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
“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.
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.
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.
The entire Carothers Funeral Home staff pitched in for the salute to the military and veterans at the Network After Work reception.
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 www.cmcu.org/Belmont.
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: www.charlottenc.gov/cats/transit-planning/west-corridor
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.
Download Presentations below (scroll down)
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:
Atrium Health Senior Vice President of Population Health Ruth Krystopolski presenting at the forum.
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.
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.)