Tennessee as a whole, business growth continues to improve

During March, Putnam County saw 46 new businesses licensed either new or continued (34 manufacturing, 12 retail), according to numbers by Putnam County Clerk Wayne Nabors.

That number shrank (only 29 days reported as Easter fell at the end of the month and county offices were closed) from the 65 businesses licensed in February. Check out that list HERE.

Despite the shrinking number, businesses are flocking to the area, which seems to be a trend throughout the state.

In Tennessee as a whole, business growth continues to improve. Whether that growth stems from need due to continued population growth or a welcoming business environment is up for debate, but both can be correct. New business filings in the fourth quarter of 2023 rose modestly year-over-year, according to the Quarterly Business and Economic Indicators report issued by Secretary of State Tre Hargett’s office.

With increased growth comes an improving economy. Businesses thriving or start ups are both a good thing. The more businesses, the more jobs.

The more jobs, the more families have warm beds and warm food.

“Business filings remain high despite more moderate growth rates over the past two years,” said secretary Hargett. “Tennessee’s economy continues outperforming the nation on key metrics like lower unemployment and higher real income growth. Companies and entrepreneurs continue to establish operations in our state because of the fiscally responsible economic principles we have implemented. This has led to a sound business environment – lower taxes, a skilled workforce and less burdensome regulations.”

During the fourth quarter of 23, 16,804 new entities filed in Tennessee, equating to a 0.1% growth rate, improving on the 77,620 new businesses filed last year.

According to the report, State employment rose by 22,700 jobs yearly in 2023, and unemployment remained low at 3.5%, below the national rate of 3.7%. Unemployment has only improved both statewide and in Upper Cumberland during the first three months of 24.

“The continued strong pace of new business filings and annual reports reflects the underlying strength of the Tennessee economy,” said Dr. Don Bruce, director of the Boyd Center for Business and Economic Research. “Our low unemployment rate of 3.5% is below the national rate and our robust personal income growth rate of 6% is significantly outpacing the nation, bolstering Tennessee’s reputation as an excellent place to live and work.”


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Ron Moses is the managing editor of the Upper Cumberland Business Journal and can be reached via email. Send an email.

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