About our organization

Who is the Uptown Shelby Association and what do you do?

We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in the early 1980s to support the revitalization of the Uptown Shelby district. We are proud to be one of the oldest Main Street communities in the country. 

Our mission is to facilitate collaboration & growth, enrich the Uptown experience, and promote the district in order to strengthen Uptown Shelby and enhance the quality of life for our community. 

In keeping with the Main Street Approach, we work to grow a stronger, more viable district through promotion, partnerships, economic vitality, and design.

Learn more about our work and our organization at https://uptownshelby.com/about-us

How can I get involved? Do you need volunteers?

Volunteers are the backbone to everything we do! Our approach to revitalization - called the Main Street Approach - is built on a foundation of community involvement and buy-in (read more here). Visithttps://uptownshelby.com/about-us/volunteer-with-usa to learn more about our volunteer program. Contact Kaitlyn McNeilly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 704-484-3100 if you’d like to get involved. 

Who is eligible to receive business support services from the Uptown Shelby Association?

Businesses, organizations, property owners, and events located within the Uptown Shelby Municipal Service District are eligible for our services. 

What is the Uptown Shelby Municipal Service District? Who determines what counts as "Uptown Shelby" ?

The Uptown Shelby Municipal Service District, or MSD, is a legal tax district defined by the Shelby City Council. Property owners within the MSD pay an additional property tax, which according to state statute must be spent for the benefit of the district. We have a contract with the City of Shelby to administer these MSD funds. As a result, the MSD boundary defines the Uptown district that we serve.

Events & Marketing

How can I stay in the loop about what's happening in Uptown Shelby?

Sign up for our newsletter at this link to get monthly updates about community events, new businesses, business events, street closures, and the inside scoop. We promise to never share your email address with anyone.

The best way to keep up with the day-to-day news is to follow us on social media @UptownShelby:

What events are coming up?

You can find a list of upcoming Uptown events at https://uptownshelby.com/events. 

Other great sources of information are below. Call the organization or check their social media for the most current information! 

    • Cleveland County Arts Council - ccartscouncil.org or 704-484-2787
    • Don Gibson Theatre - dongibsontheatre.com or 704-487-8114
    • Earl Scruggs Center – earlscruggscenter.org or 704-487-6233
    • Foothills Farmers Market - foothillsfarmersmarket.com
    • Uptown businesses host events throughout the year! Find the full list of our businesses athttps://uptownshelby.com/uptown-businesses.
    • Check outhttps://landofrhythm.com/events/ for a county-wide list of upcoming events.
    • The Shelby Star and The Shelby Shopper have extensive event information in their print editions.

I know a band that you should consider booking for one of your events. Where can I submit information about them for your consideration?

Please submit the band’s name, genre(s), contact information, price range if known, and links to songs/performances to Kaitlyn McNeilly, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Why don't you host _____ event?

Events are a small part of what we do through the comprehensive Main Street Approach; other areas of our work include business development, marketing, historic preservation, placemaking, and community partnerships. For the event contingent of our work, we strive to host a varied slate of activities, with the goals of appealing to a wide cross section of our community, aligning with our mission and vision, and working toward our strategic objectives. However, we know there are many interests and concepts beyond our events, and we want to emphasize that other individuals, businesses, and organizations often host their own events in the Uptown district. 

We are fortunate to live in a community that is creative, robust, and dynamic, where countless community organizations and individuals have stepped up over the years to bring their own unique flair to events in Uptown Shelby. 

Do you wish our community had a certain type of event? We invite you to complete this form about your idea, and submit it to us – or host the event yourself! See below for resources to plan and host your own event in Uptown Shelby. 

    • City of Shelby permit - complete the special event permit application for any event on City property (eg, closing a street or a road lane, hosting a 5k, etc). Return the completed application, along with the $20 processing fee payable to the City of Shelby, to the City Clerk's office at least 30 days prior to the scheduled event. The application will be reviewed by the appropriate City departments and ultimately voted on by City Council. For more information, contact the City Clerk at
    • Cleveland County Court Square Use permit - review the assembly policy and complete this application for any event on the Court Square. Submit the completed application, along with the $5 processing fee, to April Crotts in the County Manager's office (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). April is also the best contact for any questions: 704-484-4800.
    • Event planning guide - this helpful guide offers 13 key steps for planning almost any event.

