Nashville economic development teams are working 60 business recruitment and expansion projects that could bring more than 12,000 jobs and $1.2 billion in capital investments to Middle Tennessee.
This economic development pipeline was among the topics discussed by leaders of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce’s Partnership economic development initiative at a meeting in downtown Nashville this morning.
Bob Upton, chairman of the Partnership’s business recruitment committee, explained that in the past several months, there have been 15 relocations and 19 expansions totaling 2,600 jobs and $635 million in capital investment.
“When you consider that our national economy is still very much in recovery phase, it’s really a testament to the strength of the partnership that we’re able to report numbers like these,” Upton said, giving examples including the relocation Bridgestone subsidiary Bandag and health IT firm Shareable Ink.
Looking ahead, Upton said the Partnership is working on 28 relocations that involve 8,500 jobs and $529 million in capital investment. The balance of the pipeline is expansion projects of 32 companies who already have operations in Middle Tennessee.
In addition, the Partnership provided an update on the activities of the Nashville Entrepreneur Center, a business incubation initiative the Partnership launched in September of 2009. Since then, the EC has moved from a virtual space to a brick-and-mortar location downtown with space for 18 startup companies.
Michael Burcham, president and CEO of the EC, said he’s met with 150 startups since the EC opened its doors in September, and by the end of January he expects the EC’s first 12 companies will have closed on a collective $2 million in seed and angel capital. Of those companies, two have already moved out of the EC to take office space and begin hiring staff.
“That’s what job creation is all about,” Burcham said. “I love the fact that companies choose to relocate here, but there’s nothing more gratifying than us growing our own from the great talented people around us and in this room.”
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