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  • Regional Transit Remains Top Priority of Vital Signs

    by Laura Moore | Dec 11, 2014
    “Transit has to happen…[we] will be stagnant if we are immobile.”

    One of our region’s mayors shared this as his main takeaway on Oct. 7 when the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce released the 2014 Nashville Region’s Vital Signs report to the more than 40 mayors that make up the Middle Tennessee Mayors' Caucus. Vital Signs is a process for our region to take an annual snapshot of how we’re doing and identify areas in need of action. This year’s assessment highlights a number of advantages our region benefits from: the diversity of our economy, our low cost of living, the increased purchasing power of our residents, the engagement of our residents in the civic life of our communities, and the synergies that arise from the proximity of the Nashville and Clarksville MSAs.

    In addition to assets, the report highlights key threats to the continued economic vitality of our region. Ensuring adults have postsecondary education and training tied to workforce needs and improving the health of our residents were among the issues cited as in need of action and attention. But the projected impact of our declining mobility on continued economic development was the priority that captured the mayors’ attention ...
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  • Member Spotlight - City Winery

    by Lindsay Chambers | Dec 10, 2014
    Q: Tell us about City Winery and what to expect from a visit to the new venue.
    A: City Winery strives to deliver the highest-end combined culinary and cultural experience to urban wine enthusiasts. We are a unique facility located in several cities in the U.S., including New York, Chicago, Napa and Nashville. The brand combines a fully functioning winery with intimate concerts, food and wine classes, private events and fine dining. City Winery has created a compelling mix for their sophisticated clientele of foodies and active cultural patrons, bringing the wine-country experience to the heart of large cities.

    Q: What's your biggest goal for your company in the next year?
    A: We’re currently working on sourcing grapes; depending on the harvest, we’re aiming to be able to have the winery fully functioning by spring 2015. Once complete, we’ll produce more than 14 varietals in house, which will be available on tap or bottled onsite to be enjoyed at home.

    Q: What has been the best part about having a location in Middle Tennessee?
    A: The area is filled with people who have a deep appreciation for music, and live music is such a big part of what City Winery ...
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    Category: General
  • Executive Orders Highlight Need for Comprehensive Immigration Reform

    by Marc Hill | Dec 08, 2014
    It is always an honor for Nashville to host the president of the United States, and we welcome President Obama to our prosperous city and region this week. The president is expected to speak Tuesday on an issue of great importance to the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce: the need for comprehensive immigration reform. Our Chamber has been a longstanding advocate for congressional action to fix our broken immigration system, opposing efforts in the state legislature to supplant the federal responsibility, as well as helping to defeat a local “English-only” referendum in 2009. We hope the president will share how he intends to work with leaders in both parties to pass comprehensive immigration reform when the new Congress begins work in 2015.

    Nashville has a well-deserved reputation as a friendly, welcoming city — not just for visitors and tourists, but also for immigrants from around the world. As a result, Nashville's immigrant population is growing quickly. As the Tennessean noted recently, more than half of our city’s growth since 2000 has come from immigrants, and 12 percent of all our residents were born outside the U.S. This population growth is important, because the Nashville region will be facing a shortage ...
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    Category: Legislative Issues
  • Wrapping Up a Milestone Year for Economic Development

    by Courtney Ross | Dec 08, 2014

    By many measures, 2014 has been a prosperous year for Middle Tennessee. More than 100 companies announced relocations or expansions, creating 14,388 new jobs and accounting for more than 8.4 million new square feet sold or leased and more than $2 billion in capital investment.

    2014 was also a landmark year for foreign direct investment (FDI) in Middle Tennessee, with 14 foreign-owned companies representing seven countries announcing expansions or relocations in the Nashville economic market. FDI accounted for 22 percent of new jobs created; 28 percent of new square footage sold or leased; and 35 percent of new capital investment. Major foreign-owned companies, such as Korea-based Hankook Tire and Japan-based Bridgestone, announced relocations or expansions into our region.

    In June, Nashville was named one of the nation's strongest economies and best cities for job growth, and we aim to build on that success in 2015. We are working to keep our regional economy strong and vibrant with an aggressive five-year strategy that sets targets for economic indicators such as job creation and GDP growth. With three years of the five-year strategy behind us, we are at 190 percent of our goal for employment growth and 183 percent of our goal ...

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  • Gateway to Business Program Nurtures Future Business Leaders

    by Lindsay Chambers | Dec 04, 2014
    A new business-community partnership is helping Nashville's eighth-graders develop into the next generation of business leaders.

    The Nashville Area Chamber has partnered with LocalShares, Inc., Vanderbilt University Owen Graduate School of Management and Metro Nashville Public Schools' Middle Preps to launch Gateway to Business, a career-acceleration program that gives eighth-grade students an inside look at Middle Tennessee's economy and business climate.

    Any eighth-grader in Davidson County is eligible to apply for Gateway to Business. Those selected will participate in two days of in-depth educational sessions with organizations such as the Nashville Entrepreneur Center, the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation and the Nashville Predators. Upon completion of the program, students will receive $1,000 to be used for higher education.

