

For more information on Anatomywise, call 980.477.0508, or visit


Former Miss Mount Holly and Miss North Carolina Katherine Southard (in pink) with Anatomywise owners Karena Thek and Karen Kleiner and representatives of the Montcross Area and Gaston Regional Chambers of Commerce. 


New edition of Chamber Welcome magazine available now

Monday, June 25, 2018

Read the entire magazine online


Local children at the Cotton Candy Factory, a Holy Angels business in Belmont, made the cover of the latest Chamber Welcome magazine. Photo by Dodie Huffman of Image Source and Allure Wedding Photography. The photo below shows all previous covers of the Chamber's annual guide, which is published by Debbie Cole's Biz Well Corp.  

Cover features the Cotton Candy Factory in Belmont

A new edition of the Montcross Area Chamber's Visitor & Newcomer Welcome Guide hit the streets today, featuring a cover photo made at the Cotton Candy Factory in Belmont. Copies will be delivered this week to advertisers, city halls, the Gaston County Visitor Center and other locations. Magazines are available now at the The Cotton Candy Factory, Cherub's Cafe and at the Chamber office in the Stowe Building at 100 N. Main St., Belmont.

The cover photo, made by Dodie Huffman of Image Source and Allure Wedding Photography, shows Cotton Candy Factory staff member Erin Shepard helping four children spin their own cotton candy. Children in the photo are Eleana Khoury, Patrick Ian Khoury, Vaughn Nguyen and Liam Nguyen.

This is the 11th annual edition of the welcome guide, all published by Chamber member Debbie Cole's Biz Well Corporation. Thank you to the 57 advertisers whose support made the magazine possible and to Chamber member ImageMark Business Services for printing the 60-page, full-color publication.

Copies will be available free throughout the next 12 months for visitors and newcomers and long-time residents, who also find them useful.

Read the entire magazine online.


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