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  • Meet Our Brand-new Recruiting Tool, LiveIt Nashville!

    by Alex Hughes | May 16, 2016
    LiveItNashville"It's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new life for me." – Muse, Nina Simone, Michael Bublé and any other artist who has ever covered Feeling Good all have something in common with Music City. It's a new day and a new life for many who are picking up their roots and moving to Nashville. In fact, as recently reported by The Tennessean, we're seeing record in-migration, to the tune of 71 people per day who are relocating to the Nashville area.

    And while we welcome those 71 people each and every day, it doesn't necessarily mean they're going to be the perfect fit for an open position you have in your company. So that's why we decided to build a one-stop-shop recruiting resource to help you sell the Nashville region. We'd like to introduce you to our brand-new LiveIt Nashville guide, hot off the press! This PDF provides great photography and in-depth details about the quality of life and place in the Nashville region.

    Many of us know about the "hidden gems" throughout our community, but we believe this new guide will help you show the world why we love our city so much! As we ...
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    Category: Workforce
  • Visiting Canada? Better Pack Your eTA or Visa!

    by Lori Odom | May 16, 2016

    Guest post by Melanie C. Walker, associate, Baker Donelson

    Canada has a new entry requirement. Effective March 15, 2016, visa-exempt foreign nationals must now have an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to fly to or transit through Canada. A result of the Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness Action, the eTA program largely mirrors the Electronic System for Travel Authorization, which became mandatory in January 2009 for travelers to the U.S.

    During the upcoming months (through fall 2016), travelers who do not have an eTA can still board their flights as long as they have appropriate travel documents (valid passport and meet other basic requirements to enter Canada – good health, no convictions, temporary intent). Despite this leniency period, during which border services officers can allow entry, travelers should go ahead and complete the eTA process now to eliminate potential travel delays and risks of being turned away by a border official if unable to separately evidence that all travel requirements are otherwise met.

    Who Needs It:
    Visa-exempt foreign nationals who fly to or through Canada. Note that the eTA is not required if entering Canada by land or sea. Visa-exempt countries include: Australia, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, ...

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  • Academies of Nashville Awards Celebrate Another Great Year for MNPS High Schools

    by Candy Johnson | May 10, 2016

    On May 9, we honored the many accomplishments of our outstanding teachers, principals and public high schools, as well as the businesses that support their success, at the sixth annual Academies of Nashville Awards.

    More than 330 educators and business partners attended the awards dinner at Rocketown to celebrate the progress of Metro's 12 zoned high schools and MNPS Virtual School.

    MNPS launched the Academies of Nashville in 2006 as a push toward preparing students for college and careers through a more rigorous, relevant curriculum. High school students choose a thematic course of study, such as information technology, health care or engineering, then complete coursework in classes such as math, science, English and social studies in the context of their academy theme. The program has been instrumental in improving attendance and graduation rates, and is now recognized as a national model for high school reform.

    A committee composed of school district, Nashville Area Chamber and PENCIL Foundation leadership selected nominees for each of the 15 award categories, and more than 300 educators and business partners voted online. Special thanks to our sponsors: Altria, Deloitte, Fifth Third Bank, Dollar General, Nissan, Saint Thomas Health and the Memorial Foundation.

    Congratulations to these ...

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  • Chamber's Economic Development Efforts Receive National Recognition Again

    by Courtney Ross | May 10, 2016

    Site Selection magazine, a national publication for economic development professionals, has again lauded our Chamber's economic development team with their highest honor.

    Though this is the fourth time the Chamber has received this accolade from Site Selection, this year the magazine has renamed the award (formerly known as Top Groups) as the Mac Conway Award for Excellence in Economic Development after their founder, McKinley “Mac” Conway. To determine which economic development groups receive the award, the publication uses objective criteria such as the total number of jobs created, total amount of investment, per capita investment and jobs created in the region, as well as subjectively examining how economic development organizations are addressing community issues. Middle Tennessee's record-breaking job creation in 2015 helped cement the Chamber's spot on this list, with Nissan North America and Community Health Systems making major commitments to expand their existing operations in Middle Tennessee.

    To be named one of the top economic development agencies in the U.S. among thousands of our peers is a tremendous honor, and I am so proud of everyone on our team whose hard work contributes to our many successes.

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  • Member Spotlight - The Hermitage

    by Lindsay Chambers | May 09, 2016

    Howard J. Kittell, president & CEO, Andrew Jackson Foundation

    Q: What's your biggest goal for the Hermitage in the next year?
    A: My simplest and most direct answer is to meet or exceed our revenue goals for the coming year. However, my goal implies significantly more than money. Achieving our revenue goal will enable us to realize our mission-based goals outlined in our aspirational strategic plan. Importantly, the coming year is the 250th anniversary of Andrew Jackson’s birth. We are planning a series of programs and events to help the public better understand the impact Jackson had on the history of the United States, and raise national awareness of The Hermitage as a leading presidential museum.
    Q: What's the best advice you ever received?
    A: Actually, there are two pieces of advice that I regularly turn to:
    1. “Listen to your stomach, not your head.” Now, from time to time, my head needs to provide my stomach with background research, but my instincts tend to be spot-on.
    2. When starting a new initiative, you need to have the patience to allow for a “messy phase.”  I have a tendency to want things in neat boxes right away. However, letting things ebb ...
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    Category: General
  • ScaleUp Nashville Announces Second Cohort & Application Deadline for Third Cohort

    by Lindsay Chambers | May 09, 2016

    The Chamber is excited to announce that 18 local small businesses have been tapped to participate in the second cohort of ScaleUp Nashville, a competitive, 12-week business accelerator program funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

    As part of the training, participants work with a certified public accountant to complete a financial analysis of their businesses, meet with area-specific focus groups, and work with a mentor. Each business owner who completes the program will receive coaching focused on his or her particular area of need, such as developing a strategy for accessing capital or undergoing market research.

