IEDC 2016 Annual Conference

I will be leaving Tennessee on Friday of next week to participate in the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) conference.  IEDC will convene its 2016 Annual Conference in Cleveland, Ohio on September 24th-28th.  Around 1,500 economic development professionals from around the world have already signed up to attend.  The conference will be a great opportunity to make new connections and learn more effective ways to make communities more successful.

I will be speaking at the conference on Wednesday in the session preceding the site selection consultants forum.  I hope to enlighten and entertain the crowd again this year. (my speaker bio)

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Cheatham County tourism up, travel expenditures increased 4.5% in 2015

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Tourist Development Commissioner Kevin Triplett today announced Tennessee tourism’s direct domestic and international travel expenditures reached an all-time high of $18.4 billion in 2015, up 3.7% over the previous year, as reported by the U.S. Travel Association.

Here in Cheatham County, Tennessee, we were pleased to see that the report showed that our county had a 4.5% increase in our tourism economic impact of travel, 21.6% higher than the state increase of 3.7%.

For more information on visiting Cheatham County, Ashland City, Pleasant View, Kingston Springs and Pegram  and our tourism information, visit the Cheatham County Chamber of Commerce website.

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Places to Dove Hunt in Cheatham County / Nashville Area 2016

Dove season opens September 1st at Noon and runs to September 28th.  The season later runs from October 8th to October 30th and from December 8th to January 15th. More information on dove hunting in Tennessee can be found on the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) Dove Hunting in Tennessee Website.

If you are looking for a place to hunt, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) manages or leases fields that have been planted with crops doves love.  Some of the most convenient are in Cheatham County, close to good places to eat before or after your successful hunt or places to shop for ammo or supplies like Elks Outdoors in Pleasant View or Ashland City Armory, Farmer’s Co-op or Walmart in Ashland City.

The location of the TWRA dove fields in Cheatham County will be listed on TWRA’s website.

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Cheatham County approves standard business incentives

The Cheatham County Commission approved unanimously an business incentive package developed by the Industrial Development Board of Cheatham County (IDB).  Developed with assistance from the Cheatham County Joint Economic & Community Development Board and the Cheatham County Chamber of Commerce, the business incentive package will allow the IDB to offer those tax abatements for existing and relocating businesses making capital investment and maintaining jobs in Cheatham County.  For additional information, check out the article on The Tennessean‘s website or view the IDB’s Pilot Incentive Guidelines.

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2016 Tennessee Governor’s Conference on Economic & Community Development

Economic development professionals, business leaders, community leaders and elected officials (including some from Cheatham County) will be attending the 63rd Annual Tennessee Governor’s Conference on Economic & Community Development on October 27th and 28th, 2016 at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel in downtown Nashville. Governor Bill Haslam and his Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development, Randy Boyd, will host the conference where new knowledge will be presented and attendees will network and share ideas. In addition, the Governor’s Three Star Awards for economic and community development will be presented to counties that have earn that status for the year.

Details on what I am sure will be another great conference is posted on the Tennessee Governor’s Conference on Economic & Community Development event website, www.govcon.tnecd.com.

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Happy Independence Day!!!!

Wishing you a safe and happy celebration of the 4th of July!

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Learn about tuition assistance for Tennessee adults

Tennessee Reconnect and the Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology will be hosting TCAT Scholarship Saturday on April 2, 2016 from 10:00 to 2:00 o’clock at most of the TCAT locations.  This is an opportunity to learn about the Tennessee Reconnect grant and how it can cover the cost of tuition for eligible adults.

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Happy Pi Day 2016!!

Happy Pi Day!!!

(March 14th, 3/14, the day to celebrate Pi (3.1415926535…), an irrational number.)

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2016 Tennessee Rural Development Conference

The 21st annual Tennessee Rural Development Conference will be held in Murfreesboro, Tennessee on March 29th and 30th.  The theme is “Rural Communities: Preparing for a Sustainable Future.”

Check out the great lineup of speakers and I hope to see you there.

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Cheatham County Industrial Park earns AT&T Fiber Ready designation

As part of AT&T’s continuing efforts to drive economic development and investment in Tennessee, company representatives, elected officials and members of the Cheatham County Joint Economic and Community Development Board announced on February 26, 2016 that the Cheatham County Industrial Park in Ashland City, Tennessee has been designated as AT&T Fiber Ready. (check out the article in The Tennessean newspaper.)

Not only is this an asset for the few vacant properties in the industrial park, but also exiting businesses in the area benefit from the ready availability of high speed broadband internet access via fiber optics.

