Mint Hill Chamber of Commerce celebrates its 10th year as a Chamber this month.
Dozens of businesses came out to celebrate at the Olde Sycamore Golf Plantation on November 3rd. President Tony Long emceed the event with addresses by Dave Martinson, Treasurer of the Chamber, and Keith Paris of Cheval, a custom homebuilder in Mint Hill. Comedian Scott Francis (a.k.a. Great Scott) entertained the crowd with his clean comedy and sleight of hand tricks.
The Chamber started out as Mint Hill Business Association back in 1981. Charter member, Troy Pollard, remembers that the 1982-83 membership directory listed 59 businesses, an impressive number for such a small town.
During those early days, members worked hard to introduce events like the Senior Citizens Christmas Party, a celebration that continues today. The association also organized the Mint Hill Madness event, which the Town of Mint Hill now coordinates.
In fact, of the 230 current members, 77 are “Charter Members.” These businesses were part of the original group that made the transition from the business association structure to the Chamber of Commerce back in 2006. A young real estate agent, Jack Bryan, was a driving force behind the transition, and he had a passion to see Mint Hill grow.
The Chamber’s services benefit both residents and local businesses in a variety of ways. All residents can take part in the BIZ Expo that happens each year in March where member businesses showcase their services and merchandise.
Senior citizens are invited to the Christmas Party at Independence High School each December. And twice a year, the Chamber and Mint Hill Police Department sponsor a “Community Shred Event” where residents can bring their old documents with personal information to be shredded as a way to help avoid identity theft.
The Chamber supports Mint Hill youth by granting two scholarships each year to high school students going off to college.
The Chamber produces Mint Hill’s only relocation guide in conjunction with the Mint Hill Historical Society. According to Tony Long, President of the Chamber, 281 people move to the area each day. “With the extreme growth in the Charlotte market, the Mint Hill Chamber continues to support our local business members as they serve new customers,” he says.
One of the biggest benefits to both residents and businesses is the Chamber’s website. It is filled with more than 200 entries of Chamber members and friends of the Chamber. Using the Online Directory, residents can find businesses alphabetically or by the type of business.
For example, the entry under “Canine Bakery” is for Barks, Bones & Biscuits Bakery. From there, you can go to their website, email the boutique, and even find it on the map. “There’s no way we want you to walk away from the website without finding what you need,” says Sandy Barnett, Executive Director of the Chamber.
Barnett says that 2017 promises to be a big year for the website. It will be upgraded to allow businesses to add even more content, giving residents additional information about what’s available right here so they can “Shop Mint Hill First.”
The Chamber offers monthly seminars to alert businesses to the latest changes and trends. The Chamber has hosted speakers on tax changes and insurance, as well as social media and marketing strategies. “We want businesses to learn from each other. We’re a resource for them,” Barnett says.
Troy Pollard knows that Mint Hill is a great community for families, education, and recreation. But he hopes that going forward, there will be more workplaces for local residents. “We need businesses so folks don’t have to leave Mint Hill to earn a paycheck,” he says.
For more information, visit www.minthillchamberofcommerce.com/ or call the Chamber at (704) 573-8282.