Ongoing projects

A Four-Year, $1,500,000 Economic, Business and Workforce Development Plan for Cheatham County

Corporate Recruitment
Existing Business Support & Workforce Development     
Retail Development
Senior Living
Tourism Development

Corporate Recruitment $ 475,000

Objective: Proactively target and aggressively recruit companies that will (i) complement our community, (ii) hire local employees, (iii) generate higher skill and wage opportunities, and (iv) diversify the corporate base of Cheatham County.

The Chamber, working in concert with Cheatham Connect, will:

Market Cheatham County to Business Relocation and Expansion Prospects

  • Establish the Red River Preserve business park and aggressively market this community asset to companies interested in its prime location and companies with a culture of environmental stewardship
  • Work with Cheatham County on a plan to fund infrastructure improvements necessary to fully develop the Red River Preserve business park
  • Work with state and regional economic development partners to aggressively market our community to companies and site selection consultants with clients interested in opportunities along the I-24, Highway 12, and I-40 corridors
  • Work closely with Cheatham County and local municipalities to address code and regulatory obstacles that make our community less competitive to new businesses
  • Assemble a Cheatham County Corporate Relocation Packet for recruitment prospects highlighting key demographic, cultural and economic data, along with information on Cheatham Vision investors
  • Establish a Business Incubator to encourage and assist entrepreneurs in developing their ideas into profitable, job-creating local businesses

Cheatham Vision Investors

  • Ask Cheatham Vision investors to participate in the Cheatham Vision CEO Forum, a group of Cheatham County CEO’s, business owners, plant managers and other decision-makers involved in the development of corporate recruitment strategies
  • Work with the CEO Forum to develop a comprehensive list of companies, suppliers, vendors, and other potential recruitment prospects to target for recruitment
  • Invite Cheatham Vision investors to participate in on-site recruitment visits

Measurable Goals

  • Qualify at least 100 corporate recruitment prospects
  • Recruit or significantly grow at least 2 new sizeable employment opportunities over the next four years
  • Create 200 new jobs over the next four years

Existing Business Support & Workforce Development $ 325,000

Objective: Coordinate community-wide implementation of short and long-term initiatives that will (i) assist existing businesses, (ii) support and improve Cheatham County schools, and (iii) address current and future workforce issues.

The Chamber, working in concert with Cheatham Connect, will:

Improve Cheatham County Workforce

  • Conduct a Labor Market Analysis to identify (i) critical entry-level skills and training needs for the existing and potential workforce, and (ii) ways of expanding the labor supply for area businesses
  • Establish regional educational partnerships with area economic development organizations to broaden marketability of the region to new industries
  • Develop innovative programs to expand our workforce (retirees, college students, spouses )
  • Partner with the Cheatham County schools to increase the number of employable high school and post-secondary graduates, and encourage student achievement through:
    • Renaissance Club
    • Teacher Mini-Grants
    • Academic Excellence Awards Dinner
  • Strengthen the partnership between business and Cheatham County schools by identifying and incorporating necessary skill training and business/workforce realities into school curriculums, through:
    • Teacher Shadowing Program
    • Business & Industry in the Classroom
    • Career Academy
    • Career Fair
    • Junior Chamber
  • Streamline the supply of qualified employees for local employers through:
    • Job Apprenticeship and Internship Programs
    • Career Readiness Certificate Program

Support Existing Cheatham County Businesses

  • Provide Expansion & Incentive Assistance to local businesses interested in expansion or relocation opportunities in Cheatham County
  • Conduct Existing Industry Interviews with owners, CEO’s and plant managers in order to identify and address issues that threaten the economic competitiveness of local plants and companies
  • Work closely with Cheatham County and local municipalities to address code and regulatory obstacles that hamper the development and expansion of existing businesses
  • Conduct semi-annual, informational CEO Forum sessions to help local companies increase efficiencies and productivity, as well as to promote cooperation and foster business-to-business relationships
  • Conduct monthly networking events and educational workshops to help local business owners work more efficiently and increase referrals
  • Work with local corporate human resource professionals to create Relocation Packets to help recruit highly skilled employees and management candidates

Measurable Goals

  • Conduct 25 annual one-on-one Existing Industry Interviews with CEO’s, business owners and plant managers
  • Recruit or significantly grow at least 2 new sizeable employment opportunities over the next four years

Retail Development $ 300,000

Objective: Aggressively (i) communicate the economic and community development benefits of increasing retail sales in Cheatham County, (ii) measure and attract consumer and business-to-business retail demand, and (iii) recruit retail businesses that cater to the demographics of Cheatham County and its visitors.

