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VOL. 44 | NO. 8 | Friday, February 21, 2020

Report: Auto tariffs could mean $4B loss to state

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Middle Tennessee State University’s Business and Economic Research Center has released an automobile tariffs study for the state.

The new Global Commerce report on “The Impact of Automotive Tariffs on the Tennessee Economy” looks at the impact on the Tennessee economy under a range of possible tariffs imposed on automotive imports.

Study author Steven Livingston, BERC associate director and a professor of political science and international relations at MTSU, notes that President Trump has continued to threaten auto tariffs on some trade partners, including at this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

“So, the auto industry is not out of the woods,” Livingston says. “Auto tariffs may very likely rise to the top of the trade agenda.”

Livingston estimates that between 70,000 and 100,000 Tennesseans work in the auto industry in some capacity, with production value above $40 billion for the state’s largest export sector.

Livingston’s key takeaways from the study:

• Vehicles manufactured in Tennessee would increase in price from around $1,500 to $5,000, depending upon the specific model.

• The increased costs will lead to production declines across the entire automotive supply chain valued between $365 million and $2.9 billion, depending upon the severity of the tariffs.

• The result would be the loss of between $510 million and $4 billion to the total state economy, again depending upon the severity of the tariffs.

• There would be around 1,000 job losses associated with the “mildest” tariffs and almost 8,000 with more severe tariffs.

• Over the longer-run, some of these losses would be recovered as portions of the supply chain are adjusted, but it would not be enough to recoup the losses.

MTSU insurance program No. 1 in survey

Middle Tennessee State University’s insurance program has been ranked best in the nation among industry professionals, a survey by the global ratings agency A.M. Best reports.

MTSU’s No. 1 ranking was highlighted in an article for the A.M. Best Best’s Review magazine, which explaiined how the Jones College of Business Risk Management and Insurance Program transitioned from a concentration to a full major four years ago when professor Dave Wood came to the university as the new Martin Chair of Insurance.

“We’ve been the best-kept secret,” Wood told the publication. “But we’re trying to change that. The secret, it seems, is out.” Full article available at https://bit.ly/383vrBn.

Best’s Review survey of RMI programs asked carriers, readers, and other insurance professionals which RMI programs “are doing the best job preparing students for careers in the industry.”

Of the 444 votes cast, MTSU received 62, or 14%. And while close to 95% of MTSU’s votes came from within Tennessee, the article notes that the vast majority (nearly 70%) of its votes came from industry professionals with no affiliation with the school, other than hiring its graduates.

Joining MTSU at the top of the survey results were Olivet College, Temple University and the University of Georgia.

TOA experiences security breech

Nashville-based Tennessee Orthopaedic Alliance has notified current and former patients of a data security incident that involves protected health information.

Any individuals potentially impacted by the incident have been provided resources to assist them.

On Oct. 18, 2019, TOA detected unusual activity in its email environment and soon learned an unauthorized third party may have gained access to an employee’s email account. TOA says it then secured its email system, immediately began an investigation and engaged a leading digital forensics firm to determine the scope of the incident.

On Jan. 3, the investigation revealed data containing individuals’ personal or health information within two email accounts may have been affected. This information may have included names, dates of birth, contact information (addresses, phone numbers and email addresses), Social Security numbers, health insurance information, treatment or diagnostic information (including codes), and/or treatment cost information. The incident was limited to information transmitted via email and did not affect any other information systems.

TOA completed a thorough review of the affected accounts to determine whose personal or health information might have been impacted by the incident, and to provide notification to those affected.

TOA has no evidence that any of the information potentially involved in this incident has been misused, but has reported this matter to the FBI.

Spirit Airlines to relocate its operations

Spirit Airlines officials have announced the company will relocate its operations control center from Miramar, Florida, to Williamson County.

The project represents an investment of $11.3 million and will bring 345 jobs to Tennessee during the next five years. Spirit will relocate more than 240 positions to Tennessee and create 100 additional jobs in Williamson County.

Spirit’s OCC serves as the company’s 24/7, mission-critical operations function that directs operational control over all Spirit flights. It includes functions such as flight dispatch, crew scheduling, maintenance control, aircraft routing, air traffic control coordination, guest solutions and more. The facility will contain robust infrastructure to support significant technology and operational reliability.

The OCC move coincides with Spirit’s plan to double its all-Airbus fleet to about 300 aircraft over the next five years. The airline recently finalized an order for the delivery of 100 new Airbus A320neo Family Aircraft through 2027.

Headquartered in South Florida, Spirit is the seventh-largest commercial airline in the U.S. and operates more than 650 flights a day to 77 destinations throughout the U.S., Caribbean and Latin America.

