If you missed the Sunday, August 6, 2017 FRONT PAGE of The New York Times, you will want to check out the feature on Chattanooga as a Top Draw for global investment. From a real estate perspective, our area’s emphasized assets–about which the world read yesterday–reflect many of the reasons for our clients’ optimism and opportunity in our current real estate market.
From Chattanooga’s low jobless rate of 3.6% to our Chamber of Commerce’s active industry recruitment, the impressive statistics cited by the world’s #1 newspaper–founded as you know by Chattanooga’s own Adolph Ochs, father of our Chattanooga Times Free Press–are the very selling points our Team uses when aggressively marketing your properties to potential buyers from around the globe:
Excerpt: The New York Times (Aug. 6, 2017):
“Foreign businesses…say they are drawn to Chattanooga’s
its rail, port and interstate highway connections;
dependable electric power;
pro-business tax provisions;
and trainable work force…
…lack of state property and income taxes and the absence of union.”
As a lifelong Chattanoogan and steward of your real estate investment dollars, it is gratifying to see the world get additional notice that the “Dynamo of Dixie” is stronger than ever….still producing, pushing, plowing, leading, changing, adapting and, most importantly, thriving.
Originally published in The New York Times on August 6, 2017
By Patricia Cohen
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — At the airport here, there is a reminder to travelers of the jobs that global trade can bring. A shiny 2017 Volkswagen Passat is stationed near the entryway and labeled: “Designed in Germany. Built in Chattanooga.”
The American map is dotted with towns drained of jobs after homegrown factories bolted to lower-wage countries. But for many spots throughout the country, the same strategy of moving operations overseas — when practiced by foreign companies — has buoyed local fortunes.
In Chattanooga and the surrounding region, for example, more than two dozen companies from 20 countries have set up shop, generating billions of dollars in investment, employing thousands of workers and helping drive Tennessee’s jobless rate to 3.6 percent in June, a record low for the state.
But political and business leaders here in Hamilton County, a conservative stronghold where Donald J. Trump won a majority of the votes, worry that the president’s attacks on trading partners and exhortations to “Buy American” could set off a protectionist spiral of tariffs and import restrictions, hurting consumers and workers.
For employers and workers here, though, the labels can be confusing. “There is no such thing as just ‘American built’ anymore,” said Randy Topping, who owns a tractor and equipment dealership in Chattanooga.
He saw his business explode in 2010, thanks in part to growing sales of vehicles made by the Indian manufacturer Mahindra. Mr. Topping is now teamed up with the company and is president of Southeast Mahindra, where nearly 60 people assemble and distribute small red tractors suited to gentleman farmers.
The parts are made in the United States as well as India, South Korea and Japan. “Everything has foreign content,” he said.
Production workers at Southeast Mahindra start at a wage of $12 an hour, eventually earning up to $20 an hour. The competition with rivals, both in the United States and in developing countries, can be brutal, and success is counted in nickels and minutes. Like other Southern states, Tennessee makes a selling point of the scarcity of unions, largely a result of laws exempting workers who don’t join from paying the equivalent of dues.