The Chamber, working in concert with Cheatham Connect, will:

  • Maintain a comprehensive inventory of available retail properties
  • Work closely with local legislative bodies to ensure that zoning and other regulations encourage retail development
  • Attract unique retail establishments that cater to Cheatham County residents and tourism demographics
  • Conduct an in-depth retail market study in each of the geographic regions of the county
  • Attend local and regional International Council of Shopping Centers conferences to market our community and our available properties
  • Implement the 3/50 Program to encourage Cheatham County residents to “shop local” and reduce the “retail leakage rate” (percentage of Cheatham County residents’ retail spending occurring outside Cheatham County)
  • Provide Cheatham Vision investors access to a demographic program allowing businesses to more effectively target demand for products and services
  • Maintain regular contact with regional developers to be considered for new retail developments moving to Middle Tennessee
  • Coordinate regional marketing efforts for new retail outlets with area chambers and ECD offices

Measurable Goals

  • Identify and contact at least 25 retail rental prospects capable of occupying current vacant storefronts in Cheatham County over the next four years
  • Reduce Cheatham County’s retail leakage rate of 70% to 60% over the next four years
  • Successfully recruit 5 retail outlets that complement Cheatham County’s developing tourism infrastructure

Senior Living $ 200,000

Objective: Actively recruit independent and assisted living facilities to Cheatham County for its citizens, while encouraging investment in community amenities (retail, medical, tourism) that foster and encourage regional retirees to consider Cheatham County as a retirement option.

The Chamber, working in concert with Cheatham Connect, will:

  • Locate and market properties suitable for active and assisted-living facilities
  • Actively recruit projects that will develop a range of retirement residential options
  • Market Cheatham County to developers of 55+ retirement communities
  • Market Cheatham County to military retirees currently participating in recreational opportunities present in our community, linking the marketing efforts to our central location between the PX in Clarksville and the VA in Nashville
  • Join the Retire Tennessee Program, a state-sponsored program promoting Tennessee as a great place to retire

Measurable Goals

  • Actively recruit at least one assisted living development to Cheatham County over the next four years
  • Actively recruit at least one 55+ retirement community to Cheatham County over the next four years

Tourism Development $ 200,000

Objective: Identify, develop and market our cultural and recreational assets to a local, regional and national audience in order to generate jobs, positive economic activity, and increased sales tax revenues.
The Chamber, working in concert with the Visitors and Recreation Bureau, will:

  • Activate the recently-created Visitors and Recreation Bureau (VRB ) to package and market our many cultural and recreational assets, leveraging private sector Cheatham Vision funding with current public sector funding of $10,000
  • Create strategic alliances with public sector agencies (Wildlife Management Area, Harpeth River State Park) and regional convention and visitors bureaus (e.g., Nashville CVB ) in order to expand our marketing reach
  • Lead the development of a comprehensive plan to maximize the use and economic impact of the recently-acquired 220 riverfront acres in Ashland City
  • Solicit and coordinate multi-day sports and other tournaments, church group meetings, canoe tours, hunting, fishing, bird-watching, and other organized gatherings, bringing thousands of visitors to Cheatham County
  • Actively market Cheatham County directly to the more than 200,000 annual visitors to the Harpeth River State Park
  • Work closely with the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development on tourism initiatives such as the Discover TN Trails and Byways and Civil War Trail
  • Aggressively market Cheatham County through “Now Playing Nashville” to regional hotel concierge services
  • Create a new tourism calendar of events website – “Now Playing Cheatham” - through the Middle Tennessee Community Foundation
  • Create sustainable music and arts festivals in partnership with the Arts Council
  • Market our recreational activities through an aggressive advertising campaign utilizing outdoor magazines, websites, billboards, and other media
  • Produce and distribute updated tourism marketing materials through a network of strategic partners designed to target Cheatham County’s visitor groups
  • Link the VRB with local retail and other businesses in order to market tourist attractions so as to maximize consumer exposure

Measurable Goals

  • Attract at least one marathon / triathlon event to Cheatham County (Fall 2011)
  • Generate a comprehensive plan for use of the 220 riverfront acres in Ashland City by 2012
  • Increase current tourism-related spending in Cheatham County from $595,000 to $750,000 per year by 2014
  • Each year, process and distribute 25,000 Cheatham County tourism information packets
  • Generate an Annual Tourism Report containing an comprehensive schedule of planned events, festivals, and a tally of annual visitors, for use in calculating economic impacts and attracting additional retail outlets to our community
  • Develop a plan to establish Visitors Centers on I-24 and I-40