Monthly Archives: November 2010

Cracker Barrel goes electric — to install 24 charging stations

Updated with more comments from Cracker Barrel official.

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store is joining the electric vehicle revolution. The restaurant chain said on Tuesday it will install electric vehicle chargers at 24 Tennessee locations, including sites in Farragut and Harriman.

ViewMedia.jpgThe Lebanon, Tenn.-based company will install Blink chargers provided by ECOtality Inc., as part of The EV Project, a national initiative to promote development of an electric vehicle infrastructure.

 

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Scripps Networks looks at UK expansion

Lifestyle media company Scripps Networks Interactive Inc. apparently is considering another international expansion.

Published reports in the United Kingdom indicate Scripps Networks, which announced recently it will move its corporate headquarters to Knoxville, is one of two U.S. companies interested in buying Virgin Media’s stake in UKTV, a pay-TV business.

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Second application round for energy loans next month

Tennessee businesses will get another chance to apply for low-interest loans through the Energy Efficiency Loan Program.

Culture_Currency(2).JPGPathway Lending announced that a second round of applications will be opened on Jan. 4. Applications will be taken on a first come first served basis until all of the loan funds are committed.

The first round of applications closed on Nov. 1 with more than half of the available $50 million in loan funds committed.

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Consumer Reports unveils Naughty & Nice shopping list

Just in time for the holiday shopping season, Consumer Reports has come out with its first “Naughty & Nice Holiday List,” which highlights some of the best and worse corporate shopping policies.

ME_SANTA_001.jpg“Our goal isn’t to laud one company or put down another, but to call out specific policies that we think put consumers first or put them behind the eight ball,” Tod Marks, senior editor and resident shopping expert at Consumer Reports, said in a statement.

Some big names aren’t going to like what CR has to say.

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Farragut business friendly, Knoxville not

Farragut is one of the most business-friendly cities in Tennessee and Knoxville isn’t.

So says the Nashville think tank, Tennessee Center for Policy Research, in a report released on Monday.

The report, “How Business-Friendly Are Tennessee’s Cities?”,  ranks the 50 most-populous cities in the state based on factors such as job and population growth, median per capita income, city property tax rates, tax on gross receipts of sales business taxes and “community allure.”

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General Motors return — what the experts say

820d7421817b9f13dc0e6a706700e60a.jpgIt’s way too early to pass judgement on General Motors return to the stock market, but that isn’t stopping analysts, politicians and others from having their say.

Here’s a sampling of what’s being said, including a video from the White House blog. So far, most of the chatter has been positive, but what will the experts be saying a year from now?

White House White Board: The Rebirth of the American Auto Industry

SmartMoney: The General Motors Bait-and-Switch

Barron’s: The Other Way to Play GM

MarketWatch: GM shares retreat some from re-entry gains

MarketBeat – WSJ.com: GM Stock: Trading but whtih training wheels

Photo: (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, file) In this file photo taken Thursday, Nov. 18, 2010, General Motors headquarters are shown in Detroit. Shares of the reborn General Motors lost momentum in early trading Friday, Nov. 19.

Regal offers healthier snacks — for some movie goers

Updated with Regal comments.

Theater operator Regal Entertainment Group said on Thursday it would offer a healthier snack option for some of its movie goers.

ViewMedia.jpgA Fruit, Nut & Snack Pack is now available at theaters in California, Florida, New York and the Pacific Northwest, the Knoxville-based company said in a press release.

The new snack pack includes invidually wrapped bags of almonds, pretzels and raisins. The alternative snack is being offered in response to customer suggestions and focus group recommendations.

No word on when, or if, the new snack pack would be coming to Knoxville.

Regal officials says depending on how test markets perform, the  healtheir snacks could make their way to Knoxville.

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Agreement to benefit Hispanic Chamber of East Tennessee

Members of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of East Tennessee now have a new resource to help them grow.

VelazquezLuis.jpg.jpgThe Hispanic Chamber on Tuesday signed an inter-chamber agreement with the Tennessee Small Business Development Centers that will provide Hispanic business owners free advice on developing a business plan, loans, taxes and other business matters.

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FedEx CEO plugs electric vehicles on CNBC

In case you missed it, FedEx Corp. CEO Fred Smith had some interesting comments about the benefits of electric vehicles in an interview on CNBC on Monday.

FEDEX+CEO+LAWMAKERS(2).jpgSmith’s company has added electric vehicles to its fleet and Smith is a member of the Electrification Coalition, a nonpartisan group of business execs who support wide spread use of electric vehicles as means to “combat the economic, environmental, and national security dangers caused by our nations dependence on petroleum,” according to information on its website.

The coalition on Monday called for U.S. tax credits to help pay for corporate investment in electric vehicles.

Smith also shared with CNBC his thoughts on the economy and other issues.

Click here for the CNBC interview.

Photo: Fred Smith

Retail outlook study: More jobs, discounts and inventory

 The holiday shopping season should be a good one for consumers, retailers and unemployed workers looking for seasonal jobs, according to the retail outlook study by CIT Group Inc.

Compared to last year, retailers will stock more inventory, advertise more aggressively and offer more discounts, according to CIT’s second annual retail outlook survey. And more than two-thirds of retailers said they will be hiring more holiday workers than they did last year.

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