Loretto Telecom l A SkyBest Company presents The 66th annual Lawrence County Chamber Christmas Parade “Visions of Christmas”

The Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce is continuing to plan for the Christmas Parade and we want everyone to stay safe by following the CDC guidelines. We encourage you to wear a mask and social distance at the parade or even enjoy the excitement from your vehicle.  If you are not well or feel that it’s not safe for you to attend, we encourage you to stay home, stay well and join us next year. 

At 5pm on Saturday, December 5th, the streets of Lawrenceburg will be filled with Christmas magic as Loretto Telecom | A SkyBest Company ushers in the 66th annual Lawrence County Christmas Parade “Visions of Christmas”. 

Registration for floats is FREE in one of four categories; church, commercial, non-profit organization, youth/school group. First place $50 and second place $25 will be awarded in each category. The Best of Show will be awarded $100. A decorated trailer will be considered a float and will be judged on the creative use of the parade theme, lighting, and neatness.  We encourage entries to be clean with covered trailer tires. Signage is more noticeable if placed on both sides of the entry.  For the safety of our children, we encourage you to walk with your entry to give out candy. Please do not have a live person on your float or in your vehicle dressed as Santa. Santa Claus will arrive at the end of the parade.  Judging for floats will be held from 3:30-4:15 pm.

Commercial advertising registration is $30 per vehicle with a limit of three vehicles per business. Individual vehicles and car club entries are $10 per vehicle.  Go online to lawcotn.com to register and pay for your entry. All entries must be decorated with seasonal decorations and any music from your entry must be seasonal. No semi-trucks/trailers will be allowed due to safety concerns for the spectators especially, the children.

All entries, except horse riders, must register with the Chamber of Commerce at 931-762-4911 or at www.lawcotn.com to pay by credit card, by 4:30pm on Monday, November 23rd. The line-up will be announced on www.facebook.com/lawcotn/, in the Advocate on December 2 and the Democrat Union on December 4.

Lawrenceburg Kiwanis Club members will be assisting with the lineup at the staging site at Rotary Park at 4pm.  The parade will travel south on North Military Avenue, go around the Public Square, exit to Waterloo Street, then north on Mahr Avenue one block to Deller Street. Entries must exit the parade by turning left at Deller Street.  If construction is not completed on the northeast corner of the public square, the parade will not go around the square but turn right at the corner of North Military and West Gaines Street and then right at Mahr Avenue.

Float winners will be announced on the Chamber Facebook page at www.facebook.com/lawcotn/ and with the local media.  See Facebook for updates in case of a weather-related cancellation.


New Regional Movement Promotes Rural Quality of Life in Age of Coronavirus

MOUNT PLEASANT, Tenn. — American Picker Mike Wolfe is joining leaders from 13 rural Middle Tennessee and Northwest Alabama communities to launch a new regional movement dubbed “Nashville’s Big Back Yard.”

Nashville’s Big Back Yard (NBBY) is a region anchored by 100 miles of the scenic Natchez Trace Parkway that connects communities with populations under 5,000 — from Leiper’s Fork, Tenn., down to Muscle Shoals, Ala. In the age of coronavirus, small communities are seeing a surge of interest from people who are drawn to rural living, remote work, and an affordable lifestyle.

“This global pandemic is making folks rethink how and where they want to live and work,” said Wolfe, a rural Williamson County resident who has traveled tens of thousands of miles and gained millions of fans as the star and creator of HISTORY’s “American Pickers” series. “I know first-hand how much rural communities have to offer. Now is the perfect time to think about getting out of the cities, and back to small town Main Streets and open spaces. I’m honored to help shine a light on the communities in Nashville’s Big Back Yard.”

To help roll out Nashville’s Big Back Yard, Wolfe produced social media content that is being used on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to promote the Middle Tennessee communities of Centerville, Clifton, Collinwood, Hampshire, Hohenwald, Leiper’s Fork, Linden, Loretto, Mount Pleasant, Santa Fe, Summertown, and Waynesboro— as well as The Shoals area of Northwest Alabama.

“We appreciate Mike’s support of our movement to engage people who may be looking for a change of pace, including a more affordable lifestyle,” said Lewis County Mayor Jonah Keltner. 

Kevin Jackson, executive director of The Shoals Economic Development Authority, added, “The Shoals area is uniquely positioned for growth as people move from densely populated cities in search of a better quality of life.”

