News and Updates

Chamber's 12th Visitor & Newcomer Magazine

Monday, July 8, 2019

On the cover, Mount Holly artist Teresa Rench is carrying the Phoenix lantern for which she received an award for the best lantern. (Photo by Bob Leverone.) In the smaller photo below, Emily Andress (right) and Alison Pearce are holding framed magazine covers, presented by publisher Debbie Cole of the Biz Well Corp.

Read online or pick up a free copy at the Chamber;

Also available at city halls, visitor center, many other locations

The spectacular Lantern Parade through downtown Mount Holly last October made the cover of the Montcross Area Chamber's 12th annual Visitor and Newcomer Welcome magazine. 

The 2019-20 magazine was unveiled Monday, July 8, 2019, at the Mount Holly City Council meeting, where copies were presented to city officials, to Lantern Parade creator Emily Andress and to Alison Pearce, who represented Teresa Rench because she was unable to attend. Ms. Rench is featured in the cover photo carrying a Phoenix lantern she made, which was judged the parade's best lantern. 

Chamber member Biz Well Corp. has published all 12 editions of the magazine, and Biz Well owner Debbie Cole presented the first copies of the magazines and also framed copies of the cover to Ms. Andress and Ms. Pearce. 

The magazine is packed with useful information on Gaston County for visitors and newcomers and includes articles on the six cities and towns of the Montross area in eastern Gaston County -- Mount Holly, Belmont, Cramerton, Lowell, McAdenville and Stanley. Another Chamber member ImageMark Business Services printed the publication. 

The magazine will be distributed free throughout the next 12 months to visitors and newcomers and long-time residents, too, at city halls in the Montcross area, the Chamber office, the Gaston County Visitor Center, the offices and shops of advertisers and dozens of other locations.

Read The Entire Magazine Online


Holding framed copies of the cover are Emily Andress (right) and Alison Pearce, representing Teresa Rench. Others on the front row, from left, are Chamber Board Chair Shannon Thomas of Creative Solutions Special Events, magazine publisher Debbie Cole of the Biz Well Corp., and Mount Holly Mayor Bryan Hough. City Council members on the second row are, from left, David Moore, Lauren Shoemaker, Jeff Meadows, City Manager Danny Jackson, and council members Charles McCorkle and Perry Toomey.



Stanley breaks ground for town hall expansion

Friday, June 28, 2019

Stanley elected officials and several staff members break ground for the Town Hall addition.

New addition will double the size of Stanley Town Hall

When the Stanley Town Hall moved from its leased space on Main Street into a former bank building acquired by the town on Highway 27 South, town officials knew they would need to expand the building right away.

That project began Friday, June 28, 2019, with a ground-breaking ceremony for a 2,000-square-foot addition that will double the size of Town Hall. A new council chamber will be added, along with a conference room, more offices, a kitchen and restrooms.

Following a program under a tent on the site, town officials were first to break the ground, followed by several groups of staff members and members of the community.

Elected officials for neighboring cities and towns also attended, including Lowell Mayor Sandy Railey, McAdenville Mayor Jim Robinette, Belmont Mayor Charlie Martin and N.C. Sen. Ted Alexander from Cleveland County.

Watch the video on You Tube.

See more photos on Facebook.

Just Sew Happy celebrates grand opening

Thursday, June 27, 2019


Owner Pam Carter is ready to cut the ribbon, with (to her left) Sheila Thrower holding 'Stitches" and Pam's husband Paul Carter. To her right, are Melanie Stiwalt and Stephanie Russell. Holding the ribbon are former Chamber Board member Jennifer Church (left) of the Chronicle Mill and Chyrch Realty and Chamber Board Chair Shannon Thomas of Creative Solutions Special Events. 

The staff at this shop will be "Just Sew Happy" to see you

“Stitches,” the appropriately named rescue puppy mascot may have been the least excited participant at the Just Sew Happy grand opening and ribbon cutting celebration on Thursday, June 27, 2019.

Owner and self-described Chaos Creator Pam Carter, sure was overjoyed, as was Chaos Coordinator Sheila Thrower, co-worker Melanie Stiwalt and friend and volunteer Stephanie Russell.

The beautiful shop filled with colorful fabrics is in the South New Hope Business Center at 3826 S. New Hope Road in Gastonia. Just Sew Happy also stocks all kinds of sewing supplies and sells sewing machines, too. Customers packed the shop all day to take advantage of special prices that continue all weekend, to see demonstrations, enjoy refreshments and register for prizes.  

Go by and visit with the ladies and with “Stitches” and see all they have to offer. You’ll be “Just Sew Happy” you did. 

More information at 704.879.4121, or visit 

Watch the ribbon cutting video.

See more photos on Facebook.   



Maddie Looysen Allstate Insurance

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Sue Looysen has just cut the ribbon, with Susan Maddie to her right and Jim Looysen (second from right). Other members of the Maddie Looysen team include Scott Looysen, Brandy Chandler, Amy Holsclaw, Bill Kincaid and Lisa Wilson. Holding the ribbon, are Chamber Board Chair Shannon Thomas of Creative Solutions Special Events and former Board Chair Bryan Dalton of 321 Equipment Company.


