Chamber, friends gather to wish the Post a ‘Happy Birthday’

 

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ROCKINGHAM — Whew!

It might have looked bleak a time or two, but The Pee Dee Post survived and thrived its first 12 months.

More than 30 members of the Richmond County Chamber of Commerce, PDP staff and supporters gathered Tuesday morning, the first day of the second year, for a ribbon-cutting and birthday cake.

MacKenzie Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Rockingham Mayor Steve Morris, Chamber of Commerce Vice Chairman Terry Lewis, Chamber President Emily Tucker and County Commissioner Don Bryant join Stephanie, Noah, Josiah and Kevin Spradlin for the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

MacKenzie Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Rockingham Mayor Steve Morris, Chamber of Commerce Vice Chairman Terry Lewis, Chamber President Emily Tucker and County Commissioner Don Bryant join Stephanie, Noah, Josiah and Kevin Spradlin for the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Not pictured, but just to the right in the photograph, are chamber board members Amy Guinn and Chuck Cobb.

Rockingham Mayor Steve Morris, proprietor of Helms Jewelers one block down East Washington Street, said the Post’s “brightly colored painted business” and headquarters at 301 E. Washington St. offered “a very attractive upgrade to downtown, and we’re grateful for that.”

The building’s color scheme is the brainchild of building owners Jim Hendry and Ric Buckner, through Southern Town & Country. PDP owner Kevin Spradlin saw the “For Rent” sign in the building in late April 2014 after the new coat of paint had been applied. The first stories on PeeDeePost.com were published on April 28, and Spradlin moved into the building in mid-May.

Morris spoke not only with his business owner’s hat on but also that of mayor. He, along with Mayor Pro Tem John Hutchinson and Richmond County Commissioner Don Bryant — both in attendance on Tuesday — all enjoy good working relationships with the Post — but as they are all public officeholders, they’re subject to a higher level of scrutiny than others.

Mayor Steve Morris

Mayor Steve Morris

“When we do things that are good, we’re anxious to see it in the news,” Morris said. “When we’ve screwed up, we don’t really want to see that, but it’s all part of that give and take.”

Morris also acknowledged the support of Spradlin’s wife, Stephanie, who serves as interior decorator, one of three graphic designers all while managing a household with four children.

Bryant, who opened Bryant’s Turf & Landscape in 1978, said he knows a new business owner will run “24/7” to keep things going.

“Every time I go some place … you’re there,” Bryant said. “I know that you’re putting your business first. You’re doing something that’s definitely a first. I wish you well.”

Emily Tucker, chamber president, mentioned how the PDP covers many chamber events and most of the chamber’s ribbon-cutting events.

Chamber of Commerce President Emily Tucker

Chamber of Commerce President Emily Tucker

“I’m not sure how you’re covering your own,” Tucker said. “We’re so proud that he’s chosen Richmond County to cover the news. I’m not sure when he sleeps. I appreciate the commitment he has for our community.”

Spradlin was the last to speak during the five-minute ceremony. He was surprisingly brief.

“It’s not just me,” Spradlin said and mentioned a team of sales representatives, photographers, graphic designers and columnists. “I’m grateful for every single reader and every single advertiser we have. If no one reads it, it’s not worth writing.”

As for advertising, “it’s how we stay in business,” Spradlin said of the Post’s affordable rates. “Hopefully (businesses) see the value in that. We’re here to help them if and when they do.”

Chamber of Commerce Vice Chairman Terry Lewis

Chamber of Commerce Vice Chairman Terry Lewis

Morris has long been head of Helms Jewelers and it’s not an established retail business in downtown Rockingham. But it wasn’t always a smooth ride.

“Kevin just remarked it’s good to be here,” Morris said of a pre-event discussion, “and there were some days he had some doubts. I had some years that I had doubts. It’s always worked out. Those days are well worth going through to get where we are today.”

MacKenzie Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

MacKenzie Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

Richmond County Commissioner Don Bryant

Richmond County Commissioner Don Bryant

 

 

 

 

 

Filed in: Business, Featured News, Latest Headlines, News, Rockingham

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