All posts by MitchellCountyChamber

IRS Releases Final Regulations for Small Business Deduction for 2018 Tax Season

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From the National Federation for Independent Business

NFIB’s Kuhlman: “This new guidance provides certainty for small business owners.”

As W-2’s and other tax forms hit mailboxes around the nation, the Internal Revenue Service released final regulations on the Small Business Deduction of Section 199A—one of the biggest triumphs following the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in December 2017.

The IRS posted the final regulations here.

“The Small Business Deduction, created in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, has encouraged a historic small business economic boom,” said Kevin Kuhlman, NFIB’s senior director of federal government relations. “This new guidance provides more certainty for small business owners and makes it clear that the majority of small businesses will benefit from the full 20% Small Business Deduction.”

The vast majority of small business owners—87 percent—think the new tax law will have a positive effect on the general economy, according to a recent NFIB survey that captures small business owners’ initial reactions to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Unless lawmakers act, tax cuts for many small businesses expire after Dec. 31, 2025, complicating long-term planning for small business owners.

For more news and updates on the recent tax relief, visit NFIB’s tax reform page.

NFIB is the voice of small business, advocating on behalf of America’s small and independent business owners, both in Washington, D.C., and in all 50 state capitals. NFIB is nonprofit, nonpartisan, and member-driven. Since our founding in 1943, NFIB has been exclusively dedicated to small and independent businesses, and remains so today.

Mitchell County Chamber to Host Legislative Breakfast

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Join us for the 2019 Mitchell County Chamber Members Legislative Breakfast on Friday, March 15th at 8:30 am at the Spruce Pine Fire Department. This event is presented by the Mitchell County Chamber of Commerce to give our members an opportunity to hear from our NC Legislative delegation on the new legislative session and on issues that will affect our local business and industry.  An update from the Mitchell County Administration will also be on the agenda. On the agenda will be NC Senator Ralph Hise, Jr, NC Representative Josh Dobson, Robin Ramsey (Senator Burr’s office), Jordan Barnes (Senator Tillis’ office), Wayne King and Martha Peterson (Congressman Mark Meadows’ office) and Mitchell County Manager Kathy Young.

A buffet breakfast will be provided.
$18 Member
$25 Non-Member
RSVP and order tickets by calling 828-765-9033 , emailing [email protected], or clicking here  
Checks can be mailed to Mitchell County Chamber of Commerce, PO Box 858, Spruce Pine, NC 28777

Mitchell County Chamber Partners with Mitchell County Schools for [email protected] Month

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The Mitchell County Chamber and its new workforce development initiative is partnering with the Mitchell County Schools to present the [email protected] Month to Mitchell County’s middle school students during the month of March.

[email protected] is a project of the North Carolina Business Committee for Education in partnership with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. The goal is for North Carolina businesses to help middle school students in their community see the opportunities that exist in the workplace.

The Chamber is working with  Pam Pitman, Business Career Coordinator at Bowman Middle School and Shea Renfro at Harris Middle School to coordinate the events. “The Chamber was eager to be a part of this project in Mitchell County Schools to bring our local business and industry community together with the middle school students at both Harris and Bowman schools,” said Patti Jensen, Executive Director of the Mitchell County Chamber.  “We appreciate the opportunity that Kim Hodshon, CTE Director of Mitchell County Schools and the Business Career Coordinators at the middle schools gave us to partner with them.”

Instead of taking place during one concentrated week, [email protected]™ program will be held throughout the month of March with a specific industry focus for each week during the month. The students will have exposure to local business and industry and a variety of careers through speakers, exhibits by local businesses and field trips.

The specific focus weeks are:
March 4-8: Education, Healthcare and Public Service
March 11-15: Small Business and Entrepreneurship
March 18-22: STEM (science, technology, engineering, math)
March 25-29: Hospitality, Tourism and Retail

The [email protected]™program is a perfect example of the types of engagements that the Chamber’s new workforce development initiative plans to have with Mitchell County students to raise the exposure, awareness and education of the types of careers that are available in Mitchell County,” said Jensen. “In addition, our member businesses are interested in knowing ways that they can support our local schools and the workforce development programs in the county.”

