Thursday, January 18, 2007

Downtown Clayton Businesses Named 2006 Business of Year by Chamber of Commerce

Downtown Clayton businesses The Coffee Mill and The Flipside were named 2006 Small Business of the Year Tuesday night by the Clayton Area Chamber of Commerce. Owners Jodi Sager and Cliff Morgan accepted the award presented by Michael Grannis.

Coffee Mill, Flipside and Morning Glory Inn Recognized by DDA

DDA President Joyce Blackley presented two awards Tuesday night during the Clayton Area Chamber of Commerce’ Installation and Awards Dinner. The 2006 Downtown Commitment Award is given to the owners of a downtown business that has shown a persistent and enthusiastic passion for downtown Clayton. The award winners have demonstrated a consistent commitment to cultivating a sense of place and retaining the culture and history of Clayton. Mrs. Blackley noted that the business was started in downtown Clayton because of the historic nature of the building and that the small-town atmosphere would support their vision of a business that people could connect to. The Coffee Mill celebrates its seventh anniversary this month and The Flipside, celebrates its fifth year. The vision of owners Jodi Sager and Cliff Morgan is being realized as the Coffee Mill has become a community gathering spot and The Flipside provides good food and the only live music in Clayton featuring up and coming local, regional and national touring acts every week. The Coffee Mill and The Flipside are a great asset to downtown Clayton and Jodi and Cliff were thanked for their commitment to downtown Clayton.

The next award was The 2006 Main Street Champion Award goes to an individual or individuals who are involved with the downtown development program and whose work has had a positive impact on downtown Clayton. For the past three and a half years, the Morning Glory Inn has been the only overnight accommodation in Clayton. Innkeepers Betsy and Michael Grannis have hosted numerous people overnight at the bed and breakfast and hosted countless events during the day and evening. Mrs. Blackley said Betsy has been very active in the local community as a board member of the Clayton Area Chamber of Commerce; the Woman’s Club of Clayton, and as a member of the Downtown Development Association’s Economic Restructuring Committee. Mrs. Grannis has recently been appointed to the DDA Board and now serves as the Chair of the Organization Committee. Mr. Grannis served as Chairman of the DDA until his election to the Town Council last year. He has been an advocate for downtown Clayton since his arrival in town and helped lead the discussion toward a more concerted effort to revitalize downtown Clayton.

Thursday, January 11, 2007 Provides Federal Forms for Employers Facing January Tax Reports Helps Businesses Save Time and Money on Tax-Related Tasks

Each January businesses bear responsibility for preparing W-2s and other tax-related employer tasks, an especially challenging duty for small businesses with fewer resources than larger businesses. Self-employed business owners also face their final estimated tax payment in January., the official business link to the U.S. government, provides federal form searches so visitors may quickly find and download U.S. federal tax forms and guides.

“January may be a stressful time for a business owner, and one of’s goals is to ease the burden of federal compliance on businesses and make it easier to comply with regulations,” said SBA Administrator Steven C. Preston.

The Web site will save businesses time and money in locating the forms and guidance they need as well as searching the government for compliance resources. Failure to comply with employer tax requirements and reporting may result in fines, legal action or business closure. The estimated cost of compliance with the federal tax code for businesses is over $102 billion nationwide. provides compliance searches to locate specific tax forms and other compliance related documents to reduce this cost.

Grant F. DeMeritte, Tax Compliance Manager, Howard Hughes Medical Institute added, “ provides a great search engine for easily finding federal forms you need along with the correct federal agency. It is truly a one-stop resource for business compliance.”

Businesses can log onto and get direct access to the U.S.
Government’s Official Hub for Federal Forms by searching by form number or keyword in a catalog of 5,400 business and citizen forms. For example, businesses can search for W-2 forms, wage and tax statements, or employment eligibility verification and W-4 forms. Visitors may also view how-to topics on federal and state taxes in the Business Resource Library located on the site, such as how to apply for a tax ID number. is managed by the U.S. Small Business Administration in partnership with 21 other federal agencies and is part of the President’s Management Agenda. Originally launched in 2004, the Web site provided information on starting, growing, and managing a small business. The new compliance focus is designed to better meet the needs of the business community.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Citizens Informational Workshop on Pedestrian Underpass - Front Street to Downtown Commercial District

January 18, 2007
5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

February 1, 2007
5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Mt. Vernon Christian Church Fellowship Hall
300 North Lombard Street

The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) will hold a Citizens Informational Workshop on January 18, 2007 and a Charette on February 1, 2007 at the times and place indicated above.

NCDOT proposes to provide a Pedestrian Walkway Underpass in the location generally between Smith and Church Streets. This project is in coordination with the North Carolina Railroad Company (NCRR) and the Town of Clayton. The underpass will improve safety and provide better connectivity in the central Clayton area for the convenience of area residents. The walkway underpass will provide a separate pathway and insure the safety of pedestrians by not exposing them to trains. It is expected that this underpass will be a vital link in Clayton's pedestrian walkway system. The underpass is part of a comprehensive program of railroad crossing safety initiatives in Clayton, which also includes the closure of three railroad/highway at-grade crossings and other highway safety improvements at railroad crossings.

Citizen participation in both events is greatly encouraged. The purpose of the workshop is for NCDOT representatives to provide information, answer questions, and accept written and verbal comments regarding the proposed pedestrian underpass. The charette is an informal meeting to develop ideas and concepts on the function, aesthetics and specific location of the proposed underpass. We will engage & interact closely with the public to gather detailed input. Public input from these meetings is important, and will be used in the decision making process. Interested citizens may attend at any time during the above mentioned hours.

Anyone desiring additional information may contact Mr. Jamille Robbins, 1583 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1583, by phone (919) 715-1534, by fax (919) 715-1501, or by email

NCDOT will provide auxiliary aids and services under the Americans with Disabilities Act for disabled persons who wish to participate in this workshop. Anyone requiring special services should contact Mr. Robbins as early as possible so that arrangements can be made.