Legal Aid, Catholic Charities partner for COVID-19 assistance

Friday, November 13, 2020, Vol. 44, No. 46

Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands has partnered with Catholic Charities of Tennessee to offer assistance to individuals experiencing financial or personal hardships due to COVID-19.

Davidson County residents are eligible to apply for up to $4,000 per person from Catholic Charities, which is receiving funds for the program from the State of Tennessee through the CARES Act. Legal Aid Society will refer clients to the program and assist applicants in filling out applications.

Funds from the program, which are distributed to Catholic Charities by United Way of Greater Nashville, will not go to the individuals themselves, but will be paid directly toward such necessities as food, rent, mortgage and/or utilities.

Legal Aid Society clients have access to more than $100,000 in funding, enough to help 20-30 clients per month.

The program is being piloted in Davidson County and the organizations hope to expand it to other Middle Tennessee communities if additional funding becomes available. The current funds need to be used this month under restrictions from the CARES Act. Applications will be accepting through Nov. 18. Call 615 244-6610 or 800 238-1443 to apply.

State tax revenues jump $38.2M in October

Tennessee has announced that the state’s tax revenues exceeded budgeted estimates in October.

Overall October revenues were $1.2 billion, which is $38.2 million more than October of last year and $134.8 million more than the budgeted estimate. The growth rate for October was 3.39%.

Year-to-date revenues for three months are $447.4 million more than the budgeted estimate. The general fund has exceeded estimates by $433.2 million and the four other funds that share in state tax revenues exceeded estimates by $14.2 million.

General fund revenues for October were $125.2 million more than the budgeted estimate, and the four other funds that share in state tax revenues were $9.6 million more than the budgeted estimates.

Franchise and excise combined revenues for October were $55.2 million, which is $11.7 million more than the budgeted estimate of $43.5 million. Due to the high volatility of these taxes the growth rate for October was 26.19% and the year-to-date growth rate is 3.48%.

Gasoline and motor fuel revenues decreased by 17.22% for October but were $1.3 million more than the budgeted estimate of $106.5 million. Adjusting for a large $23.3 million one-time motor fuel tax payment made last year at this time, gasoline and motor fuel revenue growth was a positive 0.84%for the month.

Motor vehicle registration revenue receipts increased by 6.57% and were $2.7 million more than the October estimate.

Tobacco tax revenues for the month were $0.2 million less than the budgeted estimate of $18.9 million. The growth rate for October was negative 2.36%.

Privilege tax revenues were $8 million more than the budgeted estimate of $35.2 million and the year-to-date growth rate is 13.90%.

Business tax revenues increased by 15.18% and were $2 million more than the budgeted estimate.

Income tax receipts were $3 million more than the October estimate and mostly flat compared to the same month last year.

Mixed drink, or liquor-by-the-drink, taxes were $3 million less than the October estimate, and on a year-to-date basis, revenues are 42% lower than 2019.

$6M grant to expand criminal justice reform

The Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services is receiving a new federal grant to expand criminal justice alternatives for Tennesseans living with addiction.

The $6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Justice will cover 10 project sites, including Anderson, Blount, Bradley, Cheatham, Cocke, Dickson, Grundy, Montgomery, Roane and Tipton counties.

Services under the grant begin with a collaborative community review of services under a standardized model called Sequential Intercept Model Mapping. The county-specific report is then used to prioritize needs and make decisions about spending additional funding.

The new grant builds on a previous $6.5 million grant from the Department of Justice that is serving 11 Tennessee counties including Davidson, Hamilton, Jefferson, Knox, Putnam, Sevier, Sullivan, Sumner, Washington, and Wilson. Five of the project sites for the new grant inquired about services and expressed interest after hearing about the successes of locations in the first grant.

Frito-Lay investing $100M in Giles County

Frito-Lay, a division of PepsiCo, will expand its operations in the city of Pulaski, creating 100 new jobs over the next three years and investing $100 million in Giles County.

Construction is set to begin in early 2021, and the project is expected to be completed in early 2022.

The Frito-Lay Pulaski site project will include manufacturing and warehouse expansions, including the addition of four new manufacturing lines to support future growth.

The new lines will produce products from the recently acquired PopCorners brand.