Businesses are encouraged to participate in the [email protected] month by signing up to speak to students about their business, industry or career during the industry week that highlights their business sector.  Speakers can choose one or both schools and can work with the coordinators to select a day and time slot that works best for them.  Businesses are also invited to set up a booth/table during the lunch breaks at the middle schools to highlight their company and provide information students.  Any business interested in being a part of the [email protected] week should email Pam Pitman at Bowman Middle at [email protected],  or Shea Renfro at Harris Middle at [email protected].   Businesses may also call the Mitchell County Chamber office with any questions they might have.

Mitchell County Chamber of Commerce Receives Grant to Support Workforce Development Initiative

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Mitchell County, N.C. (January 25, 2019)- The Mitchell County Chamber of Commerce has been awarded a grant from the NC Department of Commerce “Maximize Carolina” program.  The $75,000 grant (with 15% of the amount being provided by matching funds from local partners) will assist in kicking off a Mitchell County workforce education and awareness initiative.

The project was developed in response to many existing companies indicating they are struggling to find and retain employees. This is especially true in the manufacturing industry.  Feedback from local industry and employers has established that there is a lack of understanding on what career opportunities are available in Mitchell County and that locating the information when available is extremely difficult. The new workforce initiative funded by the Maximize Carolina Grant and other partners will begin to address the gaps in information on types of jobs available in the marketplace now and growth areas anticipated in the future. It will tie these opportunities to the training required to successfully attain these positions (much of the training being available through Mayland Community College) and provide information on possible assistance with funding the required training.

The program is modeled after the Work In Burke program facilitated by the Burke Development Inc. The Burke County program was addressing the same issues that the industry in Mitchell County is facing and became a great resource for the project. The project was referred to the Mitchell County Chamber by the regional NC Economic Development Partnership Industry Manager, Bill Slagle. “The staff at Work in Burke have been very supportive in seeing their project become a model for Mitchell County, said Patti Jensen, Director of the Mitchell County Chamber of Commerce. “The Work in Burke program has been very successful and we appreciate their program staff being such a great resource for replicating their project in Mitchell County.”

The campaign is a joint effort with partners from across the county, region and state, including: local business and industry, Mayland Community College, Mitchell County Public Schools, Mitchell County Chamber of Commerce, High Country Workforce Development Board, Mitchell County EDC and others. Work will begin immediately with a partnership with Mitchell County Schools CTE program to survey students and parents in the school system to gather their input and feedback on workforce issues. The next steps will include creating the content for a robust website and a multi-media outreach plan aimed at providing needed information to primarily middle and high school students and their parents. Plans are to expand the reach of the program as more resources become available.  Plans are to work with the students in the school system to have them be a part of the branding of the project as well with their input and feedback.

“When meeting with our industry partners, we were hearing of the issues they were having in finding qualified workers to meet the needs of their business and also their concerns about the future workforce pipeline that would feed their future expansions and employment needs,” said Jensen.  These conversations with business leaders led to the Chamber researching opportunities to help and respond and this led them to the Work in Burke program and the Maximize Carolina grant. “We appreciate the assistance provided by the NC Department of Commerce to our efforts’, said Jensen. With the fast changes taking place in in the workplace, it is increasingly important for all students to continue their education beyond high school whether through certification programs or degrees. With all our partners engaged in these efforts, we believe we can close the information gap that exists and assist more of our students in finding a career that is right for them right here in Mitchell County. “

The Maximize Carolina Sector grants are designed to “address skills gaps in robust and emerging industry sectors” according to the NC Commerce website. These grants can be used to address challenges such as applicants lacking specific skills, lack of sector brand awareness and work-based learning opportunities.

“The CTE program in Mitchell County Schools and the workforce development programs at Mayland Community College are doing an excellent job in working with our students and our community. Our local industry is stepping up to the plate to be engaged partners with our education systems as well. This new initiative will be a piece of the puzzle to support these programs in the community and try to fill any gaps that our education and business industry partners feel are needed,” said Jensen.

In addition, the Chamber has also received support for this initiative from the NC General Assembly as well as Duke-Energy and the Mitchell County Economic Development Commission. “We appreciate the General Assembly, Duke Energy and our EDC office for coming on board so early in this project, showing their support for workforce development in our communities and their confidence in this initiative, said Jensen.



About Mitchell County Chamber of Commerce

The mission of the Mitchell County Chamber of Commerce is to support business and promote community.  The Chamber is made up of hundreds of businesses, industries and individual members whose goal is to promote Mitchell County, the surrounding region and its economy.

