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INSIDE: ADT Expands pg. 49 + Monthly Economic Indicators pg. 50


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640 Nissan celebrated the grand opening of its new showroom in October. Pictured from left to right are: Jana Davison, Knoxville Chamber Ambassador; Allison Roop, Knoxville Chamber Ambassador; Alex Kleto, Knoxville Chamber Ambassador; Angela Williams, 640 Nissan; Brett Williams, 640 Nissan general manager; Erik Ainge, Tennessee Sports Radio (Former University of Tennessee and New York Jets quarterback); Bob Giles, 640 Nissan owner; Drew Starke, Nissan North America; Alice Eads, Knoxville Chamber Ambassador; Brent Christian, Knoxville Chamber Ambassador.


Top Achievers are recognized for their countless volunteer hours and dedication to the Ambassador Program’s mission of serving as an active volunteer extension of the Knoxville Chamber to cultivate, promote, and maintain positive relationships between the Knoxville Chamber, its members, and the community. APRIL STOUFFER AMERICAN RED CROSS, KNOXVILLE AREA CHAPTER



CHAMBER STAFF Doug Lawyer @knoxoakridgeIV Jennifer Evans @knoxevans Kyle Touchstone @knoxecondevguy Mark Field @field101 Michelle Kiely @mkiely1


NEW MEMBERS / NEW PREMIER PARTNERS BRONZE Hiller Plumbing, Heating & Cooling (865) 602-7707 Construction & Contractors: Mechanical Contractors Aesthetic Plastic Surgery Associates P.A. (865) 588-1662 Healthcare Providers & Services: Plastic Surgery barre3 (865) 474-9019 Personal Services: Fitness & Well-being Century Pool Supply Company, Inc. (865) 546-7288 Construction & Contractors: Swimming Pools

CEW Advertising (865) 558-0064 Business & Professional Services: Promotional Products

Half Full Media, LLC (678) 310-4281 Business & Professional Services: Advertising Agencies

D. Wallace Designs (865) 773-7516 Shopping: Jewelry

National College of Business & Technology (865) 539-2011 Education & Training: Colleges

East Tennessee Eye Surgeons, P.C. Dawson M.D. & Gallaher M.D. (865) 546-1464 Healthcare Providers & Services: Opthalmologists FL Summit Hill, LLC (865) 546-7020 Real Estate Gillespie Import Service (865) 694-0500 Automotive Sales, Parts, & Service: Repair & Service

Neighborhood Barre (865) 692-1148 Personal Services: Fitness & Well-being Newk’s Eatery (865) 692-5301 Restaurants - Eating & Drinking Places Ratliff Law Firm (865) 932-3441 Legal Services

Ron Ryan & Associates, LLC (888) 398-1624 Business & Professional Services: Business Advisors & Consultants Smoky Mountain Brewery Maryville (865) 238-1900 Restaurants - Eating & Drinking Places Special Touch Disaster Restoration (865) 966-9913 Residential Services Sunrooms Express (865) 531-2484 Construction & Contractors: Specialty Services Tiffany Dorn & Associates (865) 456-1037 Real Estate: Residential

















Total Networking Team (865) 321-8885 Business & Professional Services: Associations & Organizations Traditional Health Clinic (865) 588-1125 Healthcare Providers & Services Tula Boutique (865) 671-7677 Shopping: Women’s Clothing V&V Land Management and Resource Recovery, LLC (828) 777-6637 Building & Grounds Maintenance:Landscaping

DON’T OVERLOOK THIS VALUABLE CHAMBER BENEFIT! Google. What started out in 1996 as a research project for two Stanford doctoral students has now become one of the most powerful tools in consumer marketing. It is estimated that 97 percent of all consumers research local products and services online prior to buying1 and with an estimated 4.7 billion2 searches conducted on Google each day, it is a fairly safe assumption that Google is a major influence on consumer behavior. What does all this mean? It means it is increasingly more important for consumers to find your business online and the majority of them will find you through search engines like Google, Bing, or Yahoo. The Chamber recognized this trend several years ago and worked hard to implement an online membership directory that is search engine optimized. was launched in November 2010 and over the last two years traffic has steadily and significantly increased. During the 2011-2012 fiscal year, over 160,000 member pages were viewed on the website, and over 46 percent of the traffic to is now coming from search engines. The website utilizes directory platform software owned by 360 Directories which supports sites in over 50 cities across the U.S., Candada, and Ireland. In most of those markets, like Wichita’s, businesses are paying over $1,000 a year for exposure on the online directory. The great thing about iKnowKnoxville. com is Chamber members automatically get exposure on the site by virtue of their membership. “Our members expect to see a return on their investment when they join the Chamber,” commented Mark Field, senior vice president of membership for the Chamber. “ provides members a benefit for which other businesses in other markets pay upwards of $1,000. Our members receive exposure on the directory for as little as $350 and it provides a year-long marketing platform for them. This is a benefit that provides an immediate and tangible ROI,” he continued.

