The Chamber truly is a portal to information and services available to the public. We are the front porch of Mooresville-South Iredell where questions are met with direct answers to connect solutions to problems. A recent review of our web statistics points out that people across the community looked to the Chamber of Commerce to find various local and county government agencies. Last year over 24,000 people went to our website seeking government services. 38,000 times individuals clicked on the Chamber website looking for connections to the Mooresville Graded School District, Iredell Statesville Schools, Mitchell Community College, Gardner-Webb University, and the NASCAR Technical Institute. These educational institutions are linked to our website in a continuation of communication to help disseminate information to the public.
Nonprofits within our area are shown on our website. Agencies like Junior Achievement, Habitat for Humanity, American Red Cross, The Christian Mission, Mooresville Soup Kitchen, Goodwill Industries, United Way, Salvation Army, Selma Burke Center, Dove House, Children’s Hope Alliance, and more are nonprofits that enjoy exposure on the Chamber website. Nonprofits are so vital to the survival of our growing community that these organizations were visited 63,000 times from our website; that is up from 30,000 the year before.
Our town has grown from one zip code to two, because the population has grown to over 80,000 residents. With this many people, there is a great need for government services. For those who have fallen through the cracks, there is an even greater need. Oftentimes, people look to the Chamber of Commerce for information on how to find these helping agencies. The Chamber truly is a portal to information and services available to all.
SMALL BUSINESS IS GOOD BUSINESS
As an advocate for small business, we have worked with Mitchell Community College, the Small Business Resource Center, Centralina Workforce, Gardner-Webb University, the Town of Mooresville, and MSI-EDC to help Iredell County become a Work Ready Community. In January, over 80 local business leaders gathered at the NC Works Certified Work Ready Community celebration in Statesville. Lew Ebert, president and CEO of the North Carolina Chamber Foundation presented James Mallory, chairman of the Iredell County Board of Commissioners, the NC Works Certified Work Ready Community certificate. The NC Works Certified Work Ready Community is a collaborative effort between workforce development partners at the local and state level. The program is aimed at leveraging data and analysis tools to continue economic growth in North Carolina. The North Carolina Chamber Foundation serves as the final certifying body to designate a NC Works Certified Work Ready Community.
In the last year, there were over 100 free workshops that provided small businesses with educational and technological training. The Chamber conference room was the place for the Mitchell Community College Small Business Resource Center, Score, and the Small Business Administration to hold confidential business counseling to help business owners become profitable and sustainable, with expert advice and training on how to keep their business and their business plan on track.
We celebrated over 111 new business openings in 2016 with ribbon cuttings. Each small business owner invested in their dream with their own money by buying and remodeling existing vacant properties. This helps create more jobs locally and the increased sales tax revenue helps to keep property taxes down.