Tuesday morning, the Marion Business Association held its annual meeting at the Marion Depot.
At this gathering, MBA directors and officials reflected on the accomplishments of the previous year and looked ahead to the coming year of 2019-2020.
During the annual meeting at the Depot, MBA Executive Director Freddie Killough reported that Marion had 19 new businesses open during the past year and numerous ribbon-cutting ceremonies took place.
Killough said Marion now has two cinemas when before there were none. They are Mountain Marquee and Hometown Cinemas Marion. Keeper’s Cut Meadery has opened after two years of renovations and hard work by owners Charlie Myers and Kathryn Curran, she said.
In November of last year, Marion was honored as the Small Town of the Year for all of North Carolina by the N.C. Rural Center. In March of this year, the city of Marion was a recipient of the Best Economic Development Incentive Program Award at the ceremony of the state Main Street Conference in Salisbury. Marion received the award for its successful Growing Entrepreneurs Marion (GEM) program. Killough said she has assisted other cities and towns in starting their own similar programs.
Mayor Steve Little said if people have not visited Marion lately, then they have not really experienced Marion.
The MBA is getting ready for the second WNC Bigfoot Festival in September and the 36th annual Mountain Glory Festival in October.
During the annual meeting, Killough announced the new MBA board of directors for 2019-2020.
They are Rachel Withrow (Crooked Door Coffee House), Emily Causey (Mica Town Brewing), Tracy Cotton (Morrow Insurance), Tiffany Coates (McDowell County Sheriff’s Office), Mackenzie Holland (CarePartners Hospice/McDowell), Susie Bowers (First Bank), Lindsey Johnson (Mission Hospital McDowell), Ryan Cook (Marion Tire), Steve Bush (McDowell Chamber of Commerce), Wes Shelley (Evans & Shelley law firm) Michael Hollifield (West Court Food Center) and Boyd Phillips (Phillips Financial).
Outgoing board member Beth Davis was honored with a plaque. Lynn Alsbrooks was honored as the Volunteer of the Year for the MBA.
West Court Food Center was honored as the Small Business of the Year for 2019.