AN ADDITIONAL ONLINE STOREFRONT The Chamber is not looking to divert traffic from its members’ websites with, but rather enhance their online presence. The site provides businesses with an additional virtual storefront or an additional way to find them on the internet. Members at the Associate II or higher membership tiers receive a link from their promo page to their website. To further enhance search engine optimization, members can also link their websites to utilizing the “badge” feature. “Google’s algorithms change on a regular basis, but we know a site’s search engine optimization is enhanced by the number of legitimate links coming to the site as well as leaving from the site,” said Lori Fuller, the Chamber’s vice president of marketing and events. “By linking to and from, our members are increasing their chances of being found amidst all the clutter on the internet,” she commented. Additionally, most members have the opportunity to link their business’s social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest with their promo page to create cohesive digital marketing message. By linking their iKnowKnoxville promotional page to their social media feeds, they have the ability to announce coupons, promotions, events, and even job postings they have running on

THE VALUE PROPOSITION Often when something is offered for free, people do not see the value in it. So when the Chamber promotes that members have the opportunity to post coupons, promotions, events, and jobs on for free, the message sometimes gets lost. However, this is not a benefit that members should overlook.

See “iKnowKnoxville” on pg. 46

K N O X V I L L E C H A M B E R | 45


iKnowKnoxville continued from pg. 45

All Chamber members have the ability to post events on the iKnowKnoxville. com community calendar. This is a great way to get the word out about an open house, an educational event, or a charity event with which your business might be involved. The calendar is robust and allows visitors to sort events by type and date. Members at the Associate II level of membership or higher, have the ability to link an event directly to their promotional page in addition to it showing up on the community calendar. To submit an event to the community calendar, all members need to do is visit and click the link to fill out the online form. Most members have the ability to post jobs on the job board. This feature was just launched in August and is already averaging over 2,500 page views each month. Once again, this feature is exclusive to Chamber members and is free! Couponing has become an important driver in consumer behavior and it can get expensive for businesses. Not only does it require shaving your profit margin on a given product or service, it usually also requires paying a fee to have the coupon conveyed to the consumer in some form or fashion. Not on Most Chamber members receive the ability to post a minimum of one coupon or one promotion per year on, and members at the Silver, Gold, Platinum and Titanium Premier Partner levels have the ability to post up to ten coupons each year – all for free. It is easy for members to take advantage of the job board and the coupon/ promotion feature. Just fill out and submit the respective online forms found at

The menu of features available to members on is lengthly and varies based on membership level. All members receive exposure on the site, but members receive access to additional features at the higher membership tiers. The Chamber also offers members the ability to purchase upgrades, or “Add-On Bundles” to enhance their exposure on the directory. A few of the most popular enhanced features include the ability to embed videos, such as commercials or promotional pieces; create slideshows of photographs representing a business’s products or services; add virtual tours of the business utilizing Googles 360 tours offered by Knox 360; add multiple links to various websites or web pages offering additional information about products and services; and have “toolbox” access which allows members to update and change the look of their promotional page as often as they want. Members at the Associate II or higher membership tiers should, at minimum, make sure they are taking advantage of adding their company logo and a 50-word “about us” to their promotional page. Members at the Silver and above Premier Partner levels should contact the Chamber about activating their “toolbox” access and start taking full advantage of all the features available to them. To learn more about taking advantage of the marketing opportunity iKnowKnoxville. com provides your business, contact the Chamber at (865) 637-4550. According to a 2010 BIA/Kelsey Report



According to

CEO Circle Provides Opportunity for Support, Peer Learning The responsibility of being a company’s primary decision maker can be daunting, and C-level executives are often required to single-handedly tackle any challenges that arise. The Chamber’s CEO Circle, presented by Capital Financial, is designed to provide support for these executives. Based on the Edward Lowe Foundation’s principles of peer-learning, the group provides members a confidential environment to voice struggles and gain knowledge from colleagues who face similar issues. “Being the CEO of a woman-owned business, I have found the CEO Circle incredibly beneficial,” said Tracy Loope McGowan, President and CEO of Tri-State Building Service, LLC and Xpress Paper & Chemical, LLC. “The opportunity to interact with and draw from the experiences of individuals who have a similar skill-set and leadership responsibilities has been invaluable.” Focused on sharing experiences instead of giving advice, the group employs the expertise of Kevin Kragenbrink, President and Head Coach of Estrada Strategies, to facilitate meaningful discussion.

