The feeling of continued newness continues in January. We saw a fresh blanket of snow on the ground yesterday, we are all still trying to remember the date ends in 2022 rather than 2021 (or maybe that’s just me) and we’ve got a full list of business information and upcoming events to consider. Below are a few of those tidbits along with other notes that have come across my desk recently:
• State revenues for December were $1.9 billion or $437.2 million more than the budgeted estimate with growth of 24.2% from December 2020. Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration Commissioner Butch Eley said, regarding the announcment: “December tax revenues exceeded budget estimates due to strong sales tax growth, corporate tax growth and realty tax collections included within privilege taxes,” Eley said. “Sales tax receipts, reflecting November retail sales activity, continue to benefit from a surge in consumer demand and the established marketplace facilitator law. In addition, it is estimated that some portion of retail purchasing may have shifted from December to November due to reports of supply chain disruptions. Next month’s January revenue report will fully capture consumer spending for the 2021 holiday season.”
• According to AAA, the Tennessee gas price average is now $3.31. The current average for the Tri-Cities is $2.91. The average for the Tri-Cities a year ago was $2.15.
• This from a Hawkins County resident: “It would be nice to get the word out that we need more restaurants in the Mount Carmel/Church Hill area. The population is growing and there are not enough good franchise options to eat. We need something besides burgers.”
• The 2022 Regional Legislative Breakfast will be held on Friday at 7:30 a.m. at the MeadowView Conference Resort & Convention Center. The event is hosted by the Bristol, Greeneville, Johnson City, Kingsport and Tennessee chambers. For more information, go to http://www.kingsportchamber.org/events/details/2022-regional-legislative-breakfast-7683.
• The Kingsport Chamber will hold a Kid’s Business Expo on Feb. 25 at MeadowView Conference Resort & Convention Center. The expo is open to middle school students grades six through eight. Registration is now open. For more information, go to http://www.kingsportchamber.org/events/details/2022-kid-s-business-expo-7679.
• Wednesday is National Popcorn Day. According to the Popcorn Board, Americans consume 15 billion quarts of popcorn each year. That averages to about 47 quarts per person.
Notes from the field
Through this column, I have said many times the community should support the business community, through pandemic-related hardships, shipping woes, the labor shortage and more. But that certainly goes both ways — we also need business leaders to support the community.
The most successful communities seem to have a sort of give and take between a community that shows up and supports a business and company leaders who take the time and money to invest in the community.
Numerous businesses around Kingsport and the region have invested money in regional flood-relief efforts, local scholarship funds, education and athletic projects and various other causes. More than that, these investments are in our people.
Supporting a business may not on the surface sound like the most worthwhile effort for your time and money, but supporting a mom or a family or a father of three most certainly is — and that’s what you’re doing when you do business with small and regional businesses. In turn, when a business invests in a community project, sports facility, relief fund, or any other similar project, they aren’t just putting money into those funds or projects. They are supporting students, athletes and community members in need and more.
What creates a strong, healthy, successful community isn’t just what brick-and-mortar stores it offers, how much its population has grown or how many houses are sold, though those are all wonderful signs for a community. I believe the real success of a place is measured by its education and the opportunities it offers its young people. The real success of a place is seen through its recreational options — parks, fields, outdoor spaces where people of all ages can get outside and work on their physical and mental health. The success of a place is seen through its safety and law enforcement and its overall quality of life. These things all combine to make a place a good place to live.
This place is certainly not perfect. Our recent Meth Mountain special edition was proof we could use solutions to combat the ongoing meth epidemic happening throughout our region, for example. It’s my personal opinion Kingsport could use another Chick-fil-A and Texas Roadhouse (have you seen the crowds at those places?) and certainly some shopping options as it seems our Tri-City neighbors offer options that are not in the Kingsport city limits.
We need support from our local leaders. We need support from our local business community. And we need the support of the community.
Have a note you want to send me? Email me at [email protected] with your general notes and business anniversaries ending in a five or zero and you could see it in an upcoming Minding Your Business column.