We are also available to answer questions from event organizers about how to make their Uptown Shelby event run smoothly. Contact Kaitlyn McNeilly with questions at 704-484-3100 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Will you promote my event?

Due to our nonprofit charter, we are limited to promoting events held in the Uptown Shelby district. Please click here to view the map of Uptown Shelby MSD boundaries. If your event will take place within the Uptown district, please notify us atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and include the following information:

    • Event title & description
    • Event date & time
    • Location address
    • Where to find more information (website, phone number, or email address)

Plan Your Visit

Where can I get a brochure or other materials about Uptown Shelby and nearby attractions?

Click here for a digital copy of the Uptown Shelby Area Guide. For a print copy, drop by or call our office at 211 S Trade St Shelby NC 28150 or 704-484-3100 during business hours.

For other materials, drop by or call the Cleveland County Chamber of Commerce at 200 S Lafayette St, 704-487-8521 during office hours.

To find hard copies of visitor information on Saturdays, stop by the Earl Scruggs Center’s Guest Services building on the Court Square. For your GPS, use the address 110 S. Washington St, Shelby NC 28150.

What else is there to do in the area?

There’s lots of fun to be had in Shelby and the lovely foothills of North Carolina! Check out https://landofrhythm.com/ to learn more. Visit https://landofrhythm.com/tours/like-a-local/#/ for some suggested itineraries.

Business & Property Questions

What grants/incentives are available for businesses opening in Uptown Shelby?

The following local financial incentives are available. Check each program for eligibility requirements.

    • Uptown Shelby - facade grant*; details available at https://uptownshelby.com/starting-your-business-in-uptown-shelby/facade-improvement-grant-program
    • City of Shelby - contact Cale Wright - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 704-669-2520
      • Energy efficiency grant 
      • Utility-related rebates (natural gas, electric, lighting)
    • Cleveland County - Cleveland County Small Business Investment Grant program - http://creativecec.com/resources/cleveland-county-small-business-investment-grant-program

For other business financing, we encourage entrepreneurs to look into Mountain BizWorks, which is a CDFI (community development financial institution) - a type of not-for-profit bank. They help new and existing entrepreneurs get loans, and they provide coaching and other support along the way. 

Which commercial spaces are available in Uptown Shelby?

We maintain a listing on our website of available commercial properties in Uptown Shelby, which you can find at the links below:

Click here for commercial properties for lease

Click here for commercial properties for sale

We also invite you to contact us to share what you're looking for, and we can send you a spreadsheet of options. Please email  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the following information: 

    • Your name and email address
    • The business type and description 
    • Approximate square footage you’re looking for 
    • Any features or amenities you’re looking for - such as ground level vs upper story; retail display windows; certain equipment, etc
    • Anything else you’d like us to know

We will keep your request in confidence. You are also welcome to set up an appointment to discuss the options.

We cannot serve as a realtor, agent, or negotiator, but we are happy to provide you or your agent with basic information about the available spaces. We always provide contact information so that you can reach out to the property owner or manager to get more information and/or request a showing. 

I have a lot of questions about starting my business - can you help?

We are happy to meet with you about your business concept. We can provide information about your business idea in the context of Uptown Shelby, along with a list of possible locations; we will refer you to our partners for support in developing a business plan and securing start-up funding. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with questions, to set up an appointment, or to request our “Getting Started Guide" about opening your business in Uptown Shelby.

Visit our Resource Guide for information about resources for entrepreneurs: https://uptownshelby.com/starting-your-business-in-uptown-shelby/resource-list 


What apartments/condos are available in Uptown Shelby?

Due to the high demand for residential property in Uptown, we do not track residential availability. All residential properties are listed on our website with contact information for the property manager or realtor, and we ask that you contact them directly to determine the most current availability.

Click here for residential properties that may be for lease 

Click here for residential properties that may be for sale

I am struggling (or: my family is struggling); can you help me pay the rent or utility bill? Can you help me get care from the VA? and other human services requests

Our nonprofit charter dictates that we serve the businesses and stakeholders of Uptown Shelby, so we cannot provide this kind of assistance. If you are struggling, we encourage you to call United Way of Cleveland County at 704-481-1046. For statewide and county-by-county assistance, dial 211 or visit www.nc211.org.