“The principle is that you’re there to share real world, practical experience not give advice,” said Kragenbrink. “Everyone has an opinion on how they think a business owner should proceed, but when a peer can say ‘here is what happened to me’ it adds real value to the conversation.” McGowan agrees pointing to her peers’ practical knowledge of the hiring process as an influential factor in her own decision making. “One of the greatest values I’ve gained so far is insight into the hiring process,” she said. “Almost everyone in the group had been through the process, and after hearing about the different avenues each used, I was able to take their experiences and make a more informed decision.” It is Kragenbrink’s hope that stories like McGowan’s will encourage other local business owners to take advantage of the group. “My vision for this group is that they are the foundation for business owners in Knoxville to begin developing strong relationships with their peers,” he said. “I see this as the first of many similar groups in the area, and the resources available through the Knoxville Chamber make them a great lead organization to facilitate something that really has an impact for business owners.” CEO Circle is open to leaders of second-stage businesses, companies that have moved beyond the start-up phase and are focused on steady, sustainable growth, and have reached one million dollars in revenue. For information on joining, contact Lauren Johnson at (865) 246-2610.

K N O X V I L L E C H A M B E R | 46

CSL Plasma Announces Major Knox County Expansion CSL Plasma recently announced plans for a major infrastructure expansion and the addition of several dozen employees at its West Knox County plasma testing facility. Life Science Tennessee joined Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett, State Senator Becky Duncan Massey, State Senator Stacey Campfield, State Representative Steve Hall, State Representative Bill Dunn, and Knoxville Chamber staff to congratulate CSL on its growth at its laboratory in Corridor Park. The 37,000 square-foot expansion, scheduled for completion in 2014, will more than double the size of the facility, which processes more than a million blood tests each week “Knoxville is a great place to work and the Knoxville Chamber is thrilled to see this expansion in the very well-paying medical technology arena, which is a target sector for Innovation Valley recruitment efforts,” said Doug Lawyer, vice president of economic development at the Knoxville Chamber. “I’m thrilled to be a part of this expansion announcement,” said Burchett. “Knoxville is a great place to live, raise a family, and certainly a great place for high-skilled jobs, and we look forward to bringing more here.” The expansion will require CSL to increase staff, anticipating a need for 30-50 licensed medical laboratory personnel over the next five years. A two-year associate degree is the minimum requirement to obtain a medical laboratory technician license. “Working with Life Science Tennessee and our regional leadership, we anticipate that we’ll be able to recruit staff here as well as get more people trained in this field locally. CSL is a great company and Knoxville is a great place to live. I feel we all are up for the challenge,” said Connie Farrar, CSL Director of U.S. Laboratory Operations.

Front row: Sonya Williams, CSL; Rep. Bill Dunn, Rep. Roger Kane; Connie Farrar, CSL; Senator Stacey Campfield; Rep. Steve Hall; Justin Cazana, Cornerstone Commercial Real Estate; Mike Laman, Roane State. Second row: Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett; Doug Lawyer, Knoxville Chamber; Tom Ballard, Pershing Yoakley & Associates; Senator Becky Duncan-Massey; John Morris, Tech 20/20; Robert Schatz; Dan McDonald, Phenotype Screening.

Roane State Community College recently announced the addition of a medical laboratory technology program to be housed in its new Allied Health Sciences Building in Oak Ridge, set for completion in 2014.

Premier Partners Get Some Extreme Insight from Christi & Scott Branscom Knoxville has received a lot of national media attention recentthemselves in the midst an enormous task. ly with ESPN’s College Gameday coming to town in SeptemChristi Branscom was quick to recognize the thousands of volunteers that helped ber, the Today Show airing pull off such a feat, especially the builders that live from The Hill at the helped make up the project management team. University of Tennessee in “It was so great to see crews that are normally October, and on November competing against each other for jobs, work so 26, ABC aired the “Extreme Makeover: Home closely together and problem-solve together,” Edition” show that was filmed in Knoxville said Christi. “We couldn’t have done it withlast January. In preparation for the airing, the out them. We consider them family now,” she Chamber hosted Premier Partners for an continued. event featuring Christi and Scott Branscom of Daniel and Mandy Watson, along with their Grace Construction, the lead builders for the three children, were the beneficiaries of the project. brand new house. Their charity, The Restoration L-R: Chamber Board Chair Mitch Steenrod, Scott and Christi Branscom of The Branscoms shared stories about House of East Tennessee, provides assistance Grace Construction, and Daniel Watson of The Restoration House of East the build, which included the demolition of to single mothers, including housing for two Tennessee. existing structures and the construction of mothers and their children in the duplex behind a 3,500-square-foot house and a duplex over seven days in January 2012. It is the Watson’s new house. Daniel was on hand at the event and thanked Grace Conchallenging enough to build a house in seven days, but add to that a production struction and all the volunteers that helped with the build. “We are a lot less-stressed crew that sometimes needed multiple takes in order to capture the perfect shot, now and can focus on Restoration House and the mothers we help through the and Mother Nature’s extreme influence on the project, and the Branscoms found organization,” Daniel commented.