    Could your business benefit from this intensive training? We're accepting applications for the third cohort of ScaleUp Nashville Friday, May 20, through Friday, June 24. Visit for an application and program details. Your company does not need to be a current Chamber member to apply; outreach will focus on bolstering underserved communities.

    Congratulations to the participants in ScaleUp Nashville's second cohort:

    Actual Food Nashville is a catering company and an eclectic event space. Owner/chef Daniel Forberg is dedicated to demonstrating freshness, quality of origin, high production standards, sustainability and flavor.

    Atlas Motorworks is a custom motorcycle shop and community garage focused ...

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  • Learning in the Twin Cities: Key Takeaways from the 25th Annual Leadership Study Mission

    by Whitney Weeks | May 04, 2016
    On April 17, nearly 140 Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce members, including business owners, faith leaders, elected officials and nonprofit executives, began their three-day study mission in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota. For the 25th consecutive year, the Nashville delegation explored issues of importance to our community in a peer city. The focal points of the 2016 Leadership/Transit Study Missions included regionalism, transportation as an economic driver, affordability and workforce development and retention.

    The mission included a number of conversations with both city and regional officials about how they are tackling various challenges that Middle Tennessee is also facing. Of particular interest to the Nashville delegates was the Metropolitan Council, a unique governing body that allows for the seven counties in the Minneapolis-St. Paul MSA to make decisions with the entire region in mind. Experiencing the Twin Cities was key to the visit, as well. Each of the three days of the mission included multiple options for smaller breakout sessions that examined such topics as the creative economy, the economic impact of the upcoming Super Bowl LII, and workforce development training programs specific to the region’s construction and health care industry needs.

    In addition to learning about innovative programs and solutions in ...
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    Category: Policy
  • Big Talk from Small Businesses for National Small Business Week

    by Lindsay Chambers | May 02, 2016
    Small businesses are the foundation of Nashville’s economy and the backbone of Chamber membership. Approximately 75 percent of Chamber-member businesses have 50 or fewer employees.

    May 1-7 is National Small Business Week, so there's no better time to recognize the unique small businesses in our membership. We reached out to a few of our small business members to ask them for their best tips and advice for fellow small business owners.  

    "Be good to your customers, and they'll be good to you!"
    Amber Greer, Kernels Gourmet Popcorn

    "Live your brand! It shows that you and your team are passionate about what you do. People want to be around, support and buy from people that carry that brand passion everywhere. For me, my license plate says 'MAC MAN' and I introduce myself as 'Dan the Mac Man' regularly."
    Dan "the Mac Man" Stephenson, Dan's Gourmet Mac & Cheese

    "Invest and elevate the people around you to be the best version of themselves. Great businesses are not built around lackluster talent and individualism."
    Ryan Carter, Parachute Media

    "As most businesses know, happy employees lead to happy clients. What we sometimes forget, however, is that it takes a special person to want ...
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    Category: General
  • Three Major Employers to Create More Than 1,100 New Jobs in Middle Tennessee

    by Courtney Ross | Apr 28, 2016
    Effective work across county lines is the underpinning of the Chamber's regional economic development initiative, Partnership 2020. The leaders who formed Partnership in 1990 knew that Middle Tennessee had to compete as a region in order to succeed, because the quality-of-life resources that attract new businesses and residents - such as arts, culture and parks - are spread throughout our 10-county region.

    This week, we saw a perfect example of regionalism in action, as three major employers made significant expansion or relocation announcements in Maury, Williamson and Wilson counties. These three companies will create more than 1,100 new jobs and invest nearly $800 billion in Middle Tennessee, and will undoubtedly bring more new residents to our region.

    gm General Motors officials announced plans to invest $788.7 million and create 781 new jobs for a new high-efficiency engine program and to modernize the vehicle programs at the company's Spring Hill manufacturing plant. The announcement brings GM's total investment in the Spring Hill plant in 2016 up to more than $936 million, including an expansion announced in February. The company has announced investments of more than $2 billion for Spring Hill since 2010.
    Read the full press release.
    cke CKE ...
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  • Member Spotlight - C615

    by Lindsay Chambers | Apr 27, 2016
    Christian Paro, owner, C615

    Q: What's the best thing about doing business in Middle Tennessee?
    A: The people. I moved here from New York City 11 years ago and found it so easy to work with other businesses in the Middle Tennessee region. I felt the propensity for honesty and integrity immediately.

    Q: How do you define success?
    A: Between our members at Center 615, our clients at Studio 615, my residential tenants and my five staff members, I feel successful because I feel I’m supporting the growth and expansion of the middle class and making those around me stronger.

    Q: How has Chamber membership benefited your company?
    A: The Chamber has done what they can to increase awareness and exposure of our projects. Some parts of East Nashville are still considered by many to be a no man’s land, and the Chamber, especially the Chamber East Area Advisory Council, has helped combat that.

    Q: How would you describe your leadership style?
    A: Lead by example. I’m not afraid to do any job at my company, from unclogging a toilet to meeting with the mayor.

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    Category: General