I received a great deal of feedback about last week’s column where it was revealed Warren County has the second highest unemployment rate in the state behind Sevier County.
It was noted, by several folks, that Sevier County is a no-brainer for high unemployment due to its heavy reliance on tourism. With a pandemic gripping the globe, it’s natural to assume people are traveling less and isolating more.
But how is Warren County second? That seems to be the general question.
I think it’s a combination of small jobs losses adding up, coupled with major job losses at factories like Bridgestone and Yorozu.
Keep in mind, the unemployment numbers are for May. JC Penney was closed for the entire month and so was Bath & Body Works, which continues to be shut down. Those aren’t hundreds of jobs, but they add up.
When it comes to restaurants, Gondola’s dining room was closed all of May, Ming’s continues to be closed, and China Wok has just now reopened. Again, these aren’t huge job numbers, but they accumulate.
When you combine those developments with the fact hundreds of employees from Yorozu and Bridgestone likely filed for unemployment benefits for at least some part of May, it’s easy to see how Warren County's job losses have been fairly considerable.
The good news is a wide array of local companies are now hiring. This includes manufacturing jobs, fast food jobs, and even jobs at your award-winning hometown newspaper.
The bad news when it comes to getting local residents back to work is unemployment benefits, state and federal, are paying people around $20 an hour to stay at home and not work. It’s certainly a challenge to find folks to work 40 hours per week when they can earn more working zero hours per week.
With all that said, here are the top business stories of the week.
Looks to hire 50
Relief for Warren County’s high unemployment rate is in sight. Morrison Industries has announced it is now hiring and looking to add around 50 employees to its workforce.
“We saw the story in the paper and we want people to know that we are hiring,” said Morrison Industries marketing manager Brittany Youngblood. “We’re looking to hire workers who are family and community-minded. That’s our focus. We want to bring in people who are going to be with us for the long term.”
Morrison Industries had a bit of a slowdown when the major auto manufacturers shut down operations, but that slowdown is in the past.
“We’re not moving slowly at all,” said Youngblood. “It’s really full steam ahead.”
Added Keri Martin, the vice president of human resources at Morrison Industries, “We have great opportunities here and are looking to add people to our family atmosphere.”
Like so many great American businesses, Morrison Industries got its start in a basement. In this case it was the basement of the Julian family, which started a small tool and die shop in 1979.
The Wilson family purchased the company in 1994 and it has grown into a $25 million annual operation with locations in Morrison and in Novi, Michigan.
Morrison Industries specializes in manufacturing shipping containers for the automotive and agriculture industries.
To apply for a job, visit www.morrisonindustries.com or call the company’s HR department at 668-7909.
When a gas station was constructed nearly 90 years ago on the corner of Morford and Spring streets, it’s doubtful anyone envisioned the building would one day become a financial services office.
But that’s what has happened as the building last known at The Station Pure Art is now Pure Wealth Partners. Dan Sellers and C.K. Cayce-Taylor joined together to create the new business which opened June 22.
“We got the building June 1 and there were a few 100-hour weeks involved with getting it ready,” said Dan.
Added C.K., “We really wanted to embrace the history of the building and the fact it’s on the National Register of Historic Places.”
C.K. and Dan have a combined 10 years of experience when it comes to providing trusted financial advice. They can handle retirement planning, wealth management and any type of investing.
In today’s coronavirus atmosphere, there’s an added layer of anxiety with just about everything. A routine trip to the grocery store suddenly has risks we never imagined.
Investing hasn’t been able to dodge this uncertainty as the stock market has seen some wild fluctuations. But C.K. says people who invest their money in stable companies have been able to sleep a little easier.
“It hasn’t been wild swings for everyone,” she said. “We get to know our clients and know their comfort with risk.”
Dan stressed that Pure Wealth Partners endorses a long-term strategy for investing. Everyone wants to get rich quick, but nothing replaces solid investments over time, he said.
“We’re not day traders,” said Dan. “We’re more like map builders. We’re going to be in it for the long haul. There are going to be speed bumps along the way but the important thing is to make sure we’re on the right road for you. Our job is to set expectations so people know there might be fluctuations. Slow and steady is the best approach.”
