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DOMTAR to repurpose Kingsport mill

To employ 160 making recycled linerboard by 2023 By Scott Robertson Domtar announced August 7 it will cease freesheet production operations at its Kingsport, Tenn., mill and refit the facility to produce linerboard, the material used to make the boxes in which products sold via ecommerce are shipped. The move is part of a company-wide cost reduction strategy aimed at creating annualized savings of $200 mill ...

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One sleepless night generated $250,000+ for struggling small businesses

by Scott Robertson “I’m 71 years old and I’ve never lived through anything like the last six months,” says Jim Fisher, a small business owner in Jonesborough, Tenn. Fisher and his wife Lynnea were at their wits’ end earlier this year. Their commercial greenhouse, Linnaea Gardens, rents decorative plants to businesses and maintains those plants at various locations throughout the region. When you see a ficus ...

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NETWORKS, NeTREP board committees hold candid talks

Three meetings in one week drive potential action by Scott Robertson When the full boards of NETWORKS Sullivan Partnership (NETWORKS) and the Northeast Tennessee Regional Economic Partnership (NeTREP) met in late June to discuss a potential merger of their economic development efforts, the main action item instituted was the formation of three committees: one to discuss scope, another to discuss structure a ...

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Sync.Space success story

by Hannah Swayze In what used to be part of the Sync.Space offices in downtown Kingsport, the ARO Creative Inc. team attempts to carry on business as usual. Part of the team works from home, due to cautionary measures related to COVID-19. Others maneuver around an office mid-renovations. Employees video chat with coworkers to show off an impressive new light fixture and catch up on work which has piled on l ...

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ETSU’s Noland lays out current plan for fall semester

Above: East Tennessee State University President Dr. Brian Noland “This is a very fluid situation.” by Scott Robertson When ETSU President Dr. Brian Noland spoke with the Business Journal in May regarding planning for the fall semester, Noland said, “there are unlimited things for which we have planning uncertainty.” Time, however, waits for no institution of higher education, and planning uncertainty has h ...

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Virginia Health Department: No mask, no service

Governor Ralph Northam this week said he has directed the Virginia Department of Health to begin conducting surprise inspections of bars and restaurants to ensure state COVID guidelines are being followed. The governor said business licenses will be at risk if distance and masking guidelines are being ignored. "We're seeing some troubling numbers," Northam said. "We all hoped this virus would go away, but t ...

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Eastman Commemorates Centennial by Ringing NYSE Opening Bell

Eastman Chemical Company (NYSE:EMN) rang the Opening Bell at the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday to commemorate its centennial anniversary. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Board Chair and CEO Mark Costa virtually rang the bell to officially kick off the trading day. Commenting on the milestone, Costa stated, “It’s an honor to ring the NYSE Opening Bell to commemorate our 100th anniversary. In this highly c ...

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Bristol Motor Speedway to host 2020 NASCAR All-Star Race

Above: Sullivan County Mayor Richard Venable and Bristol, Tenn., Mayor Margaret Feierabend. Photos by Earl Neikirk, Courtesy Bristol Chamber of Commerce GM Jerry Caldwell says track is ready to be under world’s microscope by Scott Robertson On July 15, Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS) will host what will likely be the most important event in its history. The irony is that from an attendance standpoint, it will ...

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First Tennessee Development District dives into regional economic development

by Scott Robertson The First Tennessee Development District (FTDD) Board of Directors voted June 30 to allow a task force to recommend charter and by-law changes to allow the FTDD Foundation to be used as a tool for regional economic development. The board, made up of mayors of cities, towns and counties in northeast Tennessee, approved the motion on a voice vote at its semi-annual meeting in Bristol. The v ...

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Can entrepreneurs remake Southwest Virginia’s energy economy?

Graphic: The MOVA Technologies process allows individual pollutants to be isolated separately so they can be resold to other companies. Region looks to pivot from “coal country” to “energy innovation capitol of the east coast” by Scott Robertson The image of Southwest Virginia as a region reeling from the decline of the coal industry was earned fairly. But a newly formed organization, the Southwest Virginia ...

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