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Business Pulse: 1-11-15
McKay new
The renovated McCay Wealth Management building on S. Chancery Street looks great and replaces what had been an unsightly garage.

Warren County is known for its many dog lovers. This can be good and bad.
It's bad because people care more about dogs than they do about people. Parents are allowed to go entire weekends without feeding their children and nothing ever happens. Yet if those same parents were to ever consider not feeding their dogs for a weekend, they would be prosecuted.
This is good because, well, I don't know exactly why this is good, but there must be some reason.
Anyway, there's a lady in St. Petersburg, Fla., who has just about any local resident beat in terms of her compasion for animals. It's 29-year-old Florine Brown, who was found living with an estimated 300 rats at her residence.
Brown admitted the rat droppings and the smell were bothersome, but she was reluctant to call for help because she didn't want the rats to be killed.
"I just want them to go to good homes," she was quoted as saying.
Brown finally agreed to allow the city to begin removal, but only on the condition the rats go to a type of "shelter" and not be killed. I admire her compassion.
Since we're on the topic of animals and kids, here's a neat service offered by the Okeechobee County Sheriff's Department in Florida.
According to deputy Noel Stephen, his office provides supervision for parents who want to spank their children, but who want to make sure they don't go too far. Gee, where was this service when I was growing up?
Deputy Stephen said he didn't want to heavily advertise the service, but estimates he has monitored about a dozen spankings thus far.
If government is doing it, this might not be a bad business venture for the private sector -- a spanking monitor service. Just think of the flexible hours and you could be your own boss.

State to lose 1,900 jobs

Jobs are always at the top of everyone’s agenda so I thought I would mention a devastating story coming from Fayetteville. It was just announced Goodman Manufacturing plants in Fayetteville and Dayton will be closing and losing a combined 1,900 jobs over the next three years.
The jobs will be moving to a Goodman plant in Texas. According to the company, the Goodman facilities in Texas and Tennessee are operating at full capacity and more space is needed for growth. The decision was made to consolidate into one facility in Texas.
"We did due diligence on different locations in Texas and outside of Texas, but at the end of the day the most favorable solution for our customers and for the company was Texas,” said Goodman spokesman Rex Anderson.
Goodman has about 1,200 workers in Fayetteville, making it the town’s largest employer. A smaller factory in Dayton employs about 700 workers. For those familiar with the situation, this will be a Carrier-type fiasco for Fayetteville and Lincoln County.
While the news release didn’t touch on this, I understand Goodman had been working for years to acquire more land in Fayetteville and expand its facility there. However, the plant is located next to the fairgrounds and government leaders were not receptive to selling the fairgrounds for more manufacturing jobs.
This shows more than anything the importance of taking care of existing industry and protecting jobs that are already in your community. This is only wild speculation, but perhaps if the local government had been more willing to sell its land and move the fairgrounds, Goodman wouldn’t be announcing plans to leave Tennessee.

McKay opens local office

Friday was the first day of business for Brent McCay at the new office of McCay Wealth Advisory on S. Chancery Street. He has been a financial advisor for eight years and also has an office in Manchester. He plans to split his time between both locations.
I often talk about businesses making an investment in McMinnville and Brent has certainly done that. He has taken what was a rundown garage and turned it into a sparkling office.
When I first saw a sign on the garage saying it would be the future home of McCay Wealth Advisory, I just shook my head and thought, “Who would move a financial office into a garage?” I was wrong about that one. The completely remodeled building looks spectacular.
“We really liked the location and thought it was a nice stand-alone building,” said Brent. “We could see a picture of what this could look like.”
Brent is now taking appointments as a fee-based financial advisor. What that means is he doesn’t charge a commission for his services and mainly earns money as his clients earn money.
“Everyone wants the most for their money with the least amount of risk,” said Brent. “I use a computer program that monitors investments on a daily basis because I can’t look at every account every single day. This makes sure everything stays in line.”
Brent says he’s not concerned about having 1,000 customers, but having a lower volume of customers so he always has time for individual attention. He’s been holding coffee club sessions at the local Chamber of Commerce since May 2012 where people can come and ask any investment-related questions they may have.
As for his personal life, Brent is from Warren County, the son of Ray and Linda McKay. His wife, the former Katie Casey, is from Viola. They have a newborn son, John, who is 11 days old today. Their daughter, Alyssa, is 18 months old.
If you would like to talk to Brent about organizing your finances and making the most of your money for the future, his McMinnville office number is 474-2130.