Ryan Egly, President & CEO of the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce, added, “Whether you’re looking to put down roots with your family or start your very own business, our region is prepared to support your search for a better quality of life.”

NBBY is the result of lengthy conversations during COVID-19 spearheaded by Leiper’s Fork philanthropist Aubrey Preston and led by community leaders.

“While COVID has dealt a devastating blow to our nation’s public health and economy, it also has led people and communities to think about who we are and what we do,” said Preston, who has spent more than 25 years working on rural preservation efforts including the popular Americana Music Triangle. “The land is calling people back, and Nashville’s Big Back Yard has an abundance of land, water and world-class music. We’re inviting folks to come and play in our big back yard.”

The spring 2020 Harris Poll survey found nearly 40 percent of U.S. adults living in urban areas said they would consider moving “out of populated areas and toward rural areas.”

According to data from the National Association of Realtors, median home prices in Nashville’s Big Back Yard averaged less than $170,000 vs. the national median home price of $241,300.

Meanwhile, the Pew Charitable Trusts has identified Tennessee as one of nine states implementing “promising practices” to speed the deployment of high-speed internet service into rural areas — enabling more effective remote-work options.

“For decades, our communities have been hit hard by loss of jobs and globalization,” said Rena Purdy, executive director of the Wayne County Joint Economic & Community Development Board. “Now, during this unprecedented public-health crisis, we have an opportunity to boost our rural economies and showcase our quality of life to Tennesseans and Americans who may be looking for a change of pace.”

Link to Mike Wolfe Video: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ycheagqdh9sgoek/AACjU67UPOwz3rAMnK6f4nT8a?dl=0

For more information, visit nashvillesbigbackyard.org.


Last Chance to Be Counted! A Census Message from Loretto Mayor Jesse Turner

The 2020 Decennial Census has definitely been one like no other.  This is the United States 24thtime to conduct the Census and the first time the Census Bureau has accepted responses online.  However, it is also the first time for the Census to be taken in midst of a global pandemic.  The ease and advantages of taking information digitally was overshadowed and complicated by COVID-19.

Many have asked why the Census must be completed and why it is important.  It seems in this digital age we are living in that all this information can be gleaned from the barrage of information that seems to be collected on the daily via various sources.  The most important reason the Census is completed and that it is important is because the Constitution of the United States of America requires it.  U.S. Constitution. Article I, Section 2 states that:

“Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers . . . The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct.”

As Americans we should all be thankful for the Constitution and consider it an honor to be able to still fulfill the wishes of our Founding Fathers 230 years later.  Furthermore, the results of the Census determine the number of seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives, and they are used to draw congressional and state legislative districts.  Locally the data is used to draw County Commission Districts. 

Census data is used to apportion hundreds of billions of federal funding streams each year which equates to trillions over each 10-year period the Census represents.  This includes allocations for Medicaid, SNAP, the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program, Head Start, Highway Planning and Construction, and much more.  The data is used to calculate the rate at which federal funds match state spending on programs including Medicaid, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).  This rate, known as the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage, depends on a state’s per capita income relative to the national average.  If the population estimates are artificially low, the per capita income estimates will be too high – which means some states would not receive the full federal reimbursement to which they are entitled.

Locally, Census data proves to be just as important.  Grant applications rely on data derived from the Census.  These grants assist our local communities with repairs, upgrades, and expansions for our utility systems, parks, roads, and schools.  State funding that is distributed to cities and counties is based on population counts from the Census. Business and industry look at the Census data when looking where to local their next retail store, restaurant, manufacturing plant, etc.  Census data is the basis for much of the market research companies perform or buy.  An inadequate count could cause communities most in need of resources and sound decision-making to improve quality of life and standards of living to be inadequately covered for the next decade.  

The Census Bureau will end all counting efforts for the 2020 Census on Wednesday, September 30 for apportionment counts to the President and Congress in December as required by law.  We have only a couple of days left to ensure public and private investments that will improve our quality of life in Loretto and Lawrence County are not hampered by apathy.  Let us all do our Constitutional duty and fill out and submit our Census at 2020census.gov.

Jesse E. Turner
City of Loretto

Lawrence County Chamber Celebrates Manufacturers

LAWRENCEBURG, TENN.— Did you know that for every $1.00 spent in manufacturing, $2.74 is added to the economy? Did you know that for every new manufacturing job, an average of four supporting jobs are created in the community?  If the U.S. manufacturing industry was its own economy, it would be the 9th largest economy in the world.  The field is expanding and diversifying thanks in great part to technology—it’s not the same manufacturing trade from 25 or even 10 years ago.

