"Speak Out" is an expression of opinion from the Editorial Board of WBTV, and is presented by editorial board member, Jess Sessoms.
Belk Department Stores recently announced that they would be relinquishing ownership of the family-run chain.
Businesses do that – even popular, successful businesses like Belk.
And while the stores aren’t going anywhere, we feel it’s worth taking a moment to say “Thanks” and “Well done” to the Belk family.
Founded in Monroe in 1888, Belk later opened a flagship store and headquarters on Tryon Street here in Charlotte.
While you’ve probably shopped at Belk, and perhaps even worked there at some point, you may not know just how involved the family has been in the growth of our city.
They donated land and helped establish UNC-Charlotte at its present site.
They regularly give to UNCC, Davidson College, and Wingate, Queens, and Johnson C. Smith Universities.
The Belk family swapped land they owned to pave the way for SouthPark Mall, and then became one of its first anchor tenants.
They helped develop what is now Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center.
As Charlotte Mayor in the 1970s, John Belk pushed for the expansion of Douglas Airport, which has helped immensely with the city’s growth.
There is so much more.
While the Belk family has shown extreme generosity toward the Queen City and its surrounding communities, they’ve said that helping these causes is also “good for business.”
That may be, but let’s be sure to remember that the Belk family has been really good for Charlotte.