K N O X V I L L E C H A M B E R | 47


What Lies Ahead for Small Business? November 7, the day following the 2012 elections, the Dow dropped over 300 points, signaling concerns by investors over the “fiscal cliff,” a package of potential tax increases and government spending cuts that many feel could stall any economic recovery. Unless a still-divided Congress acts by January 1 to extend the “Bush tax cuts,” almost every sector of the taxpaying public will be hit with higher taxes. The most likely bet is that the Fiscal Cliff/Sequestration issue will be extended GUEST COLUMNIST: with a framework built in to allow the Ways & Means and Finance Committees to work on Susan Richardson a bipartisan, bicameral solution by Spring of Williams 2013. On the tax side, President Obama has indicated he would like to see the top tax rate raised to 39.6% during 2013. That could impact many small business owners because some of them report their business taxes on their personal returns. It is likely that Republicans who still control the House of Representatives will oppose that and a stalemate could result again. The President has also proposed a tax cut on corporate tax rates, from 35% to 28%. In his proposal, the manufacturing sector would pay only 25%. Those cuts, coupled with additional tax deductions for small businesses, could act as an incentive to invest in new equipment and help stimulate the economy. A Republican Congress should be more willing to support those kinds of tax policies. President Obama’s re-election also signals that “ObamaCare” or the Affordable Healthcare Act will most certainly be implemented now. This was something that challenger Mitt Romney vowed to eliminate on “day one” of his term. Small businesses will be affected but there is still a great deal of uncertainty about how much the impact will be. Most of the provisions don’t go into full effect until 2014 but any business with 50 or more employees will be mandated to provide health insurance for their employees. The cost has not been outlined yet and will most likely depend on each state’s exchange program. In Tennessee, Governor Haslam has to make a decision on whether to implement an exchange and whether to expand Medicaid. It is complicated and therefore, probably costly.

Another way small businesses in our area may be impacted is by federal government spending cutbacks. The Knoxville area has hundreds of small contractors who do business with the federal government, particularly in the Oak Ridge area. With the federal deficit at 16 trillion dollars and growing, it is almost inevitable that federal spending has to be curtailed. This is part of the “fiscal cliff” that is looming. Additionally, if the massive federal deficit isn’t dealt with, you can make a valid assumption that taxes will almost certainly have to be raised and that will impact small business investment and hiring. Federal regulations also have a major impact on small businesses. The Obama administration has been fairly benign in that area in the past four years according to the National Small Business Association. I am sure there are many small business owners out there who would take exception to that. There are some regulations however, such as requirements from the EEOC prohibiting background checks or workers having a high school diploma, that have been burdensome on many small businesses. The Affordable Health Care Act will most certainly come with a plethora of regulations, the impact of which is still unknown at this time.

THE POLITICS OF THE FISCAL CLIFF How will this impending fiscal crisis play out politically? President Obama was re-elected with 50% of the popular vote. House Republicans retained their Majority by significant margins and Senate Democrats continue to hold a Majority in the Senate. The result means that President Obama, House Speaker John Boehner, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will likely play the most significant roles in upcoming Fiscal Cliff/Sequestration negotiations. With regard to the lead negotiators for each body of government, nothing has changed. The “Lame Duck” session of Congress will most likely be very contentious. House Republicans will very likely push for a temporary extension of all Fiscal Cliff issues with the goal of achieving comprehensive tax reform in 2013. The tone of the Leaders in both parties will be an important factor in creating an environment where compromise is even possible. For the sake of small businesses everywhere, let us hope that cooler, saner heads prevail and both parties understand the need to prevent our fall off the fiscal cliff in 2013. Susan Richardson Williams is a small business owner and chairs the Chamber’s Government Relations Committee. She is principal of SRW & Associates, an association of independent public affairs, government, and media relations professionals.