New Constructs earns Listmaker honors

New Constructs, a Brentwood-based provider of insights into the fundamentals and valuation of private and public businesses, has been recognized as a 2020 Benzinga Global Fintech Listmaker in two categories.

The firm received recognition in the Best Financial Research Company and Best Investment Research Tech categories.

The official Benzinga Fintech Listmakers are comprised of 250 carefully vetted and renowned companies and executives who are striving to revolutionize the fintech industry. From deeply established companies to the newest startups, this group is impacting sectors like payments, banking, investing, technology and financial literacy.

Spero adds addiction clinic in East Tennessee

Nashville-based Spero Health has opened a new clinic in Seymour, near Knoxville.

The clinic joins a network of more than 40 Spero Health locations throughout Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and Indiana, providing care for more than 8,000 patients each month.

Spero Health says its decision to open in Seymour was in direct response to the heavy demand for a comprehensive addiction treatment solution locally. Nationally there is a rise in drug overdose deaths amid COVID-19 with 2020 preliminary data suggesting an all-time high in drug deaths this year alone.

Pinnacle Financial earns ‘Best Banks to Work For’

Pinnacle Financial Partners, headquartered in Nashville, has been named one of the Best Banks to Work For.

The company earned the No. 8 spot overall on the annual list compiled by American Banker magazine and Best Companies Group, as well as the No. 1 spot among banks with $10 billion or more in assets. The firm rose five spots in overall rank from 2019, when Pinnacle appeared at No. 13.

The makeup of the list shows that a strong internal culture is much more commonplace among smaller banks. Even as it has grown, Pinnacle has ranked in the top 20 for all eight years the list has existed. It is by far the largest bank among the top 60.

Gun company moving here from San Diego

GS Performance will relocate its headquarters, manufacturing and distribution operations from San Diego to Nashville.

The Glock handgun accessory and parts manufacturer will invest $7 million in Davidson County.

The project represents an investment of $6.9 million and the creation of 110 new jobs over the next five years.

The company is renovating and making upgrades to an existing 65,000-square-foot facility located at 1930 Air Lane Dr. in Nashville. The building is undergoing extensive retrofitting, which is expected to be complete in November 2020.

GS Performance is known for its major brand GlockStore, the world’s largest distributor of Glock parts and accessories, magazines, holsters, logo gear, apparel, concealment items, custom parts and Glock custom guns.

Hiring is currently underway. Those interested in applying for a position with GS Performance can visit for more information.

Bridgestone joins Indy Autonomous Challenge

Bridgestone Americas, headquartered in Nashville, is partnering with the Indy Autonomous Challenge, a global competition among university teams to program a modified Dallara IL-15 racecar and compete in the world’s first autonomous high-speed, head-to-head race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Bridgestone will serve as the exclusive tire supplier for the event, which is scheduled for Oct. 23.

Bridgestone will work closely with the IAC and its participating teams on a collective vision to push the boundaries of self-driving car technology and increase public awareness of the impact that automation can have on society. This mission closely aligns with Bridgestone’s strategic shift to evolve its focus beyond tires to provide sustainable mobility and advanced solutions that create new value for its customers and society.

In combination with its Firestone brand, Bridgestone has an unrivaled history of motor sports success at IMS that dates back more than a century to the inaugural Indianapolis 500 in 1911. Firestone has been the Official Tire of the Indy 500 since 2002 and has 71 wins in the iconic race – more than twice as many as all other tire manufacturers combined.

Delta Dental to replace school water fountains

Delta Dental of Tennessee has launched its grant program, “Water’s Cool @ School!” to replace existing water fountains at 55 elementary schools across the state with contactless Elkay bottle-filling stations.

As many elementary schools have either returned to in-person learning or are making plans to safely do so, Delta Dental is commemorating its 55th anniversary by providing schools a timely way to help students stay healthy and hydrated, while mitigating the spread of germs.

Providing contactless access to drinking water throughout the school day gives students a healthy alternative to sugary beverages like soda and sports or juice drinks.

Drinking plenty of water can help combat obesity, increase energy levels and may improve students’ cognitive functions. Further, if fluoridated, drinking water also plays an important role in preventing cavities.