After years of exploration, I’ve finally found a cause I can support with the full might of my pen.
In addition to being the month that contains the week-long celebration known as my birthday, it has come to my attention May is National Sleep Month. You can imagine my unyielding delight.
So without further ado, I’d like to say goodnight to everyone in the listening audience and say I’ll see you in June. Sweet dreams. May your days, and nights, be filled with warm covers pulled to your chin.
I’m not sure my month-long slumber would be appreciated here at the office so I will continue coming to work. But I don’t think we should minimize the significance of National Sleep Month and our chance to make a meaningful contribution to it.
Let’s face it. We endure national months devoted to 10 degrees of absurdity. We have national months for Bath Safety, Oatmeal Enjoyment, Accordion Awareness, Anti-Boredom, Romantic Stimulation, Sarcasm Appreciation, Novel Writing, and even Eat Country Ham Month in October.
I say anyone who has ever heard an accordion is fully aware of it, and no one who eats oatmeal truly enjoys it, but that might detract from those special months.
Yet we sit here, as grown adults, tolerating the silliness of these months as if National Piano Month in September is going to make a major difference in our lives. We are saturated with so many of these months, we fail to understand the significance of National Sleep Month.
Not here at Business Pulse.
In recognition of National Sleep Month, I pledge to push back the time on my alarm clock and report to work one hour later each and every day. If that’s not a fitting show of support, I vow to go home every day in May for an afternoon nap. I don’t want to let National Sleep Month come and go without at least some level of participation and I don’t think you should either.
Remember, you only live once. The last thing you want to do, when lying on your death bed, is to think, “Gee, I didn’t get enough sleep.”
What a week for announcements!
All the folks paying attention to the Middle Tennessee economy were probably as happy as a wedding cake after the wave of glowing announcements last week by the state.
On Tuesday, General Mills announced it would invest $250 million to increase capacity at its Murfreesboro plant in a move expected to create 117 new jobs. General Mills is one of the world’s leading food companies, operating in more than 100 countries around the world.
General Mills brands include Cheerios, Fiber One, Häagen-Dazs, Nature Valley, Yoplait, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, and Green Giant. The company is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn.
On Wednesday, automotive company Topre America announced it will invest $53 million to build a new manufacturing facility next to the Nissan plant in Smyrna. The expansion is projected to create 100 new jobs. Topre America provides automotive stamping and assemblies for Nissan, Honda and Toyota.
On Thursday, KHS America announced it will broaden its operations in Wilson County with a $3.7 million expansion at its facility in Mt. Juliet. It’s projected to create 67 new jobs.
KHS America manufactures and distributes a variety of musical instruments for middle school bands to professional musicians. This includes wind instruments, drums, flutes, stands, and more.
All told that’s $306 million in investments and 284 new jobs in three days. That’s a pretty good haul.
What all this means for us
At last month’s Industrial Development Board meeting, industrial recruiter Don Alexander talked about how business interest in Warren County has intensified this spring. Don said requests for information, or RFIs as they’re called, have been pouring into the IDB office. An RFI is typically the first step a company takes in touching base with a community to gather basic information.
“The Nissan plant in Smyrna is really putting pressure on its suppliers to locate within a rock’s throw of their plant and that’s going to catch up to them,” said Don. “There’s only so much their labor pool can handle and there’s only so much their infrastructure can handle with roads and schools. When they get past that first tier, we’re in that second-tier area and they’re going to be looking at us.”
Don said Warren County has much going for it, including the momentum of landing Miniature Precision Components, DN Plastics and Sansin.
“This area as a whole is really starting to gain interest,” said Don. “It’s a great community with a vibrant economy. Our main industrial park is located on a nice four-lane just a few miles from the interstate and it has rail access. We’re also halfway between Nissan and Volkswagen and we’ve become very attractive as an automotive area.”
The Nissan plant in Rutherford County and the growth of MTSU have completely transformed that area. I remember thinking of Murfreesboro as somewhat of a sleepy, little town in the early 1990s. Now my image of Murfreesboro involves traffic headaches and a certain finger of my hand.