Annual Regional Legislative Agenda Breakfast Set for January 4 Before lawmakers travel to Nashville for the start of the 2013 legislative season, the Knoxville, Blount, and Oak Ridge Chambers of Commerce will host the annual Regional Legislative Agenda Breakfast at the Clayton Center for the Arts in Maryville. Scheduled for 7:30am on Friday, January 4, the breakfast provides

an opportunity for the business community to hear what items will be the Chambers’ primary focus during the upcoming session. Cost to attend the breakfast is $25, and attendees can register by visiting

K N O X V I L L E C H A M B E R | 48

ADT Expands Operations in the Innovation Valley ADT, the nation’s leading There was a lot of activity paving the way for the most recent expansion announcement. Knox County Mayor Tim provider of home and small Burchett traveled with Rhonda Rice and Doug Lawyer to business security solutions, meet with Tennessee Department of Revenue Commisis growing even larger in the sioner Richard Roberts as well as staff in the Tennessee Innovation Valley. ADT reDepartment of Economic Development to ensure tax credcently announced a significant its could be secured for the additional jobs. The efforts expansion of their customer are a prime example of the dedication to economic growth monitoring facility in Knox shared by both local elected officials and the Knoxville County, adding an additional Chamber. 300 employees. “It was a pleasure to work with Governor Haslam, the “It’s been a pleasure workCommissioners of Economic and Community Developing with ADT and seeing them ment and Revenue, our local legislative delegation and the grow in the Innovation Valley,” Naren Gursahaney, CEO of ADT addresses community leaders, employees, Knoxville Chamber to help make sure ADT was able to Rhonda Rice, the executive and the media at the recent expansion announcement. grow in Knox County and bring new jobs. This is a good vice president of the Knoxville example of the importance of maintaining strong relationChamber, said. “Since we ships with leaders across the state,” Knox County Mayor started recruiting what was Tim Burchett said. “This is another recent example of then Brinks Home Security new jobs coming to Knox County, and I will continue to back in 2006, we have seen do everything I can to encourage economic growth in our the customer monitoring community.” facility double in terms of the Knoxville is now ADT’s IT Disaster Recovery Center number of employees. Those after a recent facility upgrade. The 300 new employees are jobs we’re grateful to have will fill a myriad of roles for the publicly-traded company, in Tennessee.” Bob Duncan, the Director of the ADT West Knox County facility; Shawn Lucht, from entry-level to managerial staff. The Knoxville ChamThe relationship with ADT’s ADT’s senior vice president of operations; Naren Gursahaney, ADT’s CEO; ber estimates a $1.6 million investment will be made in the executives and the Knoxville Richard Roberts, Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Revenue; Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero; Knoxville Chamber CEO and President Mike center’s infrastructure with another $7.5 million economic Chamber has blossomed for Edwards; Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett; and Mitch Steenrod, Chair of the impact through employee salaries. Further, the company several years. The Chamber’s Knoxville Chamber Board of Directors celebrate ADT’s success. plans to invest heavily in its incumbent employees, offering vice president of economic deadditional training to enhance their skills. velopment, Doug Lawyer, made a recruitment visit to the company selling the benefits of a move to Innovation Valley.

Bandit Lites Shines at 2012 Country Music Awards The 46th Annual Country Music Awards took center stage in Nashville on November 1 and Bandit Lites, a locally-headquartered lighting company owned by Michael Strickland, was a big winner. While viewers and attendees never heard Bandit’s name called as an award winner, what most don’t know is Bandit provides concert lighting for all of the evening’s winners except one. The global lighting company has worked with Toby Keith on his concert tour for twelve years. The night’s multi-award winners Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, and Little Big Town have each been working with Bandit for the last six years. “Bandit Lites is very fortunate to work with the top artists in the world. It is a responsibility we take very seriously and we strive daily to help them reach new heights,” Strickland commented. “We develop relationships early in their careers and are a part of their family as they grow and achieve monumental success. We are blessed to have these opportunities and will never sway in our commitment to excellence,” he continued. Bandit’s client list also includes Kenny Chesney, Hunter Hayes, Thompson Square, and Mac Macannaly who were all part of the 2012 CMA Awards.

Blake Shelton, who received CMA Awards for Entertainer, Song, and Male Vocalist of the Year, works with locally-based Bandit Lites for lighting on his concert tours.

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(Oct. 2012)

NOTE - Knoxville MSA includes: Anderson, Blount, Knox, Loudon & Union Counties

WORKFORCE Resident Labor Force Knox Co. Knoxville MSA Tennessee U.S.

HOUSING MARKET % Change Oct. ’11Oct. ‘12

Oct. 2012

Sept. 2012

Oct. 2011

% Change Sept. ’12Oct. ‘12

240,810 379,840 3,126,800 155,779,000

238,900 376,750 3,103,400 155,075,000

238,700 374,350 3,125,600 154,088,000

0.8 0.8 0.8 0.5

0.9 1.5 0.0 1.1

340,200 2,717,200

338,600 2,710,000

334,700 2,691,800

0.5 0.3

1.6 0.9

Residential Closings Residential Inventory Median Residential Price

Oct. 2012 1,025 14,380 $148,650

Sept. 2012 883 14,636 $140,325

Oct. 2011 758 14,526 $139,400

% Change Sept. ’12Oct. ‘12 16.1 -1.7 5.9

% Change Oct. ’11Oct. ‘12 35.2 -1.0 6.6

Source: Knoxville Area Association of Realtors

Non-Ag Employment Knoxville MSA Tennessee


Knoxville (City)

Total Single-Family Multi-Family

Sept. 2012* 11 11 0

Sept. 2011 13 13 0

% Change Sept. ’11Sept. ‘12 -15.4 -15.4 0.0

Knox Co.