September 28-October 2 is National Manufacturing Week, ending with Friday’s National Manufacturing Day on October 2.

“To commemorate the observance and put Lawrence County’s manufacturing sector in the spotlight, the Lawrence County Chamber is tackling a variety of manufacturing topics this week,” said Ryan Egly, Lawrence County Chamber President. “Today, we begin with an overview of the dynamic regional manufacturing industry in southern Tennessee and the incredible value and role our Lawrence County manufacturing industry plays within the economy.”

Regionally, the manufacturers employ more than 20,000 people across the seven-county labor shed which includes Lawrence, Giles, Maury, Lewis, and Wayne Counties in Tennessee and Lauderdale and Limestone Counties in Alabama. The breakdown includes the following employment numbers:

  • Lawrence – 2,232 manufacturing jobs
  • Giles – 3,270
  • Maury – 6,872
  • Lewis – 476
  • Wayne – 418
  • Lauderdale – 2,718
  • Limestone – 4,100

In 2020, there were 439 manufacturing employers in the area that provide an average weekly wage of $1,102 or average annual pay of $57,296.  Thousands of manufacturing jobs will be created over the next few years with companies like Craig Manufacturing, Advance Design Solutions, Smile Direct Club, Fuel Total Systems, Mazda-Toyota Manufacturing, and Dura Automotive Systems announcing expansions in the region.

One of the reasons we look at the region is because not only do our residents access these jobs, but we economically impact each other. Manufacturers provide a significant impact on county-level gross domestic product (GDP).  As of 2019, GDP in the region eclipsed $12.5 billion.

Focusing on Lawrence County, our average manufacturing employee makes $45,255 per year compared to the county’s median wage of $35,929. With manufacturing employment growing, per capita income has improved over the past 10 years—from $27,250 to $35,252 (+29.3%).  

Over 14% of Lawrence County’s workforce is employed in the manufacturing sector. Breaking down the specific occupational groups, 15.3% are in healthcare; 10.5% are in transportation & logistics; 13.7% are in construction & maintenance; 8.1% are in business/finance; 7.7% are in law, education & arts; 18.2% are in back office sales & administration; and 5.5% work in the hospitality & food service industry.


Chamber Launches Jobs Board to Connect Job Seekers to Lawrence County Employers

LAWRENCEBURG, Tenn. – Chamber officials have released a new service to support business and industry throughout the community.  Lawrence County’s first local jobs board, LawCoJobs.com, was launched on Monday, August 24.  The new platform will serve as the premier website for job seekers seeking a job opportunity in Lawrence County and is designed to serve businesses of any size and any sector.  For job seekers, the platform will list full-time, part-time, seasonal, and available internship opportunities.

“We know that providing a community jobs board is not only essential for jobs seekers getting back on their feet, but for local businesses ramping up in our post-COVID economy,” explained Chamber President & CEO Ryan Egly.  “Through LawCoJobs, it is our hope that all businesses in Lawrence County will be able to quickly find qualified talent to support their operations.”

“I am proud of the Chamber staff and the partnership we were able to build between WLX, the City of Lawrenceburg, and Aha! Creative to create LawCoJobs.com.  We believe this new website will be a service to our small businesses for many years to come,” stated Ben Gobble, Board Chairman of the Lawrence County Chamber.

“We know there are other websites out there for job seekers, but as we enter a new economy I understand the value of a consolidated local jobs board to serve the diverse businesses located in Lawrenceburg and Lawrence County,” said Lawrenceburg Mayor Blake Lay.  “I would like to congratulate the Chamber and encourage all businesses—from hospitality to healthcare, manufacturing to mom & pop—to post their job openings to LawCoJobs.com.” 

For job seekers, LawCoJobs can be accessed on websites for the county and city governments of Lawrence County, WLX’s website (radio7media.com), and the Chamber’s website (LawCoTN.com).  A video tutorial explaining how to access and use LawCoJobs was released by the Chamber this week and can be found here.  

Charlotte Stremler of WLX Radio stated, “WLX is excited about and committed to working with the Lawrence County Chamber to launch the jobs board for Lawrence County.  It has long been my vision to create a jobs board, and I commend the Chamber for making this a reality, providing yet another example of how they continue to create economic connections for our communities.  I appreciate everyone who had a hand in making this happen, and I look forward to seeing how we can use this tool to help people find new jobs that they love.”