Delta Dental donates $1.2M in Tennessee

Delta Dental of Tennessee, the state’s largest independent dental benefits carrier, has donated $1.2 million to Tennessee dental clinics via its charitable arm, Smile180 Foundation.

The funds are used to support 20 Tennessee-based community clinics and events in providing dental cleanings, fillings, root canals, crowns, bridges and dentures to those in need.

“At Delta Dental of Tennessee, we know that a beautiful and healthy smile makes a huge impact on self-esteem and success in careers and school,” says Dr. Phil Wenk, CEO and president of Delta Dental of Tennessee. “Giving back to the communities in which our employees and members live, work and play is a huge priority for our team. We can make a positive impact by assisting our Tennessee clinic partners in their efforts to create affordable dental care for all – regardless of financial status.”

HCA Inc offers $1B in senior notes

Nashville-based HCA Healthcare, Inc. announced its wholly-owned subsidiary, HCA Inc., proposes to offer $1 billion aggregate principal amount of senior notes due 2030, subject to market and other considerations.

J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, Barclays Capital Inc., BofA Securities, Inc., Citigroup Global Markets Inc., Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC, Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, RBC Capital Markets, LLC, SMBC Nikko Securities America, Inc., SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Inc. and Wells Fargo Securities, LLC are acting as the joint book-running managers for the offering.

Senior notes are debt securities, giving note holders the first chance at recovering their funds in the event that the company declares bankruptcy and liquidates its assets.

Actual terms of the notes, including interest rate and principal amount, will depend on market conditions at the time of pricing.

HCA Inc. intends to use the net proceeds of this offering for the redemption of all $1 billion outstanding aggregate principal amount of HCA Healthcare, Inc.’s 6.25% senior notes due 2021 and for general corporate purposes.

Kidmoto brings service to BNA

Kidmoto, a car transportation service that provides prearranged rides with child car seats, is coming to Nashville International Airport.

“Parents fear traveling with young children because it’s terrifying to travel in a car with no car seats, unsecured car seats or the wrong car seats,’’ says Nelson Nigel, founder of Kidmoto. “Plus, it’s inconvenient to travel with multiple car seats. Taxis and car services do not provide securely harnessed and installed car seats for children.

“The Kidmoto app connects parents to a network of professionally trained drivers who provide secured child car seats for safe airport and cruise car transportation.

Nigel adds Kidmoto which should not be confused with a ride-share service or an “on demand” service.

Kidmoto uses federally approved car seats and trains all their drivers on the proper use and installation. All car seats comply with state and city laws.

Parents schedule their rides in advance to make sure they have a car at the airport to transport them and their children.

Kidmoto’s driver recruitment process promotes a safe environment for both the driver and the passengers. Drivers undergo rigorous employment screening which includes local and national criminal, terrorist and sex offender registry searches.

Dylan’s Heaven’s Door goes to UK, Germany

Heaven’s Door, a collection of American whiskeys created by Bob Dylan and Spirits Investment Partners, is expanding its global presence into the United Kingdom and Germany.

Heaven’s Door’s Door Double Barrel Whiskey was named “Whisky of The Year,” “Spirit of The Year by Quality,” “Spirit of The Year by Value,” and “Best in Show’’ at the 2019 London Spirits Competition

With an ever-increasing demand from consumers and retailers alike, particularly Dylan’s established fan base overseas, Heaven’s Door is excited to now enter the European market with its inaugural trio of American whiskeys.

“This is an exciting milestone for us as we bring Heaven’s Door to the U.K. and Germany, where Bob Dylan kicked off his first ever European tour more than 55 years ago,” says Marc Bushala, CEO of Heaven’s Door Spirits.

The Heaven’s Door international portfolio includes a Tennessee Straight Bourbon (84 proof), Double Barrel Whiskey (100 proof) and Straight Rye Whiskey finished in cigar barrels from Vosges, France (86 proof). Each bottle features design elements from Bob Dylan’s unique ironwork sculptures.

Heaven’s Door Distillery and Center for the Arts is located at 616 Fifth Avenue Soutn in Nashville.

Pinnacle Financial wins 29 awards

Nashville-based Pinnacle Financial Partners won 29 national and regional honors from the Greenwich Best Brand and Excellence Awards for 2019.

Greenwich Best Brand Awards are based on interviews of more than 27,000 clients and given only to financial services firms that have a measurably distinctive brand. Of the more than 600 banks eligible, just 16 earned this title in middle market and only 15 in small business. The four that Pinnacle earned are for trust and ease of doing business. Those two factors are widely recognized as the keys to client satisfaction, loyalty and long-term relationships.

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