Wednesday, 25 August 2021 13:28

Chamber welcomes Murphy & Associates to downtown Rockingham with ribbon cutting

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Melinda Murphy cuts a red ribbon at her accounting business, Murphy & Associates, during a ceremony Aug. 25. Melinda Murphy cuts a red ribbon at her accounting business, Murphy & Associates, during a ceremony Aug. 25. William R. Toler - Richmond Observer

ROCKINGHAM — Melinda Murphy says she was “a weird kid,” with her interest in accounting starting at a young age.

Murphy recalled the start of her career choice during a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday at the new location of Murphy & Associates on East Washington Street in downtown Rockingham.

“I used to play grocery store at the house when I was little,” Murphy said. “I’ve always been intrigued with numbers and making things balance. I’ve had a lot of people over the years say, ‘You must be really good at math.’ Not really.”

Murphy says accounting is more about analysis than just adding and subtracting — like “putting puzzle pieces together.”

It’s that challenge Murphy likes about her chosen profession.

Richmond Community College featured Murphy in a story last summer, just months after she started her business in April.

She gave credit to accounting instructor Matilda Davis for helping get where she is.

Prior to that, Murphy kept the books at her now-ex-husband’s business, Nick’s 4x4, and has spent the past two decades working for other CPA firms.

“Over the past 20 years, I’ve built a good rapport with clients,” many of whom have followed her, she said. “About a year or so ago, I decided to spread my wings and fly — and here I am.

When Murphy started her business last year, she was subleasing space from Norma King’s insurance office on Airport Road. But with business booming, she soon outgrew the space and moved to her current location on March 1.

Her office offers professional bookkeeping, individual and business tax services, as well as payroll services and tax planning.

“We are extremely excited to be at our new location downtown and to be a part of this little community,” she said.

As Mayor Steve Morris pointed out, Murphy is just the latest in a downtown business boom over the past decade.

“We’re excited to have another tenant downtown and filling up a building again,” Morris said. “In the past 10 years, we sort of went from a desert of buildings down here to a really attractive place with some good tenants, all locally owned … investing in the community.”

The 2013 opening of Discovery Place Kids is often cited as the kick-off of the revitalization spree. Since then, there have been more than a dozen businesses to open or relocate in the stretch between Leak and Caroline streets.

Morris said both of his daughters are CPAs.

“It’s a great profession for women, as well as for men, and we’re glad that you’re here,” he continued. 

Brian Baucom, incoming chairman of the Richmond County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, also welcomed Murphy and her crew to downtown, presenting her with a Chamber sticker to place on the door.

“We know that you’re going to do well,” said Chamber President Emily Tucker. “I know that you’ve got some great staff here … and you’re going to do great things.”