News and Updates

Belmont Abbey Science Hall gets a major renovation

Saturday, October 12, 2019

George Horner cuts the ribbon in front of a renovated William Gaston Science Hall at Belmont Abbey College. The smaller photo below shows exterior improvements made during the renovation. (Photos by John and Karen Jacob)

Updates make a new biochemistry program possible 

New labs and a new biochemistry program are among the many additions and renovations at the William Gaston Science Building at Belmont Abbey College. A new entrance canopy and large decorative signage transformed the appearance of the building's exterior without altering its distinctive architecture.

The improvements were made possible by a major gift from George and Susan Horner. During homecoming weekend festivities, George Horner cut a ribbon and unveiled a commemorative plaque to celebrate the occasion.

College President Dr. William Thierfelder spoke, as did Abbot Placid Solari, chancellor of the college.The Montcross Area Chamber of Commerce assisted with the ribbon cutting, and President Ted Hall made comments. After the program, guests toured the building. 

George Horner comments after unveiling a plaque commemorating the gift he and his wife Susan made to the renovation project.  

Sarah Duckworth Events hosts Network After Work

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Sarah Duckworth (center) with her vendor friends who provided catering, music, balloon art and photo booth services for her anniversary celebration. In the smaller photo below, Sarah is with Chamber Board Past-Chair Melia Lyerly of Lyerly Agency and Chamber President Ted Hall. (Photos by Dodie Huffman of Image Source.)

Sarah's passion for planning events started in high school 

Chamber Members and Friends enjoyed a fabulous garden party on the grounds of Stowe Manor in Belmont to celebrate the first anniversary  of Sarah Duckworth Events at the Network After Work on Oct. 10, 2019.

Guests enjoyed great food and beverages, a beautiful balloon installation, music provided by a DJ. and a fun photo booth.

A Vermont native, Sarah's career in events started in high school when I worked on the banquet staff at The Equinox, a Luxury Collection Golf Resort and Spa. Despite the long hours,she loved working weddings. In 2010, she received her bachelor’s degree in Sports Entertainment and Event Management from Johnson & Wales University, Charlotte. Since that time, she's gained over 10 years of experience in the industry working for companies within the NBA, AHL, NFL, PGA, NASCAR and the Olympics.

She founded Sarah Duckworth Events in 2018. 
For more information on Sarah Duckworth Events visit:

Lots of new members and first-timers raised their hands at the event. (John Jacob Photo)  

CaroMont and Belmont Abbey College hospital plan called

Friday, September 27, 2019

Aerial view of planned CaroMont hospital in Belmont. In the small photo below, the blue shaded area is the site for the new hospital on Belmont Abbey land, just off I-85 near exit 27 and Highway 273.

Construction could begin in first half of 2020

Chamber members and friends learned at breakfast today about the "Thoughtful Collaboration for Gaston County" that has resulted in CaroMont Health and Belmont Abbey College coming together on a plan that will benefit people here for generations to come. The Southern Benedictine Society, which owns Belmont Abbey College, had the land and a calling to use it to serve the community. CaroMont Health had the ability to build and operate a 66-bed, almost $200 million hospital. CaroMont CEO Chris Peek and Abbot Placid Solari of Belmont Abbey discovered last year their individual visions could be realized through a partnership. This is the moving story those attending the Chamber's Business Buzz breakfast heard this morning. There are many steps yet to be taken, but if all goes smoothly, construction of the hospital could begin in the first half of 2020.

CaroMont CEO Chris Peek, with Chamber Board Chair Shannon Thomas and Abbot Placid Solari of Belmont Abbey. 




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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