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Business Pulse: 5/26/13
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With so many high school and college students receiving diplomas in May, it’s easy to get caught up in the graduation spirit. It’s no different here at the Standard.
I know I’ve been following graduation ceremonies throughout the country and was pleased to see even President Obama has made appearances as a keynote speaker.
In an address just the other day, Obama talked about the challenges Americans face growing up, and especially the struggles he faced as a black teen.
Obama told the graduation audience that as a black male, he could have likely ended up unemployed – or even in prison. In a quick response to the president’s speech, I understand the Republican Party issued a statement saying it’s working on both.
As a proud high school and college graduate, I can say the worst feeling in the world is the one that follows college graduation. After four years of being groomed to accomplish your goals and fulfill your dreams, it’s awfully hard to get that slap of reality and realize you have to move back into your parents’ basement.
I’ve always said a college diploma is little more than an expensive receipt to hang on your wall and that seems especially true in the months immediately following graduation. That’s when you can’t find a job in your field, your self-esteem takes a shot to the heart, and you have to resort to waiting tables.
Just remember graduates, when one door closes, another opens. You haven’t reached the end, but discovered a new beginning. And sometimes that new beginning means asking the customer if he wants to supersize that extra value meal.

An update on
industrial prospects


The Industrial Development Board’s monthly meeting was held Thursday afternoon, providing me with a wealth of information.
Director of economic development George Burke provided an update on industrial prospects with Project Shine apparently on the verge of making a huge announcement. I’ve heard since the beginning of the year Project Shine was going to locate in Warren County so it looks like we’re playing a waiting game at this point.
The state is setting the timeline on this announcement so I will report more when the information becomes available. This looks like a big win for Warren County in the constant fight for manufacturing jobs.
Speaking of big wins, Miniature Precision Components at Mt. View Industrial Park continues to talk about more growth. This comes as MPC is already in the midst of a 50,000-square-foot expansion.
“I was at MPC last week and several managers approached me and said we are looking to go above and beyond what we’re doing now,” said Burke. “MPC is a top-notch, innovative company that realizes it’s poised in an excellent location to handle the emerging southern automotive industry.”
In other news, Burke informed the board that Project Green Speed and Project Cherry are two prospects which expressed interest in Warren County last month.
Both prospects are in the early stages of gathering information about our community.
Burke also talked about Project Pace, which just materialized last week. Burke said this company is looking at a greenfield site, which is undeveloped land that doesn’t have a building on it.
“I’m sure there are a number of communities submitting sites,” said Burke on Project Pace. “If this materializes, it could be a really good project for McMinnville and Warren County. Where we stand is anybody’s guess, but I think we have a lot of amenities to offer.”
In his report, Burke talked about showing the old Carrier building and Spec Building 3 to a prospect on Thursday morning.
“It’s hard for old construction to compete with new construction,” said Burke, who said the old Carrier building remains in solid shape for a facility built in the late 1950s.
There is a 105,000-square-foot area available at Carrier. Spec Building 3 has 50,000 square feet and is projected to be finished in July.

Odds and ends
from IDB meeting


I could write most of this column from information at Thursday’s Industrial Development Board meeting, but that might be a little too much. So I will space out that information over the coming weeks except for these two tidbits.
IDB chairman Joe Pugh encouraged members of the Personnel Committee to stay focused on their search for a permanent director of economic development. Burke is handling the job on an interim basis.
“Don’t fall asleep on finding a new recruiter,” said Joe. “We only have George for six months and that’s if we’re lucky.”
In taking the job on an interim basis, Burke suspended his law practice in Spencer and agreed to work at least three months and said that could possibly be extended to as long as six months.
Burke also said he was involved in a traffic accident while driving the IDB vehicle to an official meeting in Nashville. He was rear-ended with the other driver deemed at fault. Burke asked the IDB to consider an upgrade for its next vehicle.
“When you drive an old car around, that gives an impression and that’s part of the way your community is perceived,” said George. “I say it’s time for a newer vehicle.”
Burke suggested on waiting to find out how much the IDB would receive from the insurance company before making a decision.

Land sought for
state cemetery

Remember when the city was actively looking for a new home for McMinnville Police Department? Everyone in town with a vacant building tried to get the city to buy their property.
I have a feeling the same thing may happen with this next announcement I’m about to make. The state is currently seeking at least 60 acres of land for a state veterans cemetery to be located in the 14-county Upper Cumberland area. Local resident Angie Higgins has been named as Warren County’s representative on the site selection committee.
“These veterans cemeteries are very well maintained and would result in about 12 full-time positions,” said Angie. “All counties in the Upper Cumberland region are on equal footing right now. We’ve got a chance. I’m trying to find some land and it has to be a minimum of 60 acres.”
Angie said Warren County could be at somewhat of a disadvantage because we’re not centrally located in the Upper Cumberland region and we don’t have as high a concentration of veterans as other areas. However, she said those factors could be offset if we have a quality site at the right price.
If you have land for consideration, you can contact Angie at 212-8982. If you want more information about existing Tennessee veterans cemeteries, visit www.tn.gov/veteran.

