Business Conditions Council Recap

The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce's Business Conditions Council met in Q3 to discuss the local economy as well as the challenges and successes local industries in the Nashville area are seeing. An economic research update was provided by the Chamber's Research Center, as well as an update on the recent Metro elections and the budget that was passed.

Among the topics discussed were the region's rapidly growing population, the demand for residential real estate, and workforce shortages showing signs of improvement.

The Business Conditions Council is composed of leaders in different industries representing the local economy in the Middle Tennessee region. The purpose of the group is to discuss the challenges and potential solutions facing the region's businesses. Below are some of the issues and insights that were shared in the discussion.

  • Attendance is up at one outdoor entertainment venue, but discounts to keep attendance levels elevated. This strategy also includes a shift toward themed entertainment, such as immersive entertainment events. Higher wages led to a fully staffed team, but the biggest challenge is that some of this new workforce will return to school and leave their jobs.
  • In the health insurance field, one company saw claims return to 2019 levels, but the cost per claim has increased. Fees are slowly increasing after several years of remaining flat, and upwards of half of their staff is now virtual, which has led to improved productivity.
  • During the pandemic, a digital media company saw advertisers cutting back. However, they've seen incredible growth, with back-to-back years of growth over 25%. Digital business is growing much quicker than broadcast, with streaming and podcasting leading the way. Podcasting is performing even better for advertising as fewer people purchase cable subscriptions.
  • For one commercial real estate firm, the debt market has become a challenge, and buyer pools have shrank. Nashville rent growth is 5% for multifamily and 7-8% for commercial properties. Rising rates continue to be a challenge.

Overall, the regional economy is continuing to show healthy indicators. Despite the uncertainty surrounding the national economy and as rising interest rates impact the real estate market, the Nashville area continues to grow its residential housing supply as demand remains largely unaffected. While finding talent continues to be a challenge for businesses, the workforce shows signs of improvement and is returning to a more balanced market.

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