The Cheatham County Industrial Park is located on Highway 12 less than 30 minutes from downtown Nashville, Tennessee.

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Broadband Access Survey

Due to the importance of this initiative in our expanding broadband availability and technology utilization, I would like to remind everyone in Tennessee to complete the Statewide  Assessment of Broadband Access and Usage in Tennessee.

Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd announced earlier this year (news story) the launch of a statewide assessment of broadband access and usage in Tennessee.  For this initiative, it is important for them to receive as much information from individual households and businesses as possible, so I encourage everyone to take the survey at www.tn.gov/broadband.

Broadband availability is better in Cheatham County than in most rural areas, but I still hear comments about dissatisfaction with broadband service and see businesses that could better utilize technology.  This assessment could be a step toward bringing better service and more utilization to under served areas of Tennessee.

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Space Odyssey

This article from Bangor Daily News contains a lot of the issues of small town and downtown parking issues.  To me, it is a no brainer that business owners and their employees should not take parking spaces that could be filled by their customers.  Yes, customers of big box stores and malls are tolerant of competing for parking spaces and walking long distances.  a small town downtown has the opportunity to provide a different, better customer experience and that starts with as convenient as possible parking.

Posted in shop local, small business | Comments Off on Space Odyssey

Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development launches statewide assessment of broadband access and usage

Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd announced today (news story) the launch of a statewide assessment of broadband access and usage in Tennessee.  For this initiative, it is important for them to receive as much information from individual households and businesses as possible, so I encourage everyone to take the survey at www.tn.gov/broadband.

Broadband availability is better in Cheatham County than in most rural areas, but I still hear comments about dissatisfaction with broadband service and see businesses that could better utilize technology.  This assessment could be a step toward bringing better service and more utilization to under served areas of Tennessee.

Posted in broadband, rural broadband | Comments Off on Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development launches statewide assessment of broadband access and usage

It’s a Wonderful Life, the Holiday Story of Community Economic Development

Watching the movie, It’s a Wonderful Life is a holiday tradition for a lot of us. We just saw a Christmas Eve screening of it at Belcourt Theater tonight and was reminded how much George Bailey and the Bailey Bros. Building & Loan Association were involved in economic and community development. From recruiting Sam Wainwright’s plastic manufacturing facility, to helping Martini in his business, to developing affordable housing to retain Bedford Falls’ labor force, to designing and developing neighborhoods — George Bailey and the economic development efforts of the old Building & Loan made a more wonderful life for the citizens of Bedford Falls.

Hot Dog and Hee Haw, it is a wonderful life and I hope that y’all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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Small business development, looking back to see ahead

It is that time of year to look back and reminisce.  In my job, that also applies.  I have begun working to update our Business Resource Guide that I developed and send out to our industrial companies every year.  I am also working on improving and updating our  information on starting and growing a small business in our area of Middle Tennessee.  Doing some benchmarking to get ideas from other communities doesn’t make me feel any better — it just confirms how constant change is and how difficult it is to stay current with information and connecting with entrepreneurs.  Stay tuned, it is my pre-New Year’s resolution to build on  our resources and better connect with those starting or growing a business.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving.  If you are looking to burn off some of that turkey, there are great places to get away and enjoy our glorious Tennessee outdoors in Cheatham County this weekend, including Small Business Saturday at our local shops and stores.

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Happy National Rural Health Day!

Today is the 5th annual National Rural Health Day, which is “an opportunity to ‘Celebrate the Power of Rural’ by honoring the selfless, community-minded, ‘can do’ spirit that prevails in rural America, but it also gives us a chance to bring to light the unique healthcare challenges that rural citizens face—and showcase the efforts of rural healthcare providers, State Offices of Rural Health and other rural stakeholders to address those challenges.”

The National Rural Health Day website includes more information on the day and has a variety of information pertinent to the health issues of rural communities.

Unfortunately, we had to cancel our National Rural Health Day all-you-can-eat cake and ice cream celebration, but I hope that the day brings opportunity for thought on improving the health of rural Americans.

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State of State Business Incentives 2015

The Smart Incentives, Sound Decisions Blog recently reported on an annual update completed by C2ER to its State Business Incentives Database.  C2ER researched every state’s and territory’s programs and what was added, repealed or changed during its most recent legislative session.  Check out the blog post for some trends in state incentives and for a link to the State of the State Business Incentives 2015 report.

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Google puts small businesses on the map

Google puts small businesses on the map and you can help get accurate information on businesses on the web.  Businesses can go to www.gybo.com to find ways to get their information on the Internet using Google and connect, communicate and do business with their community and customers.

