ECD

SmileDirectClub announces 2,000 jobs in Nashville

Gov. Bill Lee announces a 2,000-job expansion by clear teeth aligner SmileDirectClub in Nashville on March 20, 2019. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Gov. Bill Lee has announced clear teeth aligner SmileDirectClub will add more than 2,000 jobs in Nashville over the next five years. The new positions will be spread between the company’s downtown headquarters and other facilities in the Antioch community in southeast Davidson County.

There was no immediate word on the level of incentives offered to the company, which is spending $217 million on the expansion.

Here’s the full release from the Lee administration:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe and SmileDirectClub officials announced today the company will invest $217 million to expand its headquarters and facilities in Middle Tennessee.

SmileDirectClub, the market leader and pioneer of doctor-directed, remote invisible aligner therapy, will create 2,010 new jobs in Nashville and Antioch over the next five years.

This is SmileDirectClub’s second expansion in Middle Tennessee in two years. In February 2017, the company announced a $4.5 million expansion across two Davidson County locations, which supported the creation of nearly 450 new jobs. Currently, SmileDirectClub employs more than 1,600 people in the Nashville area.

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State paying $17.5M to New York firm for moving to Nashville — along with targeted tax break

The state Department of Economic and Community Development has agreed to give $17.5 million to AllianceBernstein for moving its headquarters from Manhattan to Nashville, reports the Nashville Business Journal.   A bill approved by the legislature this year also gives the company a tax break that served to “sweeten” state support for the move, says the state’s ECD commissioner.

The Beacon Center of Tenessee, which has been crusading against “corporate welfare,” had urged that AllianceBernstein get nothing in the way of taxpayer-funded incentives. The global financal firm announced with Gov. Bill Haslam last month that it will bring 1,050 jobs to the state’s capitol city, investing about $70 million.

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Megasite waste water dumping site relocated after vocal local opposition

After vocal opposition from residents in and around the Tipton County community of Randolph, located on the banks of the Mississippi River, state officials are withdrawing their current plans for the Memphis Regional Megasite’s 35-mile long wastewater pipeline, reports the Memphis Daily News.

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TNECD hires representatives in France and Spain for total of 11 foreign recruiters

Press release from Department of Economic and Community Development

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community (TNECD) has announced the addition of two international representatives for Spain and France that will focus on attracting new foreign direct investment (FDI) to Tennessee.

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Haslam quip to Hagerty: Make Japanese crane TN official state bird

Bill Hagerty, former commissioner of the state Department of Economic and Community Development and now U.S. Ambassador to Japan, says Gov. Bill Haslam once joked about replacing the mockingbird with the crane as Tennessee’s official state bird, reports WKRN. The red-crowned crane is the official national bird of Japan.

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ECD commissioner: Memphis Megasite needs another $72M in state funding

Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe says another $72 million in state funding is needed to complete work on the Memphis Regional Megasite, reports the Jackson Sun. That would push total state investment in the 4,100-acre site, so far unused, well past the $200 million mark.

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State to spend another $2M on Megasite, seeking consultant to help

The state of Tennessee is asking for $2 million next year to whip the Memphis Regional Megasite into shape, a process that will include hiring an outside consultant to assess why the decade-long project hasn’t yet landed a major manufacturer, reports WPLN. The state has already spent about $140 million on the Megasite.

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Boyd approved $1M grant to state Senate candidate’s company; Company PAC gave Boyd $5K

Shane Reeves, a Murfreesboro businessman seeking the GOP nomination in state Senate District 14, sent Randy Boyd’s gubernatorial campaign a $5,000 donation a year after Boyd as economic and community development commissioner signed off on a $1 million state grant to Reeves’ company, reports Tennessee Star.

The Star says this has unnamed “political observers” questioning whether Boyd “used his previous office as a platform to prepare a gubernatorial campaign by directing state grants to local officials and businesses who might, and in many cases have, support his run for governor.”

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$2.5B in annual TN business subsidies, outcomes often unknown

Tennessee state and local governments provide more than $2.5 billion in subsidies such as grants, tax breaks and tax credits to businesses each year, but there’s often little public information provided on whether the taxpayer money is working to produce promised jobs.

That’s the bottom line of reporting by the state’s four largest newspapers  — The Tennessean, The Commercial Appeal, Knoxville News Sentinel and (Chattanooga) Times Free Press — published this weekend.

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Latest ECD incentives: $28M to Finnish tire maker, $22M to South Korean appliance firm

The state of Tennessee is providing a $28.42 million grant to a Finnish tire manufacturer and grant of $22.3 million to a South Korean appliance manufacturer to support the companies opening of new facilities within the state, reports the Times Free Press.

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