Tag Archives: business-friendly

Supremes approve pilot project to promptly resolve business lawsuits

News release from the Administrative Office of the Courts:
Nashville, Tenn. ¬– A new pilot project in Davidson County court will open the door to increased efficiencies in complex business litigation in Tennessee.

Davidson County Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle will preside over the pilot project, which is expected to start taking cases May 1. A chancellor since 1995, Lyle has expertise in handling complex business and commercial disputes, and will provide proactive, hands-on case management. The pilot project will gather data and information to identify best practices for development of potential future Tennessee Business Courts.

The pilot project court will focus on complex business litigation with the goals of expediting cases and developing a body of rulings from which lawyers and litigants can better predict and assess outcomes in business cases. An evaluation process will be put in place to determine the effectiveness of the court.

“Our court system must do a better job serving the needs of businesses that provide jobs to Tennesseans. With the creation of a business court, we will have more predictable, consistent results, and more timely resolutions of business disputes,” said Chief Justice Sharon Lee. “This will be a great tool to attract and retain business in Tennessee.”

More than half the states have business courts, which have proven an effective tool for business retention, economic development, and enhanced effectiveness of the judicial system.

The Supreme Court order also says non-business case dockets will benefit from the removal of complex and time-consuming business cases from the general docket.

Note: The Supreme Court order creating the pilot business litigation project is HERE.

Haslam launches a LEAP toward aligning business needs with worker education

News release from the governor’s office:
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced the start of the Labor Education Alignment Program (LEAP) competition, a state effort focused on increasing opportunities for Tennesseans to obtain a certificate or degree beyond high school that is aligned with the needs of the workforce in their communities.

The LEAP program, administered by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC), is accepting applications from local collaboratives that seek to create new programs and/or acquire essential equipment aligned with the gaps in the local workforce.

“Our goal with the Drive to 55 is to encourage more Tennesseans to obtain a certificate or degree beyond high school, so that they can ultimately get better jobs and create better lives,” Haslam said. “The LEAP competition will create partnerships between employers and higher education institutions that will be an important step in making this goal a reality.”

Funded by a $10 million appropriation in the FY-2014-15 budget, the LEAP competition is open through November 17. Applicants are eligible to apply for grants of up to $1,000,000.

Applicants must represent a partnership consisting of the following entities:

1) A local economic development agency, chamber of commerce, or workforce board.

2) A community college or college of applied technology (TCAT).

3) The local K-12 school district.

4) Two or more local employers with a demonstrated shortage of skilled workers.

Applicants are asked to submit their proposal in accordance with the Request for Proposals (RFP) available online at www.tn.gov/thec.

A selection committee consisting of representatives from higher education, the department of Economic and Community Development and the department of Labor will consider proposals and select those that most clearly meet the needs of current employers or serve as a catalyst to recruit new industry to the state.

A satirical swat at the governor’s business-friendly approach to a corporation

By way of Knoxviews, Mark Harmon has a pretty biting satire column on Gov. Bill Haslam’s business-friendly efforts. It starts like this:

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam leaned against a brick wall under a red light in a seedy part of Nashville. Slowly he sauntered up to a global corporation as it approached him.

“Hey there, you big powerful corporation. You looking for a date, er, state?” he propositioned.

“Uh, maybe,” murmured the corporation.

“I know the Supreme Court says you have First Amendment rights,” said Haslam as he slipped his hand into the corporation’s jacket. “But I know you have other needs as well.”

The corporation froze motionless as Haslam flicked his tongue near the corporate ear. “Trust me, baby,” Haslam cooed. “I am so business friendly.”

Business-friendly governor blessed by business groups’ backing

(Note: This is a column written for the Knoxville Business Journal, full version also available HERE with some related links):
Business-friendly Gov. Bill Haslam now has two governor-friendly business organizations ready to back him on policy and political matters in the weeks and months ahead. He doubtless welcomes their help and probably needs it in the evolving rancor within Republican ranks.

Initially, the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry put together “the Tennessee Prosperity Project,” described on the chamber’s website as “a nonpartisan voter education effort with the goal of providing information that promotes free enterprise, jobs and prosperity in Tennessee.”

That led to establishing, in cooperation with the Tennessee Business Roundtable and the chambers in the state’s four largest cities, an organization christened Businesses for Tennessee Prosperity.

The announced first priority of Businesses for Tennessee Prosperity is joining Haslam and Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman in defense of Common Core standards and related testing of students.

The education standards are facing an assault in the Legislature by socially conservative Republicans and not-so-conservative Democrats who, for different reasons, want to stop or stall the testing portion, known as the Partnership for Assessing Readiness in College and Career, or PARCC. Some out-of-state conservative groups have also joined in the effort.
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Farragut Deemed ‘Most Business-Friendly’ TN City

News release from Beacon Center:
NASHVILLE – The Beacon Center of Tennessee, the state’s free market think tank, today announced the results of its annual ranking of the state’s 50 most populous cities. Founded as the Tennessee Center for Policy Research, the Beacon Center analyzes cities’ friendliness to business each year based on a number of factors.
This year’s Most Business-Friendly City is the East Tennessee town of Farragut. The city is the first to receive the distinction twice, having first been awarded the title in the Beacon Center’s inaugural rankings in 2006. Later this month, the Center will present Farragut officials with a plaque commemorating the honor.
The study, titled How Business-Friendly are Tennessee’s Cities?, scores each city in three categories that reflect a commitment to encouraging business success and fostering an entrepreneurial spirit. Those categories are Economic Vitality, Business Tax Burden, and Community Allure.
Farragut has consistently ranked toward the top, finishing first in 2006 and second in last year’s rankings. In 2011, its job performance and low tax burden give it the state’s most business-friendly climate.
“Farragut has maintained a solid commitment to low taxes and an inviting economic policy,” said the Beacon Center’s President & CEO Justin Owen. “The city’s dedication to business growth has paid off, leading it to the top of the business-friendly rankings in 2011.”
The city lacks a property tax, has a low crime rate, and has witnessed strong job growth compared to other cities. It finished first in the Business Tax Burden category with a perfect score, third in Economic Vitality, and eighth in the less-weighted category of Community Allure, pulling well ahead of the second ranked city of Brentwood. Franklin, Mt. Juliet, and Spring Hill round out the top five.
“This award is a reflection of Farragut’s commitment to creating a business-friendly climate free of stifling taxes and restrictive regulatory burdens,” Owen said. “We applaud the local elected officials and business leaders for earning the distinction as Tennessee’s Most Business-Friendly City for the second time in just six years.”
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Memphis, Brownsville, Martin, Dyersburg, and Tullahoma rank in the bottom five for business-friendliness in 2011.
The full report, along with the ranking of each of Tennessee’s 50 most populous cities, can be found at www.BeaconTN.org.