 

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Cheatham County Growth Rate for New Home Permits Highest in Region

In a recent Nashville Business Journal, Cheatham County was reported to have the highest rate of growth in new home permits in the Nashville region.  We are a small county and our number of new home permits is low compared to Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, etc.  However, given that there was no growth three years ago (according to U.S. Census population estimates), this data is encouraging that smart growth is welcomed while increasing our quality of place.

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ECD Conference fast approaching

Economic development professionals, business leaders, community leaders and elected officials (including some from Cheatham County) will be attending the 62nd Annual Tennessee Governor’s Conference on Economic & Community Development on October 13th and 14th, 2015 at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel in downtown Nashville. Governor Bill Haslam and his Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development, Randy Boyd, will host the conference where new knowledge will be presented and attendees will network and share ideas. In addition, the Governor’s Three Star Awards for economic and community development will be presented to counties that earned that status.

Details on what I am sure will be another great conference is posted on the Tennessee Governor’s Conference on Economic & Community Development event website, www.govcon.tnecd.com.

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Cheatham County students’ ACT scores are on the rise!

County’s ACT scores on the rise” – Ashland City Times

Education/workforce development being one of the pillars of our Three Star Award efforts, this is a sign that the Cheatham County community and its high school students are making progress in sustaining a quality, educated workforce.

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Success noted

I was recently reading Municipal Boundaries in Tennessee: Annexation and Growth Planning Policies after Public Chapter 707, a report of the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations.  In it, I ran across a piece on the Cheatham County Joint Economic & Community Development Board (JECDB) in a list of successes achieved by the active JECDBs across Tennessee.

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How Siri can help small town businesses make more sales

Source: How Siri can help small town businesses make more sales

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Cheatham County Businesses & Burgers

If you are looking for two good things that should go together, visit the Cheatham County Fall Business Expo and Burger Cook Off to be held September 26th from 1:00 to 5:00p.m at Riverbluff Park in Ashland City, Tennessee.  Cheatham County-based businesses, as well as those that do business in Cheatham County, will be showcased.  If that’s not enough, backyard grillmasters and local restaurants will be showing off their burger making skills in professional and amateur competitions in burger-making categories such as Cheatham’s Best Burger and Most Creative Burger.

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Farmer’s Markets near Nashville and Clarksville

If you are looking for fresh, local food along with fresh, local experiences, take a look at Cheatham County’s farmer’s markets and see what kind of local food and crafts you won’t be able to live without.

Ashland City Farmer’s & Artisian’s Market

Pleasant View Farmer’s Market

Kingston Springs Farmer’s & Artisian’s Market

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Vantage Pointe Village Senior Living Community holds Grand Opening

Vantage Pointe Village Senior Living Community hosted its Grand Opening last Tuesday.  It is a beautiful facility that offers assisted living and memory care with plans for independent living in the future.  Nestled in a cozy, peaceful rural setting only about 20 minutes from downtown Nashville in Ashland City, Vantage Pointe has a caring staff and a welcoming environment.  I had a wonderful time experiencing their hospitality during their grand opening and open house and they have already become a welcome part of a great community.

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Middle Tennessee Workforce Study Released

Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce released a workforce study of the Nashville area, which includes Cheatham County, titled Strengthening the Middle Tennessee Region 2020: Building a Vital Workforce to Sustain Economic Growth and Opportunity. It is a comprehensive analysis of the opportunities and challenges facing the Nashville and Clarksville MSAs over the next five years managing the supply and demand for talent. Funded by JPMorgan Chase & Co. New Skills at Work, the study was conducted with the the cooperation of the South Central Tennessee Workforce Board, Middle Tennessee Workforce Investment Development Board and the North Tennessee Workforce Board.

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Getting and Keeping a Small Town Grocery Store

The Center for Rural Affairs recently posted an informative blog post on the importance of the rural small town grocery store and some tips to sustaining a successful store as a source of nourishment for the body and the community. “(Eight) 8 Steps to Help Small Town Grocery Stores” provides doable action items for the store and community support.

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Travel and tourism revenue increases in Cheatham County again for 2014

The Economic Impact of Travel on Tennessee Counties 2014 from the Research Department of the U.S. Travel Association in Washington, D.C. was recently released by Tennessee Department of Tourist Development.  In the report, Cheatham County, Tennessee exhibited a 3% increase from 2013 to 2014 in Direct Domestic Traveler Expenditures and Related Economic Impact to $20,700,000.  Stay tuned as we continue to work toward growing our tourism related businesses.

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