Total Single-Family Multi-Family

70 70 0

60 60 0

16.7 16.7 0.0

Knoxville MSA

Total Single-Family Multi-Family

92 92 0

79 79 0

16.5 16.5 0.0


Total Single-Family Multi-Family

1,392 988 404

1,571 883 688

-11.4 11.9 -41.3

Available Labor Knox Co. Knoxville MSA Tennessee

15,740 26,010 270,990

15,710 25,840 264,840

17,780 29,160 308,520

0.2 0.7 2.3

-11.5 -10.8 -12.2

5.9 6.2 7.8 7.5

5.9 6.2 7.6 7.6

6.7 7.0 8.9 8.5

0.0 0.0 0.2 -0.1

-0.8 -0.8 -1.1 -1.0

Unemployment Rates Knox Co. Knoxville MSA Tennessee U.S.

Sources: Tennessee Dept. of Labor & Workforce Development/U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


*Southeast Region Avg. U.S. Avg. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Oct. ’11-‘12

Sept. ’11-‘12

Oct. ’10-‘11

1.9 2.2

1.9 2.2

4.0 3.5


% Change Sept. ’11Oct. ‘12

% Change Oct. ’10Oct. ‘12

0.0 0.2

-2.1 -1.3

*South – City Size Class B/C

*All 2012 building permit data is preliminary and therefore subject to revision throughout the year. Sources: U.S. Housing & Urban Development – SOCDS – State of the Cities Data Systems; U.S. Census Bureau – Building Permits Survey

SALES TAX REVENUE - STATE & LOCAL ($) State Sales Tax Knox Co. Knoxville MSA Tennessee

Oct. 2012

Sept. 2012

Oct. 2011

45,323,371 63,356,009 575,340,846

46,559,386 64,942,609 570,755,375

47,492,760 66,964,693 570,026,876

-2.7 -2.4 0.8

-4.6 -5.4 0.9

12,763,312 17,744,272

13,007,625 18,023,790

12,876,645 18,087,721

-1.9 -1.6

-0.9 -1.9

Local Sales Tax Knox Co. Knoxville MSA

% Change Oct. ’11Oct. ‘12

% Change Sept. ’12Oct. ‘12


Passengers Cargo

Aug. 2012 146,771 8,577,151

July 2012 161,894 7,305,361

Aug. 2011 154,965 8,137,960

Source: Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority

Source: Tennessee Dept. of Revenue

RETAIL SALES - NATIONAL (IN MILLIONS OF DOLLARS) Category Total Retail Sales Building Materials Clothing Stores Electronics & Appliances Food & Beverage Stores Food Svcs & Drinking Places Furniture & Home Furnishings Gasoline Stations General Merchandise Stores Health & Personal Care Stores Miscellaneous Stores Motor Vehicle & Parts Sales Non-store Retailers Sporting Goods/Books/ Hobby/Music

Oct. 2012 404,763 25,434 18,850 7,368 53,162 43,588 7,613 48,184 50,749 23,102 10,698 72,806 36,834

Sept. 2012 391,248 23,332 18,413 7,431 51,693 43,458 7,816 46,510 48,306 21,470 9,960 71,452 34,376

384,345 24,018 18,095 7,695 51,298 42,350 7,098 44,421 51,324 22,622 9,810 66,851 32,712

% Change Sept. ’12Oct. ‘12 3.5 9.0 2.4 -0.8 2.8 0.3 -2.6 3.6 5.1 7.6 7.4 1.9 7.2





Oct. 2011

% Change Oct. ’11Oct. ‘12 5.3 5.9 4.2 -4.2 3.6 2.9 7.3 8.5 -1.1 2.1 9.1 8.9 12.6 5.4

Source: U.S. Census Bureau – Advance Monthly Retail Trade Report

K N O X V I L L E C H A M B E R | 50

EST. 1869

% Change July ’12Aug. ‘12 -9.3 17.4

% Change Aug. ’11Aug. ‘12 -5.3 5.4

Going Social

Chamber series offers insight into building social media marketing strategies for business