Wanted: Your Gold

If you have gold, silver, or other precious metals to sell, you’re in luck. Main Street Jewelry Exchange has opened next to the old Fraley’s building and is happy to provide free estimates.
“Broken earrings, broken jewelry, you can smash it with a hammer and we’ll still buy it,” said Keith Pool, who owns the business with Brad Kaplan. “As far as I know, I’m the only gold buyer in town except for pawn shops. I know the gold buying business has a reputation for price gouging, but I work hard to give you top dollar and I always pay cash.”
Main Street Jewelry Exchange sells jewelry on consignment and also does a lot of trading. Keith says he holds any jewelry he buys for 20 days as required by law and then usually melts it down after that.
“If you’re not sure about what you have, bring it in and I’ll be happy to give you a free estimate,” said Keith. “My advice to anyone selling gold is to do their research. Everyone wants you to give them the best price when they’re sell-ing.”
Another neat aspect of the business which Keith hopes to develop in the next month or so is an antique mall behind the jewelry store. The building has 3,550 square feet so he’s looking to establish 10 booths that are 10x10 and rent them out.
“A lot of people have expressed interest in a booth at the antique mall so we’ll have to see how it goes,” said Keith.
As for his business partner, local residents may remember Brad Kaplan from his Main Street business Capalano’s. Brad was one of the first people to buy into Main Street revitalization after the city spent $5.1 million to revamp the downtown area and his coffee shop/ night spot was a big hit.
Main Street Jewelry Exchange is open Monday thru Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Keith says he is available after hours if someone would like to set up an appointment by calling 931-743-6760.

More cave to explore

Folks are always talking about the value of tourism and what it can mean for a local economy. As one of the biggest tourist attractions for this area, Cumberland Caverns is looking to grow and has started a new tour called Glittering Pass. It’s a 1.5 to 2-hour adventure that gives visitors a new look at the cave.
“This is something different we have never offered to the public before,” said Cumberland Caverns manager Robbie Black. “It’s a new passageway that offers a unique experience. It involves crawling, stoop walking, and a couple tight squeezes.”
This new adventure takes visitors through a passageway filled with gypsum, which is a mineral that comes from calcium deposits in the rocks. The tour is open to anyone 10 years old and up. It can also be part of an overnight experience at the cave.
About a year ago, there were talks of offering more types of entertainment at Cumberland Caverns, such as ziplining. Robbie says ziplining is still very much a consideration, even setting up ziplining inside the cave. Also under consideration are different events on the property, such as a fall craft show.
For more information about the new Cumberland Caverns tour, or about the cave in general, call 668-4396.

No fire at Kenzeroni’s

Kenzeroni’s Pizza owner Jeff Acre called me last week to say the rumor there has been a fire at his Plaza Shopping Center restaurant is not true and he’s never been closed for business.
According to Jeff, it was around dinner time on New Year’s Eve when police cars and firetrucks descended on his area of the shopping center checking for a gas leak. He says a large area was roped off and emergency personnel spent several hours looking for this supposed gas leak.
“I don’t know who called it in,” said Jeff. “We never smelled any gas and none of them detected any gas when they were checking it out, but with all those firetrucks out there for so long, people think we had a fire. We’ve had a number of people come in and ask if we’re back open after the fire.”
Jeff said there was never a fire – or a gas leak for that matter – and Kenzeroni’s remains open for all your pizza, salad, sub, and wing needs.

Phoebe’s is closing

It was nearly a year ago I told you about the opening of Phoebe’s Boutique on Court Square. When I stopped by Friday, I was informed by one of the owners the shop will be closing around the end of February.
Instead of the store in McMinnville, the focus is going to be selling merchandise at a booth at Ventress Antiques near Chattanooga.
“This was a good business but we had this other opportunity we are going to explore,” said Nikki Moore, who owns Phoebe’s with her sister and mother. “We could open back in McMinnville, but it would be at another location. With the parking situation and with court, I don’t think this is the best spot.”
Phoebe’s is located right next to the courthouse where parking spaces are coveted. Nikki says to stop by to see what they have on sale before the store closes.

C&K Donut on vacation

Warren County has been on donut withdrawal with the temporary closing of C&K Donut. But don’t worry donut lovers, because C&K is nearing its reopening date which will be this Friday. If you can hold off until that date, more donuts will be coming.

That’s all folks

I have provided all the business news I know at this time. If I’ve overlooked your big business story, give me a call at 473-2191.