The Greater Mount Airy Chamber of Commerce celebrated a milestone Tuesday, honoring Foothills Garage Doors as its 500th member with a special ribbon-cutting ceremony held at the small business owned by Casey and Steven Haynes.
The honor was a surprise to the Haynes, who were only expecting chamber staff to stop by to meet with them and give details about membership, when Mount Airy City Commissioner Dean Brown and Mayor Deborah Cochran walked in, with her oversized pair of ribbon-cutting scissors, along with chamber staff, members of the chamber’s board of directors, and members of the chamber ambassador league. Surry County Commissioner Jimmy Miller was also in attendance, and he told the crowd that Foothills Garage Doors allows him to use their office for his county work.
Casey shared the story behind opening the business: “I was working for Discount Garage Doors for almost a year [as office manager], when the owner fell into bad health. I had only been there for two weeks when he was diagnosed with leukemia, so it was a bit of a whirlwind…he realized he had to take a step back and had to close, and I didn’t want to be unemployed so I asked my husband, who had worked for 13 or 14 years in construction for a company that had closed, ‘Have you ever wanted to get into the garage door business?’”
“It worked out for us, and just happened at the perfect time for us to start our own business. I called the suppliers we already had built a relationship with, as well as the contractors, and we kept doing business as usual with them. We said we still wanted to be a part of the community.”
Casey shared that they opened their doors last July, and said it had been an “adventure” but it was “worth it every step of the way.”
“We are doing great business so far and we hope it continues. We make the best of it. We have a 4-year-old and a 2-year-old and we are able to pick them up and bring them in to work, eat lunch together as a family — it’s a good thing to be able to do that in your workplace, be here as a family.”
Foothills Garage Doors has five employees, including two installers, and two trucks. Steven said they were hoping to add another truck and installer.
He said they repair and install garage doors as well as service work, working with companies such as HanesBrands, United Plastics, organizations like Surry County EMS and local fire departments, and have also worked with Coram Construction at Henredon and Shenandoah Furniture, as well as providing installation for the Boy Scouts in King. Steven said they also provide 24-hour emergency service for area car dealerships and others: “They know if they call us, we get there.”
The couple was given a package of information and gifts from chamber members, as well as a plaque recognizing the business as the 500th chamber member.
Milestone membership achievement
The chamber ended last year with the milestone achievement of adding a 500th member, and Board of Directors Membership Chair Jason Pike shared that the milestone reflects well on the community and “how well the chamber staff and board have worked together.”
“It’s been a goal for the board and the staff to get to that milestone mark last year, and now we are excited to be able to recognize Foothills Garage Doors. I give a lot of the credit to the chamber staff, who have done a great job with events like Business After Hours, ribbon cuttings, and the Annual Chamber Meeting, which was very well received. We also have some of the most active chamber members of any community. Our chamber does really well promoting local businesses.”
Pike commended the owners of Foothills Garage Doors for opening a small business: “Small businesses are the backbone of our community, and we want to thank you. Anything we can do to help you, just ask.”
Chamber Chairman of the Board Curtis Taylor, CEO of Surry Telephone added that “small businesses are the cornerstone of our community — as you grow, we grow.”
Greater Mount Airy Chamber of Commerce Membership and Communication Director Tanya Taylor said this has been a “very exciting time for the staff and board of directors” as they “anxiously watched the membership numbers grow.”
“The chamber has gained over 100 members in the last five years when businesses have been hit the hardest. We have been proactive in providing our members with creative networking, educational, and resource opportunities our members need to grow their business. I am very proud of the value the chamber provides to the business community. We have such dedicated, supportive and active members that believe in our mission to encourage growth of our local business community.”
“Foothills Garage Doors is a perfect example of a chamber member. Ninety percent of our membership is made up of small business owners who are trying to do more with less; they are not afraid of hard work and they are committed to making a success of their business by turning opportunities into results. We encourage Foothills Garage Doors to take advantage of the wonderful opportunities that their chamber membership offers them and we wish them much success,” said Betty Ann Collins, president of the Greater Mount Airy Chamber of Commerce.
She added that the chamber was “so excited to see young people start a business.” “You are the lifeblood of this community, and we wish you the best success.”
In 2013 the Mount Airy Chamber was also named the seventh-largest chamber in the triad by the Winston-Salem Business Journal. The chamber’s membership now stands at 511 members.
For more information on joining contact Tanya Taylor, membership and communication director, 786-6116, ext. 4, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Foothills Garage Doors is located at 540 W. Independence Blvd in Mount Airy. For more information about their business, call 786-8343 or visit www.garagedoorsofmtairy.com.
Reach Jessica Johnson at 719-1933 or on Twitter @MountAiryJess.