Jim Looysen and Susan Maddie have formed Maddie Looysen Allstate Insurance and opened an office at 2519 E. Ozark Ave., Suite 2, in Gastonia.

They hosted an open house and Montcross Area Chamber ribbon-cutting ceremony on June 18, 2019. Clients, friends, family and Chamber members filled the offices and enjoyed refreshments and fellowship, while learning about the new agency.

"Our goal as an agency is to build long-lasting relationships with those in our community,"Jim Looysen said, "but also to anyone in North Carolina and South Carolina. We are excited for the opportunity to help with insurance questions and concerns that customers might have." 

For more on Maddie Looysen Allstate Insurance, call 704.864.0270.

Watch the ribbon cutting video.

See more photos on Facebook.

Jim Looysen speaking about Maddie Looysen Allstate at the open house and ribbon-cutting ceremony.



The Teacher Box celebrates 10th anniversary

Friday, June 14, 2019

Owners Libby Stines (left) and Lou Ann Gibson cut the ribbon to celebrate the 10th anniversary of The Teacher Box and the relocation of the business to Cramerton.  


The Teacher Box celebrated on June 14 and 15, 2019, its 10th anniversary and its new location in Cramerton at 225-B Market Street.

Festivities included a 15% discount, gifts for the first 25 customers on Saturday, and lots of other specials and activities from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

The Chamber coordinated a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday afternoon, and Light FM 106.9 broadcast live from the parking lot earlier in the day.

A big hit at the celebration was Mrs. Fakely's amazingly life-like "food" made from felt. Visitors also brought summer pajamas (all sizes infant to adult) to donate for children in foster care in Gaston County through The Least of These Carolinas.

For more on The Teacher Box, call 704.868.8269, or visit 

Watch the ribbon-cutting video

See more photos on Facebook.



The Lodge Tavern & Tap ribbon cutting

Friday, June 14, 2019

General Manager Allison Jennings leads the cheer after cutting the ribbon at The Lodge Tavern & Tap. With her are owners Chuck Craig, Chad Shumate and Jeff Pfaff along with Belmont Mayor Charlie Martin. Holding the ribbon are Chamber Board members Nicole Flowers of Wilbert Plastic Services and Brad Frazier of Belmont Abbey College.


A big crowd of Chamber members and friends came out on Friday, June 14, 2019, to welcome The Lodge Tavern & Tap to downtown Belmont and to try some great samples from the menu.

Mayor Charlie Martin welcomed the new business to Belmont, and General Manager Allison Jennings spoke for The Lodge, which is at 101 Kenwood St., Belmont, NC 28012.

For more information, call 704.461.8044, or visit

Watch the ribbon-cutting video.

See more photos on Facebook.



Chamber golf tournament coolest ever

Thursday, June 13, 2019


Hillbilly's BBQ & Steaks team won first place. Accepting were Tommy Padgett (left) and Gerald Duncan. Also on the team were Chad Carpenter and Tony Beaver. Cramer Mountain Club General Manager Jon Meyers is at left and CaroMont Health Board Chair Donnie Loftis is at right.

Perfect weather led to low scores in 14th annual tournament 

The 14th Annual Montcross Area Chamber Golf Tournament on June 13, 2019, was the coolest ever, with a tee-time temperature in the 60s and the awards lunch ending before the thermometer hit 80. After 13 years of tournaments in the 90s to 100 range, it was a welcome change. The tournament was played at Cramer Mountain Club. 

The foursome from Hillbilly's BBQ & Steaks took full advantage of the favorable conditions, posting the lowest score in the captain's choice tournament and taking home first-place trophies and prizes.Playing on the team were Gerald Duncan, Tommy Padgett, Chad Carpenter and Tony Beaver.

Two-time past winning team Chick-fil-A of Belmont won a coin toss for second-place honors after finishing in a tie with the Gaston Christian School team, which got the third-place prizes. Playing for Chick-fil-A were Tony Gilbert, Benny Bowles, Lee Dorn and Chris Carver. On the Gaston Christian School team were Thomas Griffin, Levi Kettelhutt, Eric Clay and Cassidy Brauns.

Caromont Health was the presenting sponsor, with support from additional major sponsors McKenney Chevrolet, Sheriff Alan G. Cloninger, Hillbilly's BBQ & Steaks, Stanton Enterprise/McDonalds and Chick-fil-A of Belmont. 

Trophies also went to: Chris Carver for men's longest drive, Rosalind Arbuckle for women's longest drive and Chuck Newman for senior longest drive. On two closest to the pin holes, the winners were Randall Newton and Chuck Newman.


CLICK HERE for the tournament program listing sponsors and teams.

See more tournament photos on Facebook. 

See (and download) team photos



Chick-fil-A of Belmont team won second place.

Gaston Christian School took third-place team honors.






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