News and Updates

Carothers Funeral Home salutes military and veterans

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.

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The entire Carothers Funeral Home staff pitched in for the salute to the military and veterans at the Network After Work reception.

Charlotte Metro Credit Union

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

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Gaston shows strong support for light rail

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:  



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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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:

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

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