Monday, September 27, 2010

Natural Gas, the Economy, and the Environment

2010 Economic Outlook Conference
by Thomas Skains
Piedmont Natural Gas CEO
[ ppt ]

Nashville Economy Confronts 'Soft Spot'

From the Tennessean: Not very many jobs are being created, local consumers are more worried about the economy than they were in June, and the housing sector remains weak, according to Middle Tennessee State University researchers who unveiled an extensive look at the local economy at a business summit on Friday. "After witnessing some expansion earlier this year, we've hit a soft spot,'' MTSU economist David Penn told a crowded banquet hall gathered for the business school's annual Economic Outlook Conference.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Global Commerce

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Can Tennessee Double Its Exports in 5 Years?
Steven Livingston writes: "The problem with reporting export figures for this quarter is monotony. Everything grew, and by a lot. It was the best 2nd quarter in the state's history."
[ more ]

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Help Your Business Grow Online

From Daily News Journal: Google, MTSU to offer workshop "Help Your Business Grow Online": Sept. 28, 4-7 p.m., and Sept. 29, from 9 a.m. to noon at Scarritt Bennett Center, Laskey C, 1008 19th Ave. S., Nashville.
[full story]

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Senate Confirms 4 TVA Board Members

From Chattanooga Times Free Press: "A year after their nomination by President Barack Obama, four new members of the Tennessee Valley Authority board of directors were finally confirmed by the U.S. Senate on Thursday. By unanimous consent, the Senate ratified the appointment of three Democrats — [retired] Middle Tennessee State University Economics Professor Barbara Haskew of Chattanooga, Georgia Tech Professor Marilyn Brown of Atlanta and Oak Ridge attorney Neil McBride — and Republican William Sansom, the Knoxville businessman who previously served as TVA chairman." 
[ full article ]

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Nashville Rotary Club Presentation

Monday, Sept. 20: BERC Director David Penn will provide a midstate/regional economic update at the Nashville Rotary Club Meeting at the Wildhorse Saloon, 120 Second Avenue North (for information: 615-781-2700).

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Obama's Plan to Spur Business Investments May Not Help Small Companies, Job Seekers

From Nashville Business Journal: David Penn expects the tax benefit to function somewhat like "Cash for Clunkers" and the homebuyer tax credit—pushing forward some purchases that would have happened over the next three to four years. That creates the potential for amped-up sales in the short term, followed by a hangover. But he thinks it's a risk worth taking to get the economy moving. But he also questioned the program's lure, saying that what businesses need now is more sales—not necessarily more investment. He said the recession has left many businesses with excess capacity, and there's no incentive to add capacity when you can't use what you already have.

Job Seekers Stay Closer to Home

From Nashville Business Journal: "If you're a homeowner and you need to sell a house to move closer to your job, it's going to be more difficult now than it was just a few months ago," said Dr. David Penn, director of Middle Tennessee State University's Business and Economic Research Center. [full story]

New Auto Parts Plant in Maury County May Create 385 Jobs

From the Tennessean: The company's new Maury County plant is the third auto-related direct investment in Middle Tennessee by a Japanese company this summer, said Steven Livingston, a political science professor and senior research associate at Middle Tennessee State University's Business and Economic Research Center. Japan is Tennessee's largest foreign direct investor.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Economic Outlook Conference

Conference Registration
The annual MTSU Economic Outlook Conference will be Friday, Sept. 24, at Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center in Murfreesboro, TN. Cost is $50. [brochure]
  • 8:15 a.m. - Registration
  • 9:00 - Thomas Skains, Piedmont Natural Gas President/CEO: Energy Issues and the Economy
  • 10:30 - David Penn, Midstate Economic Outlook
  • 12:00 - Donald Ratajczak, Luncheon Address/Forecast

Fall 2010 Department Fair

Dr. Wayne Rollins and Dr. Patrick Geho are shown here hosting the Business Communication and Entrepreneurship booth at the Fall 2010 department fair.