About the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce
The Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce is a network of businesses, industries, local governments, utilities, and private citizens that are committed to improving the quality of life in and around the Lawrence County, Tennessee region through economic, tourism, and workforce development.  

Downtown Lawrenceburg: Master Plan Surveys

The Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce, in coordination with Downtown Lawrenceburg, is seeking public input for the purpose of completing a downtown master plan.  These five (5) surveys cover a multitude of topics including general background, public open space, sidewalks, public parking, and way-finding infrastructure.  Please take a few minutes to complete each survey linked below:

Chamber Partners with TVA to Bring 50 Remote Job Opportunities to Lawrence County

LAWRENCEBURG, TENN.– The Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce has been selected to participate in TVA’s new Remote Work Ready Pilot Program. The program, developed by TVA Economic Development, in partnership with FlexJobs, is designed to connect residents with additional remote work job opportunities and assist communities in diversifying their economic development strategy. Through LawCoTN.com, those interested are provided information on resume writing, remote job opportunities and in-demand skills for remote jobs. 

The initiative provides the Chamber with free FlexJobs memberships, which offer such benefits as:

  • A search feature to explore “vetted” jobs of potential interest in 50+ career fields;
  • More than 170 jobs skills tests that can be taken limitless times to showcase/improve career abilities;
  • Webinars with career experts and hiring managers to help in job searches;
  • Special notification for early registration to members-only access FlexJobs Virtual Job Fairs, hiring events and special employer spotlight webinars;
  • Alert emails that match remote and flexible jobs related to a member’s profile; and
  • A personal dashboard to help stay organized, motivated, and educated.

 “A community’s ability to adapt to changing workforce needs is critical in the ever-evolving world of economic development. Understanding that remote work can provide opportunities for a community to build its talent pipeline can really be impactful to economic success, and TVA is proud to continue to provide innovative solutions for job opportunities in the Valley,” said John Bradley, TVA Senior Vice President of Economic Development. 

“As our economy changes, so does our economic development strategy.   We are proud to partner with TVA to support these 50 new job opportunities for Lawrence Countians,” said Ryan Egly, President & CEO of the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce.

Lawrence Countians interested in applying for a FlexJobs membership can find more information here:

About the Tennessee Valley Authority

The Tennessee Valley Authority is a corporate agency of the United States that provides electricity for business customers and local power companies serving 10 million people in parts of seven southeastern states. TVA receives no taxpayer funding, deriving virtually all of its revenues from sales of electricity. In addition to operating and investing its revenues in its electric system, TVA provides flood control, navigation and land management for the Tennessee River system and assists local power companies and state and local governments with economic development and job creation. More information is available at TVA.com.

About FlexJobs

FlexJobs is a premium online job service for professionals seeking flexible work, specializing in full-time and part-time remote jobs, employee and freelance jobs, and on-site jobs with flexible, part-time, and alternative schedules. Since its start in 2007, FlexJobs has helped more than 4 million people in their job searches and has created the largest vetted database of legitimate flexible job opportunities in over 50 career categories. In addition, FlexJobs provides robust career support, including curated expert resources and career coaching services, to partner with job seekers in all phases of their journey.

About the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce
The Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce is a network of businesses, industries, local governments, utilities, and private citizens that are committed to improving the quality of life in and around the Lawrence County, Tennessee region through economic, tourism, and workforce development.  

Ryan Egly | President & CEO
Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce
25 B Public Square, Lawrenceburg, TN 38464
o. (931) 762-4911

Head Down Firearms to Locate New Operations in Lawrenceburg

LAWRENCEBURG, Tenn. – Lawrence County Executive T.R. Williams, Lawrenceburg Mayor Blake Lay and Lawrence County Chamber officials today announced that Head Down Firearms will invest $4 million to locate its headquarters and new manufacturing operations in Lawrenceburg. The investment will create 30 new jobs in Lawrence County over the next five years.  

Head Down Firearms manufactures custom rifles for sporting and self-defense use.  The company has partnered with Lawrenceburg-based Smith Gun Co. Ltd. as its master dealer.  A ribbon cutting for Head Down Firearms will be hosted at Smith Gun Co. Ltd. at 1934 Fall River Road in Lawrenceburg on Tuesday, August 4, 2020 at 9:00am CDT. 

