The 2023 Cleveland County Chamber of Commerce member luncheon was held at the Country Club Wednesday and Shelby Mayor Stan Anthony gave his annual state of the city speech.
“I’m happy to report the state of our city is very strong,” Anthony said, addressing the crowd of business owners and entrepreneurs.
He said one of the reasons the city is strong is due to the partnerships with other businesses, other local governments and agencies.
“We have a very special community here in Cleveland County,” he said.
Two of the things the city has focused on over the past couple of decades has been quality of life and economic development.
Anthony talked about the shell buildings constructed through a partnership with the county to attract new industries and how the fourth shell building has recently been completed and attracting interest from potential buyers.
“Shelby was a textile town. We are no longer a textile town,” he said. “We’re now a community with thousands of jobs.”
Anthony mentioned the bond referendum which allowed the city to accelerate its street resurfacing project and gave an update on the Shelby rail trail, recently named the Carolina Harmony Trail. The first phase of the trail, which will eventually run through Shelby, Patterson Springs and Earl to the South Carolina border, is currently underway and is expected to be completed by summer. There will be various amenities along the route, including the Rail Trail Boardwalk shops and restaurants, a splash pad, mist arbor, amphitheater and playground.
The new and improved Shelby City Park pool has been rebuilt and will be reopening Memorial Day weekend, as is tradition.
Anthony said Shelby is participating in a music friendly community pilot program centered around building a music economy and capitalizing on the region’s rich musical heritage and gave an update on the historic Charles Hotel which will soon be presented to investors.
During the course of the luncheon, new chamber members had an opportunity to give a 30-second pitch on their business, foundation or nonprofit.
New members included Clarity Language Access, a translating service, the Frederick Douglass Foundation which provides social education and focuses on empowering and educating people, Sweet Sensations, Littlejohn Cleaning Service and the Gabe DeVoe Foundation which provides services, scholarships and opportunities for local youth.
Reporter Rebecca Sitzes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.