Facebook now boasts one billion users. Twitter has topped 150 million active accounts. Pinterest and LinkedIn are emerging as power players in the social media marketplace, and developers are constantly working to design the “next big thing.” While the growing prevalence of social media in consumers’ daily routines offers businesses a unique and influential means of reaching their target audience, it can also create unforeseen and sometimes overwhelming obstacles as business owners and marketing professionals alike learn how to harness the medium’s power and influence. This January the Knoxville Chamber along with local social media and marketing authorities will provide insight into how businesses can successfully navigate this growing trend. The third annual Social Media Series will offer four sessions on topics ranging from enhancing a company’s online presence through the utilization of social media to the facilitation of meaningful customer interaction through these online forums. “Businesses need to understand the intricacies of social media and social media strategy because it levels the playing field,” said Mark Field, senior vice president of membership at the Knoxville Chamber. “It provides them with a low cost way to market their business as well as interact with customers and gauge interest in their product or service.” A recent survey by Vocus, Inc., a leader in the development of integrated marketing strategies, found that 85% of consumers expect businesses to actively engage in social media and over half consult social media outlets prior to making purchasing decisions. Although 94% of business marketers reportedly engage in social media, many are struggling to effectively integrate the medium into their company’s overall marketing strategy.

“There is so much noise in the marketplace that business owners are confused about how to utilize social media,” said Field. “The Chamber’s Social Media Series provides valuable information on how to make it an effective tool in their overall marketing plan.” Sessions are scheduled each Tuesday in January beginning January 8, 2013. Cost to attend is $25 per session for Chamber members which includes a boxed lunch. Members planning to attend all four sessions can receive a $25 savings by calling Lynsey Wilson at (865) 246-2608. For more information on the Social Media Series, visit the Events and Promotions page on

JANUARY 8 | 11:30 A.M. – 1:00 P.M.

JANUARY 22 | 11:30 A.M. – 1:00 P.M.

Engaging Your Customers Through Social Media Presented by Chuck Morris, Morris Creative Group, LLC

Social Media for Non-Profits: Effective Tactics to Build Awareness, Share Your Story & Raise Support Presented by Nicole Denton, Pyxl, Inc.

JANUARY 15 | 11:30 A.M. – 1:00 P.M.

JANUARY 29 | 11:30 A.M. – 1:00 P.M.

The Social Media and SEO Tango: How They Partner to Improve Your Online Performance Presented by Daniel Monday, Slamdot!

Social Savvy: Tips and Tricks for Valuable Online Interaction Presented by Elizabeth Sims, Tupelo Honey Café; Amanda Persons, AC Entertainment; and Darla Walker, Castleton Farms

Christmas in the City Events Provide Something for Everyone! It is time again for Christmas in the City, Knoxville’s most Riviera Stadium 8 located on Gay Street. Come watch everyone’s favorite Christmas movies on December 7, 14, 19, 21, anticipated winter festival. The city dresses for the holidays and 25. with lighted trees and decorations plus dozens of events guarThe Jingle Bell 5K Run/Walk and one-mile Fun Walk, benefitanteed to bring holiday cheer! ing the Arthritis Foundation, will be held December 8. ParticiKnoxville’s Holidays on Ice, an open-air ice rink nestled on pants are encouraged to wear holiday-themed costumes for the Market Square, is open daily, rain or shine, through January 6. race which starts at 10 a.m. on Market Square. There is a window-decorating contest for downtown busiThe Tour de Lights is a casual-paced bike ride on December nesses coinciding with the theme of “A Knoxville Christmas 13 that tours downtown for six miles. Prizes are awarded in the Carol”. The public can vote on displays until December 14 categories of Best Decorated Bike, Best Decorated Person, on the City of Knoxville’s Office of Special Events Facebook and Best Group Theme. page. The winners will be announced on WATE on December Enjoy Maestro Lucas Richman leading the local choirs and 14. The WIVK and McGhee Tyson Airport symphonies in everyone’s favorite Christmas carols. The KnoxAlan Ayckbourn’s play Absurd Person Singular Christmas Christmas Parade on December 7 will ville Symphony Orchestra Clayton Holiday Concerts will will be featured at Theatre Knoxville Downtown December 6-9. entertain kids of all ages. be on December 14-16 at Civic Auditorium with a special apThis comedy of Christmas party disasters follows the lives of pearance by Santa! three couples on Christmas Eve. The Tennessee Theatre will have two holiday films. Joy, an Irish Christmas will be The WIVK and McGhee Tyson Airport Christmas Parade is a Knoxville tradishown on December 19 and White Christmas will be shown December 21 and 23. tion and will be held on December 7. There will be floats and decorated vehicles, Lastly, nothing beats ringing in the New Year in Market Square! Make plans to marching bands, and dancers. The parade route begins on Howard Baker Jr. come downtown and watch the ball drop at this family-friendly event. Drive, continues to Church Street, takes a right onto Gay Street, and finishes on Visit to learn more about each of these the east end of Jackson Avenue. events and to see a full list of all the events taking place throughout the holidays. During December there will be four showings of various holiday movies at Regal