New daycare
on the way


Daycare veterans Kristi Cantrell and Amanda Hillis are in the process of opening Bright Beginnings Daycare in the Centertown area. It’s located in the old Methodist church building on Nashville Highway across the street from Kat’s Diner.
“I had been working at The Learning House for awhile and really saw a need for a daycare in Centertown,” said Kristi. “Almost all of the daycares in Warren County are in the McMinnville area. There’s really not much out this way so this will be extremely convenient if you live or work in Centertown.”
Kristi says she and Amanda have both taken childhood development classes and have experience when it comes to childcare. Bright Beginnings will accept children from 12 months to 4 years. Hours will be 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. with Monday, June 3 the targeted opening date.
The daycare can have up to 12 children. Enrollment is currently under way.
In addition to full-time students, the daycare is offering two other programs. One is called mother’s morning out where a child can come in for three hours a day, twice a week. The other is called parents day out where a child can come in for six hours a day, twice a week.
To reserve your spot or to stop by to check out the facility, Bright Beginnings Daycare can be reached at 939-5500. Kristi’s cellphone number is 273-0890 and Amanda’s is 808-5797.

Beersheba Market
ready to serve


If you’re hungry at just about any time of the day or night, Beersheba Market has opened in Mt. Leo. The store starts serving at 4:30 a.m. six days a week and at 6 a.m. on Sunday.
“The food goes fast,” said employee Kim Campbell while making a taco salad.
The market has been completely redone beginning with a concrete parking lot and including just about everything inside. There are new coolers, new kitchen equipment, new hot boxes, even a new tile floor. As of Friday, the market had been open 20 days.
Employee Rhonda Cummings says the store is quickly developing a following when it comes to food.
“For breakfast, we can fix anything you want,” said Rhonda. “We have biscuits and gravy and other things ready but we can cook anything you want.”
Chicken tenders, potato wedges, catfish and chicken kabobs are some of the popular items for lunch, but there is a wide menu selection.
“We sell a 12-inch, one-topping pizza for 1 cent cheaper than Little Caesars,” said Rhonda. “It’s just $4.99. And I was reading in the business section a few weeks ago about someone wanting to put in a Quiznos across the street. Well, we have all kinds of deli sandwiches. We can make anything you want. And if you want it and we don’t have it, we’ll get it. We’ve just added tuna salad because we had a customer who asked for it.”
Kim says it hasn’t taken long to figure out what sells best. She says Sundrop, chicken tenders and beer are the most popular items in the store. Owner Perry Patel says his new coolers provide the coldest beer in town and he is willing to carry local products such as Barron’s Creek Beef Jerky which is made in Rock Island.
Perry says he is already thinking about expanding so he can have more gas pumps available. He said this would be contingent on being able to obtain land next to him at a reasonable price.
A grand opening celebration will be held next Monday, June 3. Perry says the store will offer 99-cent sausage biscuits, 50-cent canned Sundrops, and $3.99 one-topping pizzas on that day only.
To call in food orders, the phone number is 507-3500.

Entertainment guide
to debut June 5


I spend so much time promoting other businesses, I often neglect the great things we’re doing right here at the Southern Standard.
In an effort to make your hometown newspaper even better, the Standard is introducing a new section to our newspaper that will be published the first and third Wednesday of each month. It will also appear as a special section on the same dates in our sister newspaper, the Smithville Review. It will be called Southern Guide.
The section will be packed with upcoming local and regional events and entertainment activities. The first edition on June 5 will provide heavy coverage on Bonnaroo in Manchester and the CMA Music Festival in Nashville.
Seasoned newspaper reporter, editor and page designer Kevin Halpern has been named editor of Southern Guide. He is understandably excited about this opportunity.
“We want to give readers something they can use to plan their entertainment activities,” said Kevin. “We also want to promote and showcase attractions in the Middle Tennessee and the Upper Cumberland regions.”
Since local residents often travel outside this community to find family entertainment, The Southern Guide will focus on events in Warren, DeKalb, Cannon, Coffee, Wilson, White, Van Buren and Grundy counties. It will also feature major shows and festivities taking place in Rutherford and Davidson counties.
“With a circulation of over 12,000 in the two newspapers, Southern Guide will reach a tremendous number of readers each month,” Halpern said.
Halpern encourages people who want to list an upcoming event in Southern Guide to send the information to southernguide@inbox.com.
Businesses wishing to advertise can email that address or call 615-278-0091.
On a personal note, I can say we at the Standard are always striving to find ways to improve and diversify our coverage. Our website – www.southernstandard.com – has been one way for us to report on major stories in a more real-time fashion. We are also utilizing Facebook and Twitter.
This new section is a great way to bolster our print edition with helpful entertainment information. I believe it will be a valuable addition.

That’s all folks

Keep those business tips coming by calling 473-2191.