I’m crafting my Chamber Talk after a very popular Business After Hours at Watersview Restaurant. I am so proud to say that we had more than 90 Chamber members in attendance! I want to say a very special thank you to Billy Benson, Ali Porter, and their phenomenal Watersview team for hosting us. Watersview is the perfect example of going above and beyond to please their customers. Billy, Ali, Manager Jay and Chef Josh are innovative, always ready to try something new to improve the customer experience. They offer Wine Down Wednesdays with discounts on wine and Thirsty Thursdays with discounts on beer. Also on Wednesday night, enjoy the Economic Relief Menu with three delicious dinner choices that are around $10. Chef Josh delivers some amazing Chef Specials on the weekends, and most of the time, Watersview is also offering some type of live entertainment. They just launched a new innovation. Bring in your church bulletin on Sundays and receive 10% off your meal every Sunday in November and December. Right now, Watersview is helping collect toys for the kids of The John 3:16 Center, and I think it is wonderful that they are giving back to the community. When I stayed for dinner after Business After Hours, I enjoyed one of my favorite dishes at Watersview, the Spicy Cajun Pasta. I really went all out and treated myself to a fantastic Crème Brule with a magnificent caramelized crust that cracked open to reveal creamy goodness beneath. Wow! There may be some Chamber members out there who have not attended a Business After Hours in a while, and some of you who are not Chamber members may not know what these events entail. Business After Hours is just what the name implies, conducting business after normal business hours. Yes, we have a great time. Yes, there is a lot of talking and laughing going on. However, in that talking and laughing, people are making connections, getting to know one another and each other’s businesses, and, most importantly, supporting and celebrating together. I often refer to our having an LKG Regional Chamber of Commerce family, and we operate as such. I grew up with two older brothers. We fussed. We got on each other’s nerves. We didn’t always agree. When it came down to brass tacks, however, we were family, and we cared about one another’s happiness. The same can be said for businesses in the LKG Region. We may not always agree 100%, but when it comes down to it, we all want the best for our region, our counties, our towns, and our citizens. We all want to not only survive but also thrive. How can this feat be accomplished? Simple. There are enough full-time Lake Gaston regional residents to support our business community in what we refer to as the off-season. However, I and many of our business owners often wonder…where are our year-round residents? When I looked around the room during the Business After Hours at the 90+ folks gathered there, I saw local businesspeople who give back to our civic groups, non-profits and churches, who employ our residents, and who contribute to the local tax base. They deserve our support. In that one room, you could find a local business with whom you could do everything from buy or sell a home or land, create a sturdy basement, construct a home or boathouse, buy a boat and PWC, lift your boat and PWC, repair your boat and PWC, purchase insurance for all of it, receive financing from the bank for it all, get a lawyer to draw up the paperwork, decorate the house, AND after all that is done, get a relaxing massage, put on some make-up, go for a fishing trip or seaplane ride, read a local newspaper or magazine, do your taxes, get a health check-up or screening and so much more! What an amazing group of local businesses we have. Appreciate them and patronize them. Whatever you need or want, you can and should find it in the Lake Gaston region.