    Interested students must apply by Dec. 18 at localshares.com/gateway.aspx, and will be notified of their acceptance in January.
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    Category: Education
  • Member Spotlight - Girlilla Marketing

    by Lindsay Chambers | Dec 04, 2014

    Q: What has been the most valuable aspect of your Chamber membership?
    A: We Girlillas are new to the Chamber, but the networking opportunities with local businesses in a myriad of industries have already proven valuable to us. Our goal in joining the Chamber was to connect with the local community on a deeper level, and we've been able to do just that. 

    Q: What's the best thing about doing business in Middle Tennessee?
    A: Nashville and the Middle Tennessee area are experiencing tremendous growth right now; it's wonderful to call such a vibrant community home. Every day you hear of new companies popping up and experiencing their own growth and successes. Being surrounded by such an entrepreneurial spirit keeps us on our toes and moving forward. Since most of our business isn't based in Nashville, it's exciting to see new potential and know the move to decide to start Girlilla Marketing here was the right strategy. 

    Q: What's your biggest goal for Girlilla Marketing in the next year?
    A: This city has been so good to us as we've grown throughout the years. Teaming up with other Nashville-based vendors and clients where we can collectively bring even more exposure ...

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    Category: General
  • A Look Back At the 2014 NEXT Awards

    by Stephanie Coleman | Nov 26, 2014
    The Nashville Area Chamber and the Nashville Entrepreneur Center created the NEXT Awards four years ago as a way to celebrate the people, companies and ideas that are fueling Middle Tennessee's economy. It's been exciting to see this event grow every year as Nashville continues to be one of the best places to live, work and start a business. 

    With the 2014 NEXT Awards just behind us on Nov. 20, we wanted to take a look back at the event through videos, photos and a podcast. Visit nextawardsnashville.com for a full list of this year's finalists and winners.








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  • Member Spotlight - Nikki Mitchell Foundation

    by Lindsay Chambers | Nov 24, 2014
    Rachel Winston, vice president, Nikki Mitchell Foundation

    Q: Tell us about Nikki Mitchell Foundation and how it formed.
    A: The Nikki Mitchell Foundation was formed by 11 board members with music industry backgrounds who were friends of our namesake, Nikki Mitchell. Nikki was Waylon Jennings' longtime friend and manager, and she died of pancreatic cancer in 2013. Upon her death, she challenged her friends in the music community to shine a light on the need for research.

    Q: What projects or events should we know about?
    A: In our inaugural year, we have raised more than $160,000 with our Full Moon Full Life benefit concerts and other events. Jamey Johnson, Shooter Jennings and Jessi Colter have been very instrumental in leading the way with these events. Keith Urban recently filmed a PSA for the Nikki Mitchell Foundation to promote November as Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month.

    Q: What is your favorite part about doing business in Middle Tennessee?
    A: We love Nashville. There is such a sense of community and teamwork here. The community has embraced the Nikki Mitchell Foundation with open arms. From the media, to artists, to researchers...it's been amazing to watch.

    Q: What is the best advice you ...

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    Category: General
  • There's a Sizzle To the 'Red-Hot Rally' Membership Event

    by Lindsay Chambers | Nov 18, 2014
    Guest post by Fred Slater, Chamber vice president of member relations and growth

    You’ll be hearing from us! For two days, Dec. 9 and 10, we're conducting a high-energy, fun and even a bit crazy membership campaign. During this two-day period, more than 100 volunteers will work against the clock and against each other to sign up new Chamber members and create a greater community awareness of the important role of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce.

    The event is organized by Jimmy Cusano with Your Chamber Connection, and his entertaining style will keep the campaign lively and exciting. Working shoulder-to-shoulder with Nashville’s business influencers, teams will engage in a competitive showdown to recruit new members.

    “It’s about business,” said Cusano. “The Chamber of Commerce is the business community. When others hear about everything the Chamber does, all of a sudden you have a great deal of enthusiasm for the Chamber and a great deal of support.”

    According to an article in TIME magazine, Nashville is the "South’s Red-Hot Town." This "Red-Hot Rally" will fire up our volunteers to reach out to their contact base with the goal of growing our regional business voice while diversifying our membership. Following this ...
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    Category: General
    Tags: membership
  • The NEXT Awards: The Past, Present and Future of Entrepreneurship in Music City

    by Stephanie Coleman | Nov 18, 2014
    Guest post by Clark Buckner, online events manager, TechnologyAdvice

    The annual NEXT Awards celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit in Music City, recognizing businesses and individuals that are leading innovation in Middle Tennessee.

    Many of this year’s finalists gathered for the NEXT Awards Finalists Celebration at the Nashville Entrepreneur Center, where I interviewed them for a podcast about the biggest trends and challenges in Nashville’s entrepreneurial growth.



    Nashville’s NEXT Awards

    The NEXT Awards ceremony is one of the largest events of the year for the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, which partners with the Entrepreneur Center (EC) in making the event come to life. Corey Davis, the Chamber’s director of business growth initiatives, says it is also one of its most meaningful. “The Chamber wants to help the Nashville business community any way we can. We want Nashville to grow, and partnering with the EC to highlight companies that are the future of Nashville is a great way to help encourage that,” he said.

    NEXT Awards are presented to companies in five industries across three categories based on their stage of growth: startup (small companies), growth (mid-sized companies) and market mover (large companies). Davis is excited about the natural progression of ...

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