By Justin Vick
I’ve been hearing rumblings about the establishment of a Pineville Chamber of Commerce. I think it’s a great idea.
Having worked for newspapers throughout the Charlotte region, I’ve had the opportunity to see several chambers in action, including Charlotte, Matthews, Mint Hill, Montcross, Lake Norman, Mooresville, Cabarrus County and Union County.
Each chamber has its own unique flavor, but all of them are about connecting people.
I think the best chambers are the ones that understand their membership, as well as the business market – warts and all. This allows them to offer programming that addresses the challenges businesses face.
For Pineville, that may mean marketing downtown businesses or understanding the threat of e-commerce to Carolina Place Mall and surrounding shops. Networking luncheons on these topics could bring everyone up to speed and provide a jump-off point for next steps in tackling those challenges.
The Charlotte Chamber of Commerce offers great examples of how these organizations can advocate on behalf of the business community. It also provides valuable research that helps incoming and existing businesses.
Other chambers help raise awareness about new companies through ribbon cuttings. Kirk Ballard, executive director of the Mooresville-South Iredell Chamber, often describes the ritual of cutting a ribbon with giant scissors as the realization of the American dream.
• Voting for our Best of the Weekly ends June 17. Two weeks from now, we’ll reveal the winners in South Charlotte Weekly! We published a list of winners last year. This year, we’ll be giving you more context about the winners over several pages. I’m personally looking forward to see who wins Best Burger Joint. Mmm.
• I think Charlotte can successfully field a Major League Soccer team, and I think Marcus Smith and crew can pull it off. But I can’t blame city or county leaders for not wanting to give them millions of tax dollars if Smith’s team isn’t capable of convincing them of the opportunity.
• Congrats to the Class of 2017. My unsolicited advice: Life is only as complicated as you make it.
Justin Vick is editor of Charlotte Media Group.