The Chamber operates two locations in Mitchell County. The Mitchell County Visitor’s Center is located in the Museum of N.C. Minerals, just off the Blue Ridge Parkway. The Visitor’s Center greets tens of thousands of visitors each year and provides them with information about the county. Administrative offices for the Chamber are located on Crystal Street in downtown Spruce Pine



Contact: Patti Jensen, 828-765-9033 [email protected]

And The Winners Are…

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The Mitchell County Chamber of Commerce held our Annual Awards Dinner November 29th at the Cross Street Center in Spruce Pine. This event is an evening to celebrate our Chamber members and to announce the winners of the Annual Awards. The nominations and award recipients are selected by the membership of the Chamber. The evening was an opportunity to network with community businesses and leaders.  New Board members were installed as well as new officers President DeLee Scott and Treasurer Kim Stephenson. Entertainment was provided by The Saylor Brothers Band and catering provided by Chamber Member White Falls Catering.

Congratulations to all the winners!
Member of the Year: WTOE/WKYK Radio
Non-Profit of the Year: Mitchell County Animal Rescue, Inc-North Carolina
Small Business of the Year: Becky’s Flowers & Gifts
Large Business of the Year: Mitchell House
Directors Award: Bakersville Improvement Group- Town of BakersvilleBakersville, NC
Presidents Award: Ciji Dellinger
Amazing Customer Service: DT’s Blue Ridge Java
Excellence in Community Support: Hospice and Palliative Care of the Blue Ridge, Inc
Outstanding Service to the Chamber: Springmaid Mountain Resort Joe Glenn
Rookie of the Year- Soggy Bottom Farms/Tin Shed





Small Business Saturday Make A Big Impact

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In an effort to support local shops that make our communities strong, American Express launches Small Business Saturday on the Saturday after Thanksgiving to encourage
people to Shop Small and bring more holiday shopping to small businesses.

One year later, as the Shop Small Movement gains momentum, local officials across the nation take notice and promote Small Business Saturday. In 2011, the Senate unanimously passes a resolution in support of the day and officials in all 50 states participate. It even gets a shout-out from the president of the United States.
In 2013, more than 1,400 individuals and organizations sign up as Neighborhood Champions to rally their communities with events and activities on Small Business Saturday — and that
number continues to grow. By 2017, there were more than 7,200 Neighborhood Champions across all 50 states. They’re not alone. Beginning in 2011, business associations, nonprofit trade groups, municipalities, and public officials started to unite by forming a Small Business Saturday Coalition, encouraging everyone to Shop Small. And nearly 100 corporations lend their official support to the movement.
Small Business Saturday continues to be an annual holiday shopping tradition — just one part of the larger Shop Small Movement to support small businesses every day and everywhere.
Because a visit to the family-owned framing shop or a stop at the neighborhood taco truck not only supports our local economies, but also promotes thriving communities.
In Mitchell County, we will be celebrating Small Business Saturday in all three of our towns.  Bakersville, Little Switzerland and Spruce Pine will be hosting Open Houses, special events and even a parade in downtown Spruce Pine on Saturday Nov 24 at 6 PM.
Celebrate our local businesses this year and give them the gift of your presence, your support and a little of your shopping list too!  Check our calendar for events!

Hurricane Florence: Emergency Resources Quicklinks

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The approaching Hurricane Florence has prompted thousands of people in the Southeastern United States to prepare for its landfall in the next few days. This storm could cause significant damage and flooding in coastal areas, and beyond. North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has officially declared a state of emergency.

The below information and best practices will help hoteliers and restaurateurs across North Carolina prepare for the coming days and issues that typically arise during a declared emergency.

Quicklinks: Emergency Resources

Follow NC Emergency Management on Twitter and Facebook for updates.
For public disaster information/assistance: 
Call 211 or 888-892-1161
Road condition updates: Call 211 or visit

Candidates Forum 2018

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The Mitchell County Chamber of Commerce will host a Candidates’ Forum on Tuesday, October 16th at 6:00 PM at the Historic Courthouse in Bakersville, NC. The forum is open to the public.
Candidates in the following races have been invited to participate in the forum.

