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When will the craft beer bubble burst?

By Scott Robertson The Brewers Association statistics that define the craft beer boom in America since 2010 are mind-boggling. More than 6,850 breweries exist today in a marketplace that less than six years ago had fewer than 2,500 and saw two brewing companies (Anheuser-Busch InBev and MillerCoors) control a 90 percent share. While overall beer sales were flat from 2015 to 2016, craft beer* sales rose 6.2 ...

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Ballad Health moves forward with multiple long-awaited initiatives

  Photo above: Alan Levine Photo by Bill Derby By Scott Robertson With the Tennessee Certificate of Public Advantage (COPA) approved Jan. 31, and a companion document already in hand from the Commonwealth of Virginia, the merger of Mountain States Health Alliance and Wellmont Health System was formally announced Feb. 2 at MeadowView Conference Resort & Convention Center in Kingsport. Alan Levine, w ...

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Tri-Cities Airport receives TDOT Aerospace Park grant, seeks final funding

By Scott Robertson The long-awaited Tennessee Department of Transportation Aeronautics Development (AED) Fund grant announcement January 11 gave the Tri-Cities Airport Authority (TCAA) $4.1 million to put toward development of its Aerospace Park project, a business park designed to attract high-paying jobs and capital investment. It also left the authority with $4 million more to raise before site preparati ...

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Bristol Compressors, DHX tout “revolutionary” new tech

Photo above: Kevin Mumpower, Dr. Rhett Mayor and Dr. Andrew Semidey By Scott Robertson Engineers at Bristol Compressors International are as close to giddy as you’ll ever seen engineers get. The marketing folks are calmly ecstatic. Even management, which has been conservative to the point of dour in public statements in the past, is cautiously optimistic. They all believe they have the next big thing. Brist ...

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Festival to kick off outdoors-based economic development effort

By Scott Robertson A late summer festival will highlight a new effort by the Northeast Tennessee Regional Economic Partnership to showcase the importance of the outdoors to the region’s economic viability. The festival will be dubbed “Meet the Mountains.” Based in Johnson City, it will intentionally coincide with several outdoor events elsewhere in the region. Kayla Carter, outdoor development manager for t ...

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Valentina Escobar-Gonzalez: The surprisingly social social media consultant

Photo above: Escobar-Gonzalez  Photo by Scott Robertson By Scott Robertson When one thinks of using social media, one generally imagines oneself staring into a monitor, tablet or smartphone. But for Valentina Escobar-Gonzalez, founder of Beyond Engagement, being a social media consultant is all about face-to-face connections. It may seem ironic, but Beyond Engagement was built on offline networking. Escobar ...

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The Un-career fair career fair

Photo above: Wynne Tyree By Scott Robertson CareerQuestTn, which held a career fair for 5,000 Northeast Tennessee high school students last year and plans to invite 6,000 this year, will first hold a smaller event targeted at white collar careers called “CareerQuestTN: It’s All About Business.” Some 500 high school juniors and seniors from 25 schools will attend the March 2 event at Northeast State Communit ...

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Tennessee finally addresses opioids

By Scott Robertson When it comes to economic development, the topic of opioids is dull and depressing. It just is. Nobody wants to talk about it. But talk we should and talk we must. And talk should be just the beginning. One of the most disappointing moments for me last year came when I asked Tennessee’s Commissioner of Economic and Community Development, Bobby Rolfe, how the Volunteer state was faring in ...

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Setting the record straight on tax reform

By Congressman Phil Roe My top priority in Congress is working to grow our economy, create jobs and increase prosperity for working families. For my first four terms in Congress, I saw a federal government that discouraged private business and set up unnecessary roadblocks for job creation. When President Trump was elected, I was excited to work on getting the economy moving again, which is why I was proud ...

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Corker, Mnuchin discuss Fannie, Freddie

During a hearing today to receive the Financial Stability Oversight Council’s annual report from U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), a member of the Senate Banking Committee, questioned the sustainability of government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and emphasized the opportunity for congressional action on housing finance reform. Excerpts follow. ...

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