MATTHEWS – Erin Hunter worked a couple of years for Brian and Michelle Mattingly out of college when the couple’s Welcomemat Services concept was starting to gain footing in Charlotte.
She eventually left for a corporate gig, but returned two years ago as a franchise owner after starting a family and realizing she didn’t want to travel anymore.
The biggest difference between working for Welcomemat Services then and now is how much the company has grown. Entrepreneur recognizes the direct mailer as one of the top franchising companies in the country.
“The value proposition has always been to connect new people moving into a specific neighborhood with great local businesses,” Hunter said. “That’s never going to change.”
Hunter’s territory spans from Uptown Charlotte to Pineville and east toward Matthews.
Welcomemat Services ranked Matthews fifth among America’s Top 25 Best Neighborhoods for Small Businesses, citing its “sense of community” and mentioning the Sportplex at Matthews as an amenity.
The Plaza Midwood neighborhood in Charlotte came in 18th on the list.
Hunter said the walkability, as well as the mix of old and new storefronts, like Renfrow’s Hardware and Moe’s Barbecue, help make Matthews a desirable place to do business.
She said family-friendly events like Matthews Alive and food truck rallies also contribute to a creating a business-friendly environment.
Hunter tries to understand her clients and their goals. She believes every small business has a story to share.
“I have my own story too of what I do, “ she said. “The best part of what I do everyday is being able to meet with people and hear their story. That’s very rewarding to me.”