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'Start something' in Catawba County

February 18, 2011

Catawba County wants the world to know it can "start something here."

During Catawba County Chamber of Commerce's annual membership meeting Thursday, business leaders, government officials and educational representatives were introduced to Catawba County's web portal — a website linked to all chamber members. was unveiled Thursday at the Gateway Hotel and Conference Center event after two years of brainstorming and planning.

"Start something here: it's a great place to begin or begin again" is the slogan for the new web portal and marketing campaign that unites all businesses and organizations in Catawba County to reach a common goal — visibility, explained Chamber president Danny Hearn.

"We were all trying to do the same thing separately," said Houston Harris, owner of Pixelspace in Hickory. "We need to have one unified website to represent the area."

Pixelspace, which has worked in Hickory for 14 years, was hired to design the new web portal.

The new website offers brief snip-its on various businesses, educational districts and municipalities, as well as recreational activities, at a glance. The goal is to encourage anyone from around the world to visit Catawba County, whether it is to start a new business or a family.

"The key is for people to be able to find us," said Scott Millar, Catawba County Economic Development Corporation president.

Millar said business owners and individuals are searching the Internet for sites around the world. By creating a web portal, Catawba County is at the access of a person's fingertips and all within one website.

"This is the key ingredient toward our mixture," Millar said. "The important factor is everyone is working together for a common good, whether it's a small business or in education."

Conover Mayor Lee Moritz Jr. said he had a sneak peek into the web portal before Thursday's unveiling and feels it is going to be a positive addition to Catawba County, as well as Conover. Currently, Conover is working on one of its biggest projects, Conover Station, which seeks to become an eye-catcher for business owners.

By having Conover listed on, Moritz thinks it creates a sense of unity in the county as everyone works toward the common goal of prospering financially and as a community.

Harris warns users that this website isn't a business directory, but has brief articles or descriptions about each organization.

"The web portal will show that Catawba County is the best place to have a business and how good our region is," Harris said.

Logos are also available on the website for area organizations to place on their website to encourage visitors to take a peak at what Catawba County has to offer. A logo, as well as a QR code to take a person to its website with a smartphone, can be downloaded by clicking on the "press" link at the bottom of the website's homepage.


My tax dollars at work?

February 23, 2011 by TySlothrop (not verified), 4 years 9 weeks ago
Comment: 191

How much money was invested by local governments into this project?
If this is something that private businesses and their lobbying arm - the Chamber - want to support, then fine, but my tax dollars better not be supporting a web site that clearly promotes certain interests over those of the Catawba County community at large.
I have been hearing talk about this project for a little while. I don't know a whole lot about it, but I think the idea was supposed to be that amenities in this county would be highlighted in it. Sorry, but mountain biking has never really been an attraction at the top of my list for things to do here. The Catawba County Fair? Certainly a fun week, but do people actually come from other states to attend the fair?
I was also told that this project intended to be some sort of web optimization - so when somebody types "furniture" and "Hickory" into a search engine, the first website that comes up is this "startsomethinghere." Unless you type "start something here" into Google, this website seems to be invisible to the search engine world.
So here's my question, if I dream up some wonderful idea for technology promoting Catawba County - regardless of whether it actually works as I promise - who do I need to talk to in order to get government, EDC and Chamber money to support my pipe dreams?


February 22, 2011 by LeeHarper (not verified), 4 years 9 weeks ago
Comment: 188

“Chamber of Commerce” is a synonym for Republican Party so this story ought to read…Republican propaganda is now linked through business, government, and educational avenues.

One of these days people will realize that there is a double standard around these parts. They want to be ohh so conservative but our county government is huge and bloated with needless people accomplishing 20 hours of work in a 40 hour work week.

Our taxes are high and we are loosing opportunities for business growth in new sectors to surrounding counties, sectors where they are sustainable but we appluade new furniture jobs that might not survive ten weeks from now or we get worked up because someone rented office space at an airport that won’t bring a commercial flight.

The same old rich families control the Chamber, control local government, and control us.

Real Republicans would be here trimming the county government, getting rid of all these social entitlements that county government gives away to keep the peace, and challenging the Chamber to get off its hind quarter and get business to the whole county not just Hickory.

When was the last time the Chamber held an event in Maiden, Claremont or Sherrills Ford?

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