Business strategy aside, Dan and C.K. have found themselves a really cool building. Located at 200 North Spring Street, it was constructed in 1932 as Spring Street Service Station.
The building layout follows a simple, rectangular plan that is divided into three distinct sections consisting of the office, the service garage, and lastly the service pump island that is shielded by a projecting canopy.
The building’s most recent use was as an art gallery called The Station Pure Art. The last art show held there was in 2004, meaning the building has been listless for some 16 years.
“Until we got this building, we had no idea about the gas station culture that exists,” said Dan.
The office looks amazing on the inside, yet there was nothing that could be done structurally since the building is on the National Register. Garage doors still remain to provide a dash of nostalgia that can be captured in few other places.
Pure Wealth Partners can be reached at 507-PURE.
Ready to clean
I enjoy straightening up around the house, but if there’s one thing I don’t like it’s heavy duty cleaning. That may be my mindset, but it’s not how Jeffery and Jessica Green are wired. They love to clean.
“Our motto is we clean everything,” said Jessica.
Added Jeffery, “We are true cleaners and I’m talking detail cleaning. We do it all and we’re good at it.”
Jeffery and Jessica have opened A Green Clean Team in Warren County after operating a similar business in Kentucky for years.
“I was born and raised here and moved back to town about a month ago,” said Jeffery. “Our work sells itself. We clean commercial buildings, do residential cleaning and do some restoration work too. We also do mold mediation and COVID mitigation.”
Jeffery explained they use a chemical called Shock Wave which is proven effective in eliminating coronavirus. The chemical is sprayed on a surface and then wiped off.
“It’s 100% effective,” said Jeffery.
If you’d like an estimate on what it will cost to have your home, office, or factory cleaned by Green Clean Team, the business can be reached at (931) 841-8439. Jeffery has nearly 25 years in the business and can clean anything that’s dirty, including carpets.
“We do our very best to satisfy our customers by doing a professional job,” said Jeffery. “This focus and commitment has proven to help us in our quest for success as a small, hometown business.”
For more information, visit greencleanteam.online.
Will there be
A new palace?
It’s been years and years since there’s been a business at the corner of Chancery and Locust streets in the building that was formerly Palace Print Shop.
If you don’t remember Palace Print Shop, that’s perfectly OK. It’s probably been 15 years since that business has been operational, maybe longer, so many folks won’t remember.
Regardless of what may have been there years ago, that corner remains prime time property on the busiest street in all McMinnville. It’s located across from the Walgreen’s which was formerly Rite-Aid if you’re still not getting a picture in your head of what I’m talking about.
The big news is Paul Moore has purchased the corner lot and has plans to clean it up. I called Paul on Friday and asked him if “clean it up” means tear the old building down and construct something new and Paul said it does not.
“I’m not getting rid of the building now,” said Paul. “I’m going to work on its general appearance. It’s a good area with a lot of traffic.”
Perhaps Paul will be able to find a great use for that corner spot, which would have to rank as one of the top available corners in town.
For those who may not have heard, Warren County is getting another Dollar General. It will be located on South Chancery Street across from Co-op.
For those keeping close track of Dollar General news, the store will be 9,100 square feet. Because city code requires one parking space for each 200 square feet of store, a Dollar General representative had to appear before the McMinnville Board of Zoning Appeals last week to ask for a variance.
Because of the size of the lot, that Dollar General will only be able to have 31 parking spaces. That still seems adequate because, while Dollar General is taking over the world, it generally doesn’t have more than four or five customers in its stores at once.
“Dollar General doesn’t generate very much traffic at one time at their stores,” said Susannah Rote, project manager with Turner and Associates Realty. “We feel that the variance request is warranted and should be approved.”
The request was approved, which paves the way for our next Dollar General at the corner of South Chancery Street and Liberty Lane. For anyone asking the question: “How many Dollar Generals can one community support?” I think Warren County is the test case.
That’s all folks
Be sure to show your patriotic pride and send me business tips at email@example.com.