News and Updates

Mount Holly opens Catawba Riverfront Greenway

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Greenway starts in Tuckaseege Park

Mount Holly city officials, Friends of Greenways (FROGS) and Mount Holly Community Development Foundation leaders teamed up recently to celebrate opening of the 1.2-mile Catawba Riverfront Greenway, which begins at Tuckaseege Park. The new greenway, part of the Carolina Thread Trail, is an important link in Mount Holly’s long-range plan to build a continuous 10-mile greenway along the west bank of the Catawba River from the Mountain Island dam to Belmont. Cutting the ribbon is City Council member Phyllis Harris, with from left (in background) Bret Baronak representing the Carolina Thread Trail, Mayor Bryan Hough, Foundation Vice President Karen Kleiner of Anatomywise, FROGS founding member and former chairman Scott Griffin, FROGS founding member Bob Suttenfeld, City Manager Danny Jackson, former Foundation board member Cindy Michael, Foundation Board President Randi Moore and Martha Wegner of Duke Energy. (Banner News photo by Alan Hodge.)

The Chamber is M-O-V-I-N-G ...

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Chamber is leasing space in Belmont City Hall at 115 N. Main Street.
Historic Belmont City Hall Building
new home for Montcross Area Chamber
After nine years in one of Belmont’s most iconic buildings, the Montcross Area Chamber of Commerce will relocate its offices to another in July.
The growing Chamber moved in 2011 from a one-room office on Main Street into multiple offices in the historic white-brick, two-story Stowe Building, formerly the headquarters of R.L. Stowe Mills. 
The next home for the Chamber will be in the historic Belmont City Hall Building at 115 N. Main Street, just across the street from the present Chamber location.
The Belmont City Council unanimously approved a lease making it possible for the Chamber to locate its offices in the City Hall Building. Space for the Chamber is becoming available when some of the city’s administrative staff move into new offices being completed in what soon will become known as the CityWorks Building on Catawba Street.
“Working from this beautiful and historic City Hall Building will give the Chamber more visibility,” said MACC Board Chair Heath Jenkins. “We’re tremendously excited and grateful to the city for the opportunity to serve our members and the communities of the Montcross Area from this prestigious location.”
The new home also will enable the Chamber to be more effective in its economic development role and in welcoming visitors and newcomers to Gaston County, said Chamber President Ted Hall.
The Belmont City Hall is a historic post office building built in 1939. It housed the Belmont Post Office until 1970, then was converted for use as City Hall in 1973. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1995.
The Chamber plans to move into its new offices before the end of July.

Chamber President Ted Hall retiring at end of June

Thursday, June 18, 2020


Ted Hall                                                  Teresa Rankin                                 

Chamber of commerce veteran Teresa Rankin has been named interim president of the Montcross Area Chamber upon the retirement on June 30, 2020, of President Ted Hall after 15 years of service. Rankin has been vice president of the Chamber for the past 13 years.

“Teresa is so knowledgeable and so well respected that she was the obvious choice,” said Chamber Board Chair Heath Jenkins, who added that Rankin does not wish to be considered as a candidate for Hall’s permanent replacement. 

A search committee was appointed earlier this year, but its work was interrupted when the COVID-19 crisis began. “Teresa will provide a strong sense of leadership and continuity until that person is selected,” Jenkins said.

Rankin has nearly 30 years of chamber experience, having worked 15 years for the Gaston Regional Chamber before joining the staff at the Montcross Area Chamber in 2007. Between the two positions, she served as the first executive director of First Things First, a nonprofit service organization in Gaston County.

Mona's Boutique pivots to online marketing

Friday, June 12, 2020

Mona Fore and her daughter Hannah at Mona’s Boutique & Gifts at 115 Main Street in McAdenville have been in demand during the COVID-19 pandemic to share in videos how they successfully embraced online marketing just as their business was being forced to close for in-store customers. Back open now, their online sales continue to be strong. 

Mona gives Hannah credit for making online marketing work for their business, getting most of their products photographed and posted online for shoppers to purchase. 

Their first video appearance was in a presentation for Gaston County officials arranged through the Gaston Business Task Force. That led to a call from a Charlotte television station, another video and valuable publicity. Most recently the mother-daughter team was interviewed by Tech Works of Gaston County Executive Director Terry Cox for an in-depth YouTube video in which they go into detail about how they made online marketing work for their business. 

More on Mona’s at

For anyone thinking of adopting online marketing, you should watch the YouTube video. It can be seen on the TechWorks website at: Here's a link to watch the video now:

See Mona's video on adopting online marketing


Taps Across America

Monday, May 25, 2020


Taps Across America

The sound of Taps echoed down Belmont’s Main Street on Memorial Day afternoon as Capt. Matthew Hanks of the North Carolina Army National Guard played by the city clock in honor of all serving in the United States armed forces and especially those who have given their lives in service to their country. The ceremony was part of a national “Taps Across America” campaign, and the Montcross Area Chamber assisted in arranging the observance, which was recorded and shared on social media and seen live on the Chamber’s BelmontCAM, which is affiliated with EarthCAM. Matthew Hanks is the owner/broker at Hanks Realty Group on South New Hope Road in Gastonia.

Photos by Wil Neumann


View from the Chamber's BelmontCAM


Montcross Virtual Bike Ride

Saturday, May 23, 2020

A drawing among all bike ride participants and donors determined prize winners. In the photos below are first-prize winner Belmont Mayor Pro Tem Jim Hefferan and second-prize winner Ruthaa Wooldrige of Right At Home. Susan Norris of Chick-fil-A Belmont won third-place. Prizes were gift certificates to local businesses. 

Rain no problem for a "virtual" bike ride 

A rainy Memorial week wasn’t the best weather for an actual bike ride, but it worked well for a virtual event in which participants could ride whenever and wherever they wanted. Some chose not to ride at all and instead made a donation to the Chamber to offset funds lost by postponement and cancellation of spring fund-raising events. 

The City of Belmont and South Main Cycles were presenting sponsors for the event.  Other contributing sponsors were: Lyerly Agency, Chick-fil-A Belmont, ASM Ventures, Belmont Eye, Wellzesta, Blue Harbor Bank, Schooley Mitchell, the Town of Stanley, Brad Frazier and Nicole Flowers. 

A drawing from among all participants and donors determined the winners, and the prizes were gift certificates to local businesses. Belmont Mayor Pro Tem Jim Hefferan’s name was drawn for the first-place prize, Ruthaa Woolridge of Right At Home got second, and Susan Norris of Chick-fil-A Belmont won third. 

The Chamber thanks everyone who participated or donated.



Help Gaston Fund established to meet needs of residents

Sunday, May 10, 2020


Help Gaston Fund: Donate and become a fundraiser

More than $433,000 has been contributed to date by 165 donors to the Help Gaston Fund established by United Way of Gaston County and the Gaston Community Foundation. And more than $230,000 has been awarded to help residents in need during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond. Funds requested so far total more than $941,000. 

Duke Energy, the City of Gastonia and the Gaston Business Task Force are collaborating partners in the Help Gaston effort. 

Gaston County 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations are eligible to apply for funds to address the needs of residents. Organizations can submit applications through the Help Gaston website. 

Remembering Austin Matching Donations 

The Remembering Austin Foundation is one of several listed fundraisers on the site. And Remembering Austin is matching donations up to a total  of $10,000. To have your contribution matched, designate your gift to Remembering Austin, or donate at 

Donate, become a fundraiser, or submit an application at:


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