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Outstanding Branding: What several of the region’s best brands do better than the rest

Photo above: Wynne Tyree, CEO Smarty Pants By Scott Robertson Most people know great branding from merely good branding. And in our media-savvy culture, even kids can tell good branding from bad. The tough part – especially for a business owner trying to brand a product, service or company – is knowing how to create a great brand. For most of us, great branding is analogous to the late U.S. Supreme Court Ju ...

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The increasingly senior-centric economy: What today’s demographics mean for business in the region

First in a two-part series by Don Fenley and Scott Robertson This is not your father’s economy. Well, actually, if your father is a Baby Boomer, it is. It is the economy his generation is about to dominate. And few places in America is that more true than Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. In examining demographics and economics, it first must be stated that the population is growing worldwide. The ...

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From outdated to state-of-the-art: Master Precision Machining brings heritage Kingsport tool and die operation up to speed

Photo above: Tim Stanley and Adam Newsome Photos by Gabriel Logan By Gabriel Logan Taking a look at Master Precision Machining (Master) today, it’s hard to recognize the 30-year-old tool and die operation that was slogging along in Kingsport’s Regional Park just a few months ago. “This place has been here since 1988” Tim Stanley, COO says. “We came in last year, bought it, closed in August and made a bunch ...

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Qarni talks workforce development with education, business leaders: New Virginia secretary of education hears success stories, areas of need for greater focus

Photo above: Dr. Brian Ratliff speaks during the roundtable discussion at Food City corporate headquarters. By Scott Robertson Virginia Education Secretary Atif Qarni, a former civics teacher from Prince William County, made his first foray into Southwest Virginia in March, meeting with educators and business leaders. “We want to focus on literacy in general, but on financial literacy – a couple of years ag ...

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Northeast Tennessee projects receive major ECD grants: Bristol, Erwin and Blountville projects to receive a total of $2 million

Photo above: The 30-acre portion of Partnership Park II in Bristol slated for grading work is highlighted in this rendering, courtesy NETWORKS Sullivan Partnership. By Scott Robertson After hosting presentations from NETWORKS Sullivan Partnership and the Northeast Tennessee Regional Economic Partnership (NeTREP) , the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development announced in March it will awar ...

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HCA buying Asheville-based Mission Health: Levine predicts little impact on Ballad

By Scott Robertson Mission Health, which operates six hospitals and health facilities in Western North Carolina and competes for medical professionals and patients with Northeast Tennessee-based Ballad Health, has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to merge with Nashville-based HCA. Ballad Chairman and CEO Alan Levine said the day after the announcement he does not anticipate significant changes in the competi ...

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Dang it, we can do this

By Scott Robertson US News & World Report (USN&WR) ran an article recently about Johnson City, Tennessee. The thrust of the piece was that even though the city has high availability of quality health care, it does not crack the list of top 500 healthiest cities in the nation. The same statement could be made in general terms for the entire region. Health care is available, but the population is less ...

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Business Journal Market Facts

Welcome to the second edition of Market Facts, the younger sibling of The Business Journal’s Book of Lists. In the following pages, you’ll find facts that define our region, from demographics to wage data to housing and retail information. New this year is a section on data gathered from a 50-mile radius of Tri-Cities Airport, the center of the Tri-Cities region. We often preach that economic developers don ...

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