Last updated: July 16. 2014 8:29AM - 1128 Views
Tonia Stephenson Chamber Chat

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One of my favorite things to do as a chamber executive has always been to hold ribbon cuttings. I love that ceremony of welcoming a new a business to a community or celebrating a new endeavor. Sometimes we hold them to open a new wing of an older facility or a remodel of a well-known establishment. Regardless of the reason for the ribbon cutting, the end result is always positive for the community, which makes for a beautiful day!

Because of my love for ribbon cuttings, I’ll have to say, the past few weeks have been pretty exciting for me — and for our community! Just a few weeks ago, on June 19, we held a ribbon cutting for Harry’s Grill, which is located on U.S 74 business in East Laurinburg. Harry and his team are providing a new selection for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, featuring Indian food on Wednesdays. If you have not had a chance to check out Harry’s Grill I encourage you to go.

We normally have about one to two Ribbon Cuttings a month and some months may pass without one. For the month of July, however, we have already held five and the month is only half over. I’m hoping we will be able to do more, but I imagine it is a record or if not, close to it! On July 2, we welcomed CCL Label to Laurinburg and Scotland County. Brian Bounds and his team provide labels for various products for the Unilever plant in Raeford. They are now located in our Small Business Innovation Center, but hope to build a larger facility in the future. We are grateful they chose Laurinburg to locate.

Last week, we had the pleasure of celebrating two entrepreneurs who have chosen downtown Laurinburg to call home for their businesses. On July 8, we officially opened McNair’s Main Street Shoe Repair and Shine. Lynn and Vanessa McNair have brought back a trade to Laurinburg that has been absent in recent years. We are constantly receiving calls about shoe repairs and now we have someone to refer to these callers. Then, Thursday, we again had the opportunity to celebrate a new business, with the opening of Scotland Bling. Belinda and Chris English have opened up on South Main across from the A. B. Gibson Center and they have great items for gifts for you or someone else. It is a great shop that you should check out and expect to leave with a little more bling in your life!

Now this week, we have already held two ribbon cuttings. On Monday we were excited to welcome Maria Mata and all of the crew at El Mexicano Restaurant on South Main Street. The focus of this restaurant is fresh ingredients. The next time you are in the mood for Mexican food, I hope you will go check them out! And just last night, we welcomed Ney Vo with The Firehouse Restaurant to Scotland County. The menu features American and Japanese foods and has restored one of Scotland County’s buildings from the past. I encourage you to go out and eat with Ney and his folks for lunch or dinner Tuesday through Saturday.

In just the past few weeks, we’ve held six Ribbon Cuttings and three of them were for restaurants. I continue to hear that people want more options to eat out and now you have three new options (and other great options that have been around for years). It is exciting to see the growth that is happening in our community and I hope this growth will continue. You can help! Please be sure to patronage these places and other locally owned businesses. If we support our local businesses, others will want to invest in our county and we can continue to grow this great community.

I look forward to seeing where our next ribbon cutting is held. Wherever or whatever the company, it will be a great day for Scotland County!

Tonia Stephenson is president of the Laurinburg/Scotland County Area Chamber of Commerce.

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