Porter starts new business
John Mark Porter got his start in the roofing business while still in high school working for his dad at Porter Roofing. Years later, he’s still climbing on rooftops, but he’s expanded the scope of his work to include remodeling and he’s opened his own business called Porter Residential Inc.
“I was brought up in the roofing business,” said John Mark. “I started working summers, then came to work full-time straight out of high school. I guess my specialty will always be roofing, residential or commercial, but I don’t want to limit myself to one trade. I learned how to do everything else along the way so I’m offering everything from roofing to remodeling.”
John Mark said he’s been doing remodeling work on the side for around five years, but decided to make it official and get his business license in March. He’s currently in the midst of a number of jobs, including doing work to the stately Arter home on Viola Road.
“I’ve been doing good work and I want to build my business through word of mouth,” said John Mark while standing on the roof of the Arter home. “They will tell their friends I did a good job for them and maybe that will lead to more customers.”
John Mark says he will do any type of interior or exterior work. Free estimates are available. He says he’s committed to providing quality work.
“If they’re not satisfied, I won’t leave,” said John Mark. “I will do the work right.”
Now that everyone is starting to thaw out from winter and tax returns are in pocket, there are more calls for remodeling work. John Mark says spring and summer are definitely the busiest times for any type of construction work. If you’d like to contact him about a job, his number is (931) 619-7593.
Squeeze till the juice runs dry
It was with great fanfare Juicy’s opened on Main Street on Halloween day in 2013. You could say the grand opening was a spook-tacular success.
The warm and fuzzy feelings lasted about 18 months at Juicy’s until the business began to experience technical difficulties. I won’t go into specifics, but the camaraderie at Juicy’s began to deteriorate, sort of like what happened to the band Air Supply.
Fortunately, Air Supply was able to reconcile its creative differences and still rocks on today. Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen at Juicy’s as owner Shannon Adcock says what’s left of the business will be sold this Friday, May 8, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Juicy’s has been closed for the past two months in an attempt to mend fences, repair hurt feelings, and apply any other sort of topical ointment that might serve as a cure for its woes. Ah, to no avail. Shannon thought she had several buyers for the business, but those potential buyers didn't want to jump. They just sat there and melted like ice cream.
“I’ve had all these people who say they want to buy it and then at the last minute they back out,” said Shannon of the Main Street business. “So I’m going to have a big sale this Friday and I hope everything sells. The more that sells the less I have to move.”
Shannon said the sale will include nice tables, pots, pans, stainless steel prep tables, a sandwich cooler and some juicers. If you’re in the market for some of this stuff, stop by Juicy’s. After the equipment sells, Shannon says she will devote more time to her real estate interests and her daughter.
“I’m pretty much glued to her hip,” she said of daughter Ila, who was recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. “I have to stay close to her for the time being.”
River Park expands services
Realizing a need exists in this community for more specialized dementia care, River Park Hospital has opened Serenity Behavioral Health. The hospital held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday and began accepting patients for the first time Friday.
Serenity Behavioral Health is a 10-bed, secure unit that works with patients on a temporary basis. In-patient stays are intended to be 10 to 14 days.
“We realized this was a huge service need for this area,” said Serenity director Mandy Gay. “Patients would come to our ER and we’d have to send them to other areas. Now they can be admitted right here.”
Mandy said it’s not a long-term facility and the emphasis will be on crisis stabilization. She said Serenity will help patients dealing with Alzheimer’s, dementia, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, suicidal tendencies and more.
“As our population ages, there will be more of a need for this,” said Mandy. “We could see a patient whose dementia has progressed to the point where it’s too bad to stay at home. We can adjust medication and help with coping skills to determine what the next step will be.”
Mandy specializes in this type of care. She comes to River Park from Trust Point Hospital in Murfreesboro and was brought here specifically for getting the new psych unit operational. Patients will be under the care of a board-certified psychiatrist.
Serenity offers assistance to adults 55 and older who are experiencing changes in behavior and cognitive functioning. Patients are admitted 24 hours a day. The unit is on the third floor of the hospital and is a secure facility where patients can’t roam in and out.
For more information, contact Serenity Behavioral Services at 815-4470.
That’s all folks
That’s all the new business news I could muster for today’s edition. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I would like to take a nap. Phone in business tips at 473-2191 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.