Chamber awards Business Booster Scholarships

By Jessica Johnson

February 27, 2014

Three local businesses were chosen to receive the Greater Mount Airy Chamber of Commerce’s Business Booster Scholarships this year — Mayberry Antiques, Mount Airy Bowling Lanes and Rock City Diner.

The businesses received a one-year membership to the Surry County Economic Development partnership, a one-year membership to the Greater Mount Airy Chamber of Commerce, and a packet of special offers from local businesses, with perks such as free financial consultations, and other products and services.

Membership and Communication Director Tanya Taylor said that the business scholarships are application/nomination-based and are “a great way to boost awareness of new businesses, products and services.”

“New businesses often have lots of costs involved with advertising and marketing, and could use the visibility and support that comes with chamber membership, as well as membership with the Surry County EDP. We are always excited to support new businesses,” Taylor shared.

Dennis Lowe, former director of the Small Business Center at Surry Community College, and a former chairman for the Greater Mount Airy Chamber of Commerce, was part of the group which surprised Darrin and Tammy Casstevens at the Mount Airy Bowling Lanes on Tuesday afternoon. Lowe said that he was proud to be there, and added that “the chamber works so hard for their members and to promote the economy” which is a “huge help for the many small businesses that are trying to grow.”

The Business Booster Scholarship is the “perfect way to help worthwhile new businesses,” Lowe shared.

President of the Greater Mount Airy Chamber of Commerce Betty Ann Collins said the Business Booster Scholarship was Lowe’s “brainchild” and a great way to “help a young business with extra perks.”

“This chamber saw beyond membership and wanted to promote the economy of the community with this program,” Collins added.

Rock City Diner opened several months ago at 453 N. Andy Griffith Parkway, off of U.S. 52 and across from Mayberry Mall — adjacent to Knight’s Inn. The diner is owned and operated by Jeffery Stager Jr. Multiple improvements were made inside the restaurant, and the new menu focuses on homemade burgers and side items made with fresh ingredients.

Mayberry Antique Store opened last year and is located at 160 N. Main St. in downtown Mount Airy. The store is owned and operated by Marty Adams at the site of the former Fancy Gap Outfitters, which was once a Roses Store in downtown Mount Airy. Antique and vintage items fill the store, with multiple vendors under one roof.

As the group entered Mount Airy Bowling Lanes on Tuesday afternoon, co-owner Darrin Casteevens was spotted on a ladder, which Collins said was a “perfect example” of the hard work small businesses owners do every day.

Mount Airy Lanes is located at 930 W. Lebanon St. and owned and operated by Darrin and Tammy Casstevens, who are son and mother.

“It’s an honor to be able to give you this award,” Collins told Casstevens.

The group surprising the owners of Mount Airy Bowling Lanes included three former chairmen-of-the-board; Vice President of Existing Business Services at Surry County EDP Leeann Stokes; Board Chairman Curtis Taylor, CEO of Surry Telephone Membership Corporation; chamber ambassadors and board members; and chamber staff.

Tammy Casstevens said she and her son, Darrin, had worked hard to make improvements at Mount Airy Bowling Lanes, which included a new expansion of the arcade area, with the addition of a pinball game and two air hockey tables.

Jessica Johnson may be reached at 336-719-1933 and on Twitter @MountAiryJess.