US House of Representatives District 11
NC State Senate District 47
NC House of Representatives District 85
District Attorney District 35
NC Supreme Court Justice Seat 1
NC Superior Court Judge
NC District Court Judge District 24
Mitchell County Board of Commissioners
Mitchell County Board of Education
Mitchell County Sheriff
Mitchell County Clerk of Superior Court

Participating candidates will be presented questions by a panel of community questioners. Questions will be submitted by Chamber members and community members prior to the forum. Candidates with uncontested races have been invited to attend the forum and make an address to the audience.

A link will be sent to all Chamber members and also provided on the Chamber’s Facebook page in the coming weeks for the public to submit questions for candidates in any/all of the races.
The forum will be recorded live by WTOE radio and re-broadcast in its entirety. For more information contact the Mitchell County Chamber of Commerce at (828) 765-9033.

There’s Nothing Like A 4th of July in the Mountains

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When it comes to celebrating the Fourth of July, there’s nothing like a small town celebration! From live music, parades, and fireworks in five locations in our county and even a Town Wide Yard Sale…we have you covered for fun and family time for the 4th!


Wednesday July 4th

Downtown Spruce Pine: 

Make plans to attend the best fireworks show in 3 counties! The annual Spruce Pine Kiwanis parade starts at 5:00 pm followed by music, dancing, food, inflatables and games in Central Park. Firework show starts at dusk.






Little Switzerland:

Little Switzerland 4th of July

Parade -July 4th at 4 pm.

Floats & entrants will be lining up at 3:30pm in “Uptown” Little Switzerland on High Ridge Rd.

Come on up to Little Switzerland – we are a great base for McDowell or Mitchell County Fireworks

Hang around Little Switzerland for a unique experience at the Emerald Village Black Light Tour….an underground tour that unlocks vibrant hidden colors available only under ultraviolet light! The event begins at 9:15 pm and it is recommended that you arrive 30 minutes prior to the tour.







Penland School of Craft: July 4th

Experience a handmade holiday for the 4th with a visit to Penland School of Craft! We guarantee this will be the most unique, creative and exciting Fourth of July parade and celebration you have seen

7:00 PM Homemade/handmade July 4 parade. Nobody knows what to expect.

9:30-ish Fireworks

Plenty of room for picnicking.






The Orchard at Altapass July 4th:

 10:30 am until 4:30 pm

Visit the Orchard at Altapass on the Blue Ridge Parkway on July 4th to take in some live music, cloggers, and a covered dish meal! Plus of course beautiful views!

10:00-10:30 Barn Burner Clog Team 10:30-Noon Typical Mountain Boys 1:00-2:30 Town & Country 3:00-until Slight Departure

The 4th of July dinner is free if you bring an ample covered dish, otherwise entry is $15.00 per person.

Saturday July 7th


Visit the flag lined streets of downtown Bakersville on Saturday July 7th to continue your 4th of July celebration!  The town wide yard sale begins at 8 am and lasts until 1 pm. You’ll find folks lined up all along the streets selling their treasures! Hang around Bakersville for a great lunch, a walk along the Creekwalk, fishing in Cane Creek and visiting the great galleries and shops in this charming town. Bakersville will hold their annual fireworks beginning at dusk, and this fireworks show is worth the wait!













2018 Rhododendron Bloom Report for Roan Mtn

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Stay tuned as we report on the blooming of the amazing catawba rhododendrons atop Roan Mountain, NC! It’s June, which means our mountain will be turning pink and you can be with us to witness it! Over 600 acres (the world’s largest naturally growing rhododendron garden in the world) of beautiful pink catawba rhododendron bloom each June.  They usually cooperate with us and peak just in time for the NC Rhododendron Festival in Bakersville the third weekend in June. Come and celebrate with us!



June 3, 2018 Report

There looks to be a 50% bloom this year. The buds are beginning to swell in the gap and a few in the gardens.
If the weather stays true to predictions for the coming week there should be lots of pink in the gap and on top by the weekend.
Real color should begin mid to late the following week and from Rhododendron weekend on through the next week should show plenty of bloom barring any heavy rain.
On another note the gravel loop road to the overflow parking lot and around to the Bluff parking lot is in pretty nasty shape. Weather has been rough up there this spring. Be aware of maintenance should you venture up there this week.


June 10th Report: Still looking at 50+% and color showing now with good color for the next couple of weeks.