Tuesday, July 23, 2019

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I can’t believe this is the last week of October. Before the Halloween decorations are down, I am already seeing Christmas decorations going up. Retailers are trying to get everyone in the holiday shopping mood. If you make one commitment to yourself this holiday season, commit to spending your holiday shopping dollars locally.

I love business growth and development and ideas that are outside of the box! I truly enjoy seeing a locally-owned business thrive, yet continue to strive to make improvements to better serve its customers. One such example you may have noticed is the renovations that Scott Aman of New Dixie Oil has made to all of his New Dixie Mart stores and his New Dixie corporate office in Roanoke Rapids.

New Dixie Oil has been locally owned and operated since 1962 and is an active and supportive community partner. The New Dixie Marts in our area are now brighter, fresher and more inviting on the outside and more functional, open and customer-friendly on the inside. The photos that accompany this article are of New Dixie Mart #4, located at 1609 Highway 158 (at the corner of Zoo Road). There are several other New Dixie Mart locations in the Lake Gaston region, including one in the Town of Littleton.

On the exterior, there is a bright, beautiful red metal roof. There are also patio tables with umbrellas for outdoor seating and dining. In partnership with the Halifax County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Aman has also created a Roanoke Valley Visitor Information Center inside the store. There is a sign outside advertising the visitor information, as well as one of the Roanoke Valley Rocks fish, another effort of the Halifax County CVB, with a colorful design of many of Halifax County’s features and attractions.

On the interior, the store is bright and clean with two entire walls of photographic murals depicting Lake Gaston and the Roanoke River. On the wall is an attractive brochure rack, sponsored by the Halifax County CVB and kept well-stocked with local brochures and information. The Halifax County CVB has done similar satellite visitor information centers around the county, including at the Halifax-Northampton Regional Airport. They do a great job of bringing the information to the visitors, instead of just expecting visitors to come to the visitors center.

Hats off to New Dixie Mart for recognizing the need for visitor information on this main travel artery and for designating space inside the store for such an attractive display. We here at Lake Gaston thank you!

For this week’s Chamber Talk, I want anyone in the Lake Gaston region who has a small business, home-based business or who is interested in starting a small business or making their art into a business to join the Lake Gaston Regional Chamber of Commerce, Vance-Granville Community College and several other partners for an exciting Small Business Summit next Tuesday, October 20.

“Here comes the rain again…falling on my head like a memory…” These are just some lyrics for a favorite song of mine from the 80s. Well, I don’t know about you, but last week I had just about enough of the rain. For nearly my entire working career, save my very first job out of college, I have been involved on some level in planning outdoor events. Let me tell you that doing so is one of the most frustrating experiences one can have.

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