News and Updates

McKenney Chevrolet hosts Chamber Network After Work

Thursday, October 25, 2018

McKenney Chevrolet General Manager Clif Calvert (left) at the reception with City of Lowell officials (from left) Council member Candy Funderburk, City Manager Kevin Krouse and Mayor Pro-Tem Thomas Gillespie.

McKenney Chevrolet also lead sponsor of Amazing Race

McKenney Chevrolet not only was the major sponsor of the 2018 MACC Amazing Race Challenge, but also hosted a Network After Work reception after the race to celebrate the promotion to general manager of Clif Calvert. 

Calvert formerly served as manager of the service department at McKenney Chevrolet, and he also serves as a member of the Montcross Area Chamber Board of Directors. 

Amazing Racers were completing their afternoon of competition and crossing the finish line at McKenney Chevrolet just as the Network After Work reception was starting. Amazing Race winners were announced and prizes presented during the reception, which attracted a large crowd of Chamber members and friends. 

Hillbilly’s BBQ & Steaks of Lowell provided food for the reception.

Amazing Race takes teams on Gaston County tour

Thursday, October 25, 2018

The top three finishing teams in the MACC Amazing Race Challenge were (from left): the Who's The Boss Team of Brad Thomas and Lauren Taylor from Creative Solutions Special Events; the Fighting Iris team of Brad and Rachael Wruble from Belmont Eye; and the Crusaders team of Landon Isaacs and Jamie Mayberry from Belmont Abbey College. 

Creative Solutions Special Events team takes first place 

Racing to solve clues and overcome mental and physical challenges in seven Gaston County cities, 2018 MACC Amazing Race Challenge teams competed for bragging rights and cash prizes on Oct. 25, 2018. 

It was the second year for the event coordinated by the Montcross Area Chamber and sponsored this year by McKenney Chevrolet, along with Choice USA Beverage, Wilbert Plastic Services, Pinnix Inc. General Contractors 12 more local businesses. 

The race started in Stanley, where teams competed in challenges and struggled to solve clues to learn the locations of additional challenges in Belmont, Cramerton, Gastonia, Lowell, McAdenville and Mount Holly. 

After mastering the challenges and overcoming roadblocks and detours along the way, they finally reached the finish line at McKenney Chevrolet in Lowell, where an awards ceremony and Network After Work reception  followed the event. 

The top three teams and racers were: 

  1. Who’s The Boss, representing Creative Solutions Special Events, with racers Brad Thomas and Lauren Taylor.
  2. Fighting Iris, representing Belmont Eye, with racers Brad and Rachael Wruble.
  3. Crusaders, representing Belmont Abbey College, with racers Landon Isaacs and Jamie Mayberry. 

Please see the list of sponsors and teams here and join the Chamber in thanking all of the participants and dozens of volunteers who made the Amazing Race possible.


Owner Amy Bossard moved cross country

Thursday, October 18, 2018


Amy Bossard cuts the ribbon with Chamber friends and canine customers at Simply American Dog Treat Truck. From left, are Chamber Board Secretary Melia Lyerly of Lyerly Agency holding Ricky Bobby, James Congelli of Wells Fargo Bank in Mount Holly, Allison Cottingham of Belmont Realty, Bryan Dalton of 321 Equipment, Jennifer Church of the Chronicle Mill, Katie Foeste holding Felix, Neil Brennan of the Lake Wylie Marine Commission, Chamber President Ted Hall and Chamber Board member Nicole Flowers of Wilbert Plastic Services holding Lily.

All products are sourced and made in the United States

When Amy Bossard moved recently from Portland, Oregon to Belmont, she came with her own line of dog treat products and a dream to put a dog treat truck on the road here. The truck idea is still developing, but she's getting a feel for the local market by selling her treats from a tent she sets up at locations in Gaston County and Charlotte. Every Thursday afternoon she's at the corner of N. Main Street and Woodrow Avenue in Belmont. The address is 200 N. Main Street. 

A new member of the Chamber, Amy hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony and invited fellow members to come with their pets. For those who weren't able to bring their dog, she was happy to send home samples of her Simply American Dog Treats baked in the shape of the state of North Carolina. 

Amy has been in the pet business since 1991, and she started her own line of dog treats in 2015. All of her products are sourced and made in the United States with no additives or preservatives. Stop by and check out her products on Thursdays between 2 and 6 p.m. Or see them online at For more information, call 503.550.8885.





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. 

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