Better things may lie ahead in 2017 and beyond for members, residents
By almost any measure, 2016 shaped up as another banner year for the Mint Hill Chamber of Commerce.
The chamber added 38 new businesses (to bring the membership total to 234), celebrated a 10 year anniversary and ushered in a host of value-added changes for members.
The surge in member totals was “higher than our average per year,” said chamber Executive Director Sandy Barnett. The nearly 20 percent bump may reflect the perception that the chamber – and by extension the town of Mint Hill – are on an upward swing. “They feel very comfortable at the Mint Hill chamber,” said Barnett. Prospective members “don’t feel like they’ll get lost” as they might in larger chambers in adjacent communities.
Big events make for a “good year”
2016 chamber president Tony Long pointed to several notable events that contributed to what he called a “good year” for the chamber.
First was a business expo where chamber members exhibited their wares and services to other members as a de facto bonding experience. Second was the chamber’s annual fund raiser golf tournament that attracted a full field. Finally, the chamber hosted more than 400 senior citizens at a holiday party at Independence High School.
He also cited the chamber’s move to online and digital platforms, including use of the chamber’s website (minthillchamberofcommerce.com), to promote member businesses. Among those upgrades: how-to videos.
The chamber used 2016 to gear itself up for substantial changes to the local business landscape in the I-485 – Highway 24/27 quadrant that Long said would “Bring great opportunity for Mint Hill.” Notable are the ongoing construction of the new Novant hospital and ancillary businesses the hospital will support – along with new jobs – including pharmacies and other medical facilities.
Barnett seconded Long’s optimism on what lies ahead for the town. She noted “the availability of land” as a driver for local business expansion and growth.
More value for members means better business
The Mint Hill chamber continued its monthly luncheons featuring speakers to allow listeners “to walk away with something to take some value back to their business,” according to Barnett.
Yet luncheons were just the tip of the information iceberg.
Networking events and seminars also attracted business owners intent on more knowledge to build their enterprise. Those events were, said Barnett, the upshot of “listening to members” who “need help with marketing and web presence,” hence the push to enhance and upgrade members presence on the website.
All that listening leads to a higher degree of what Barnett called “personal service to put together programs they need.”
More membership options
The chamber plans to shift from a one-size-fits-all membership approach.
To be offered are a basic membership as well as a higher level membership that allows for more web presence, among other things. That approach is significant in that it helps many single owner businesses who need only the basics while more established businesses can opt for higher degrees of service.
Either way, what’s good for the chamber is good for residents, too.
Barnett follows social media and said the public is passionate about growth and change in Mint Hill. Most residents, she said, “really do want Mint Hill to grow in areas where they can have more products and services right here. That’s the overwhelming comments that I see.”
Which means Mint Hill continues to be “a great place to live, own a business and raise your family,” said Barnett. “When you can get all those components in one (town), it really equates to the perfect formula. It’s going in an upward trend, going in a good direction. Residents have to support the businesses already here and that will help us grow even more.”
The chamber’s next luncheon is set for January 26 at 11:30 at Jimmie’s Restaurant. The 2016 Board of Directors will also be voting for new officers for the coming year.
New Mint Hill Chamber of Commerce members who joined in 2016
Weaver, Bennett & Bland (attorneys)
Brad Corriher/State Farm Insurance
Rolyn Companies (disaster recovery)
Specialties Painting Inc
Mr. Ingram’s Computer Repair & Shoppe
Charlotte Media Group
The Annuity Store NC
PACE of the Southern Piedmont
Quality Maintenance & Repair
DnD Wellness, Inc/The Joint
Tiffany’s Pet Salon
Allen Tate Realtors, Paul Pollinger
Edward Jones/Jason Mayes
Kabab-Je Rotisserie & Grille
Kumon Math & Reading
Bella Vita Salon
The Purple Plume
Sandy Harrison Fine Art
Carillon of Mint Hill
Compleat Rehab & Sports Therapy
Classy Pet Styling
Heartland Payment Systems
Mint Hill Pharmacy
Phillips Electrical Systems
Linda’s Balloon Twisting