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Chamber Members Buckle Up for Networking at 640 Nissan Knoxville Chamber members helped 640 Nissan cut the ribbon at their new and improved Clinton Highway location and enjoyed a business after hours networking event. Abner’s Attic delivered a fantastic catered menu to the dozens of Chamber members who took part in the festivities. 640 Nissan opened up their newly renovated showroom and lot, offering test drives and a great networking opportunity. Near the end of the evening, Brett Williams, 640 Nissan’s general manager, addressed the crowd and stressed the dealer’s commitment to Knoxville and the business community in East Tennessee. Williams also gave away an iPad as a door prize to George Lucke of Edward Jones.

Dozens of the Chamber member businesses were represented at the recent business after hours inside the showroom at 640 Nissan.

640 Nissan general manager Brett Williams discusses the dealership’s commitment to the community and thanks everyone for attending.

Craig Petersen of Benefit Coordinators takes a look at a Nissan Murano at 640 Nissan.

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UT Medical Center

Recognized in US News & World Report ‘Best Hospitals’ Edition

NovaCopy celebrated the grand opening of its new Knoxville location in October. Benny Malicoat, president, is pictured center cutting the ribbon and is joined by NovaCopy associates, Konica Minolta executives, and Knoxville Chamber Ambassadors.

Tennova North Knoxville Medical Center celebrated the grand opening of its fifth floor in November. Pam Wenger, CNO is pictured center cutting the ribbon and is joined by Rob Followell, CEO (center right), Knox County Commissioner R. Larry Smith, Tennova executives, and Knoxville Chamber Ambassadors and executives.

Tupelo Honey Cafe celebrated the grand opening of its new Knoxville location on Market Square in October. Steve Frabitore, owner, is pictured center cutting the ribbon and is flanked center left by City of Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero and center right Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett. FirstBank City President, Robert Carter, State Senator Becky Duncan Massey, Knoxville City Council members, Knox County Commission members, Knoxville Chamber executives and Ambassadors, and Tupelo Honey Cafe associates are pictured as well.

The University of Tennessee Medical Center is nationally ranked by US News & World Report in its 23rd “America’s Best Hospitals” report and is recognized as the best hospital in East Tennessee. The magazine’s “Best Hospitals” list is considered the standard for measuring hospitals across the country for performance and excellence. “It’s powerful and humbling that The University of Tennessee Medical Center is the only hospital in East Tennessee named through the most credible independent assessment of healthcare providers in the nation as one of America’s Best Hospitals,” said Joe Landsman, President and CEO of The University of Tennessee Medical Center. “This recognition is validation of the deliberate and intensive efforts on the part of the medical center team, including our physicians and staff, to ensure access to the highest quality of care available in the nation.” Recognized as the best hospital in East Tennessee, UT Medical Center is recognized nationally in the specialties of Gynecology and Pulmonology. In addition, 10 specialties are listed as high performers. The specialties include the following: • cancer • cardiology and heart surgery • diabetes and endocrinology • ear, nose and throat • gastroenterology • geriatrics • nephrology • neurology and neurosurgery • orthopedics • urology Ranking criteria is largely data-driven, based on the quality of care, and includes mortality rates, nurse-patient ratios and reputational survey of specialists. The mission of The University of Tennessee Medical Center, the region’s only hospital to achieve status as a Magnet® recognized organization, is to serve through healing, education and discovery. UT Medical Center, a 581-bed, not-for-profit academic medical center, serves as a referral center for Eastern Tennessee, Southeast Kentucky and Western North Carolina. The medical center, the region’s only Level I Trauma Center, is one of the largest employers in Knoxville. For more information about The University of Tennessee Medical Center, visit online at

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DECEMBER 6 BAH Humbug 5-8 p.m. Windows on the Park, Holiday Inn World’s Fair Park, 525 Henley Street Sponsored by:

DECEMBER 13 Exclusive Premier Partner Event featuring Lady Vol Basketball Head Coach Holly Warlick

7:30 – 8:30 a.m. Calhoun’s on the River, 400 Neyland Drive, Knoxville, TN, 37902 Sponsored by:


BGT Recruiting & Consulting celebrated the grand opening of its new Knoxville office located at 141 N. Martinwood Road, Suite 102 in November. Co-owners Christine Bell and Jill Green are pictured center cutting the ribbon and are joined by State Senator Becky Duncan Massey, Knox County Commissioner Ed Shouse, family, friends, and Knoxville Chamber Ambassadors.

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December Commerce  
December Commerce  

Monthly newsletter of the Knoxville Chamber