Thanks to your support and the efforts of our board, other volunteers and city and county leaders the Belton Alliance has had a good year. We have exciting things on the horizon as we work together to promote economic growth, tourism and quality of life in the Belton area. This report provide progress made during the 2023 year. Please take a few minutes to read about the accomplishments we have made together.
Members, Committee and Board:
- The Alliance currently has 85 members
- After not soliciting dues in 2023, the Alliance is planning a membership blitz to work toward 100% renewal rate for 2024, plus efforts to gain new members to take the membership over 100!
- Dues will remain the same and are $75 for businesses, $50 for non-profits and churches and $25 to $100 for individuals
- Officers remain the same for 2024 and are Dupre Keys (President), Tammy Roberts (Vice-President), Beth Cobb (Secretary) and Rex Maynard (Treasurer).
- Other board members moving forward include Richard Dorn, Gene Jameson, Joseph Brice, Michelle McCollum, Jon Neel, Kathleen Hodges, Mayor Eleanor Dorn (ex-officio) and Brandy Vaughn (ex-officio). Two new board members will be elected after the first of the year.
- President Dupre Keys will be appointing the 2024 committee chairs and committee members soon. If you are interested in serving on a committee contact Dupre at [email protected].
Economic Development & Government Relations
- A meeting will be planned with city and county leaders to discuss additional ways we can work together.
- The Alliance hopes to work with the Anderson Area Chamber of Commerce to implement some of their programs in the Belton area.
- A number of new businesses have opened On The Square.
- Marketing round tables were held in the spring involving members of the community (including BHP students) to provide input on naming and marketing the proposed trail from Anderson to Belton.
- Rex Maynard, Eleanor Dorn and Alan Sims serve on the Oversight Committee planning the trail from Anderson to Belton. Watch for a community meeting in the spring to share more details about this exciting project!
- Four Community Clean Up Days were held in 2023. Local volunteers worked with community organizations (such as the Girls Scouts) to pick up trash in key areas of the community. The group collected many bags of trash plus additional debris such as tires and other large items. Plans are to continue these in 2024.
- The Belton Beautification Committee continues their great work On The Square!
- The City of Belton has implemented grants to help owners refurbish their building storefronts.
Website & Social Media:
- beltonalliance.com continues to be updated with upcoming community events and news.
- The Business of the Quarter continues and a picture and article are featured on the website. A special thanks to Dr. John Neel and Alison Darby for handling these posts.
- Social media posts promote community events and activities and communicates other local information to the community.
Branding & Events:
- The Alliance plans to add additional “Belton…A Historic Heart with a New Beat” banners on the Bubblegum Rail Trail and downtown in 2024.
- The Alliance partnered with the City of Belton to implement four Standpipe Sound events On The Square during the spring and summer months. Each event offered free entertainment and food trucks.
- The Alliance will work with the City of Belton to plan and implement community movie nights in 2024.
South Carolina Chili Cookoff Championships:
- Led by chairman Gene Jameson and title sponsor Deals Galore the 2023 Chili Cookoffs provided $15,000 to five community non-profit organizations…the Belton Alliance, Belton Area Museum Association, Belton Center for the Arts, BIMA and Masons. Checks were presented during the June Standpipe Sounds event downtown.
- Gene Jameson attended the World Championships in Myrtle Beach this fall to promote the 2024 cookoffs.
- Plans are underway for the 2024 cookoffs which are scheduled for April 20-21.
Bubblegum Rail Trail:
- Contributions were received from Charlene and Buddy Ferguson, Marty Knight and the Belton High School Class of 1965 designated to purchase three benches for the trail. These benches have been installed.
- The trail continues to be an asset to the community which is enjoyed by many local citizens as well as out-0f-town visitors.