The area is in an upward growth trend

Cookeville – Record growth over the past year and a positive outlook for 2023 tell us the future is bright for businesses in Putnam County. According to Amy New, President, and CEO of Cookeville-Putnam County Chamber of Commerce, 2023 should see even more growth.

“2023 will continue to be a year of growth not only for our Chamber but our community and the businesses, both large and small,” New told the Upper Cumberland Business Journal (UCBJ). “Our primary goal is to help find and support ways of strengthening our region by cultivating a vibrant economy and enhancing our quality of life.”

The area is in an upward growth trend, and following the pandemic of 2020, more people than ever started businesses.

“Since 2020, we’ve seen growth in Putnam and surrounding counties with people from all over moving to the area,” said New.

A business-friendly environment has also boosted interest in the area.

“More businesses are looking to relocate or start in Cookeville,” said New. “This trend can be seen in the uptick in retail and hospitality, but also in industry with companies like Portobello who are slated to begin operations later this year.”

Many new businesses have expressed interest in expansion or relocation to Putnam County in the new year.

“Overall, we are seeing growth at a healthy and sustainable rate in our community,” according to New.

The goal is to focus on “quality of place”.

“Whether you work at one of the many great local businesses or industries or remote, the fact remains that the Upper Cumberland’s abundant natural beauty, locale, culture, and the people that live here make the community as special as it is,” said New. “This area has proven to be an attractive, friendly and affordable place to live, work, explore and raise a family.”

Opening a business is a risk. Cookeville has become home to many of those risk-takers.

Walking from the courthouse on The Square to the depot in the Westside, one can take in what makes Cookeville so special, and that is the abundance of great and diverse local businesses,” said New. “From coffee shops to boutiques, to health and wellness stores, bookstores, and everything in between, citizens of this community have shown that they value a sense of local identity and support one another. The old adage is that a rising tide lifts all boats, and it seems the general public and local business owners adhere to this philosophy. We have a cohesive local business climate here.”

Local, state and national economies are drivers of small business, and location is key. With those drivers in mind, small business owners, or those wanting to start a small business, should research the climate before they take the plunge.

“I’m always happy to see new businesses coming to our county,” Putnam County Mayor Randy Porter told the UCBJ. “We have worked hard to create a business-friendly environment, and I think it shows with all the new businesses coming here.”

A trip around the square is proof enough that Cookeville and Putnam County is the perfect place to start a business, according to New.

“Someone who is thinking of coming here should take that stroll from the Courthouse to the Depot, stop into the local businesses, and talk to the people that have chosen to set up shop here. You’ll be guaranteed to hear compelling and inspiring stories of local champions taking the steps to live their dream.”

As of January 6, the Cookeville-Putnam County Chamber of Commerce already has four ribbon cuttings scheduled for the new year with more in the hopper. Records are made to be broken. If 2023 business growth shapes up as predicted in Putnam County, last year’s record may be broken sooner rather than later.

All ribbon cuttings for the first half of 2023 are posted. Check them out at

Image by Freepik.

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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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