Since 2016, Lawrence County has supported 10 economic development projects in Lawrence County, resulting in more than 1,000 job commitments and more than $50 million in capital investment.

“Our team is proud to call Lawrence County home.  We are committed not only to providing the best products and services to our customers, but to also create a positive economic impact for the greater Lawrenceburg area.” – Jerrod Menz, President of Head Down Firearms

“On behalf of the City of Lawrenceburg, I would like to thank Head Down for investing in our community.  This investment and jobs created here are a manifestation of the partnership and friendship formed between the company and our great city.  Welcome to Lawrenceburg!” – Lawrenceburg Mayor Blake Lay

“It is a great privilege to welcome another great company to Lawrence County.  This operation further proves that the business climate, quality of life, and quality of workforce in our community is second to none.  On behalf of Lawrence County Government, we want to thank and congratulate Head Down Firearms.” – Lawrence County Executive T.R. Williams

“The Lawrence County Chamber congratulates Head Down Firearms on its decision to locate their headquarters and manufacturing operation to Lawrenceburg.  We are proud to promote new job creation and attract new investments to our community and look forward to working with Head Down Firearms for many years to come.” – Ryan Egly, Lawrence County Chamber President & CEO

About the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce
The Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce is a network of businesses, industries, local governments, utilities, and private citizens that are committed to improving the quality of life in and around the Lawrence County, Tennessee region through economic, tourism, and workforce development.  


Luna Named Lawrence County’s 2020 Citizen of the Year

July 16, 2020

Luna Named Lawrence County’s 2020 Citizen of the Year

by Ryan Egly

Members of the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce gathered Thursday night for their 71st Annual Membership Meeting bringing the business community and government officials together for an update on the economic development and to name the 2020 Citizen of the Year.  

“Historically, Lawrence County’s Citizen of the Year has been a problem solver; someone that sees an issue in our community and acts on it,” said Terra Dickey, Lawrence County Register of Deeds.  “This year, many great problem solvers were nominated for this honor…while recognizing the worthiness of all of these nominees, only one nominee had multiple nominations and was selected unanimously by the Citizen of the Year selection committee.”

Mr. Ben Luna was selected for his longstanding service to Lawrence County’s civic and faith communities, and for his leadership in launching Tennessee Valley Weather by securing a new state-of-the-art doppler radar.  This technology gives our community a better picture of severe weather.

“After the damaging storms that impacted Lawrenceburg and Loretto earlier this year, Ben got to work,” explained Ryan Egly, President & CEO of the Lawrence County Chamber.  “He didn’t sit by and only educate local leaders about the issue, but he actually implemented a solution that provides real-time data to protect our friends and neighbors.  Ben exemplifies the spirit of this award—and I am proud to call him my friend.”

About the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce
The Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce is a network of businesses, industries, local governments, utilities, and private citizens that are committed to improving the quality of life in and around the Lawrence County, Tennessee region through economic, tourism, and workforce development.  Lawrence County was named a Top 100 Micropolitan area by Site Selection Magazine in 2016 and 2017.

Ryan Egly | President & CEO
Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce
25 B Public Square, Lawrenceburg, TN 38464
o. (931) 762-4911

Lawrence County to be Represented in a Regional Roundtable Discussion

Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC)’s Appalachian Leadership Institute is hosting a Facebook live roundtable discussion on the COVID-19 response across Appalachia. The discussion, moderated by Bruce Decker of Collective Impact, will include the following Institute fellows: Luke Glaser, Beau Harbin, Josh Sawyers, Denny Wayne Robinson, Jesse Turner, and Laura White-Brown.

Tune in at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 28 to hear six #AppalachianLeaders, including the mayor of the City of Loretto, discuss their communities’ responses to #COVID19, the challenges they face and the successes they’ve realized. 

“Our community has led the charge in supporting small business during the COVID-19 pandemic,” explained Mayor Jesse Turner. “I am proud to tell Lawrence County’s story of teamwork during this roundtable.”

Attendees are encouraged to ask questions and share insights from their communities. Share this information with anyone who might be interested.

The Appalachian Regional Commission is a regional economic development agency composed of governors of the 13 Appalachian states and a federal co-chair, appointed by the President of the United States. ARC invests in local communities throughout the region to build economic growth and community capacity in Appalachia.

For more information, about the ARC, visit www.arc.gov.

Watch the discussion live on the ARC Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ARC.gov