Chattanooga Business

Opportunities to Thrive for Businesses of Every Size

Chattanooga is a great city to do business in. With a pro-business state legislature, low taxes, fastest internet in the world, unparalleled business support, and a location that is second-to-none, startups and larger corporations are increasingly calling the Scenic City home.

Over the last decade, Chattanooga has put itself on the map as a top city for doing business. Site Selection magazine rated Tennessee as the best state for business. Separately, CNBC also ranked Tennessee as a top state in the U.S. for business. Among several metrics, CNBC ranked Tennessee second for the strength of its economy.

With a favorable business tax climate (14th in the U.S. according to Tax Foundation) and located within a short distance to several cities in the South, Mid-Atlantic, and Central U.S., the Scenic City is a favorite for manufacturing and logistics companies.

By far, the largest contributions to the economy have come from the area’s manufacturing companies. Powerhouse Volkswagen recently ramped up production of the ID.4 electric SUV, and the manufacturing company expects to build more than 90,000 ID.4s in 2023. This, in part, led the employer to embark on its largest hiring surge since opening the factory, and in 2022 Volkswagen made the move to fill roughly 1,000 jobs and add a third shift.

The prevalence of electric vehicle manufacturing in the area has also attracted Piedmont Lithium, which will break ground in 2023 on what will be the largest lithium processing plant in the nation. Located about an hour outside of the city, the plant is expected to produce enough lithium hydroxide by 2025 for at least half a million cars annually.

In other major projects, subsidiary of GE Appliances, Roper Corp., announced a $118 million investment that will add 600 jobs, and asphalt emulsion product supplier Hudson Materials Company purchased the last undeveloped site within the Centre South Riverport Industrial Park to build a $10 million plant.

While many of Chattanooga’s largest companies are creating products, the Scenic City has a bourgeoning network of corporations focused on getting products to consumers as efficiently as possible. Local third-party logistics company Steam Logistics broke ground in early 2022 on a new downtown headquarters that will welcome 400 employees over the next five years. Taimen Transport is also ramping up operations and has purchased a 21,000-square-foot building in the city’s Southside district, which will undergo a $3 million renovation and eventually house an additional 115 employees. Network Transport also expanded its headquarters operation in a move that added roughly 10,000 square feet and the capacity for 100 more workers. In addition, West Side Transport also expanded into the market. Rounding out some of the top moves within the industry is KCH Transportation, which is relocating and expanding its headquarters within the Scenic City. The move is expected to allow the company to add approximately 400 employees over the next few years. Also making news in 2022 was FreightWaves, which gathered more than 2,000 logistics industry leaders from around the globe for its Future of Freight Festival.

While logistics and manufacturing companies are dominating Chattanooga’s business expansions, other companies are also thriving thanks to the city’s business-friendly environment. Concentrix, Five Star Food Service, and iFixit have all announced expansions, which will collectively result in more than 300 jobs and an investment of over $24 million. West Star Aviation is planning to increase its footprint by over a third and finish construction on a new hangar complex in 2023. The company also plans to add more than 100 people to its local team.

In 2022, 15 Chattanooga companies made the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing privately held companies in the United States. In the same year, the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce announced that its Chattanooga Climbs economic goal of $1 billion in capital investment was surpassed in just three years, signaling that the city is focused on successfully attracting business to the Chattanooga area.

Supported by EPB’s new 25-gig internet service, the Scenic City continues to attract data and tech companies, as well as a remote workforce seeking the quality of life Chattanooga has to offer. Bloomberg recently noted Chattanooga as a major remote work hot spot.

With one of the top business incubators in the nation, startups are choosing our city. The Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce oversees the third-largest business incubator in the United States and the largest in Tennessee. Aspiring entrepreneurs can also find support in the city from LAUNCH and CO.LAB, both of which run small business development programs.

AOL cofounder Steve Case mentioned the city as one of the top three in the nation for surprising startup activity, and according to finance website Smartest Dollar, Chattanooga has the seventh most minority-owned businesses in the United States, many of which are startups or small businesses.

Further adding to its economic growth is the number of new residents and visitors coming to the Scenic City. Chattanooga’s low property taxes, no state income tax for individuals, and great quality of life have attracted people from across the country to the city. In 2022, Chattanooga was the top city in Tennessee for attracting new residents due to its low cost of living (11.6% lower than the national average) and job growth rate that surpassed that for the U.S.

Following the devastating impact of the pandemic, tourism spending jumped 40% in 2021 to reach pre-pandemic levels above $1.5 billion. On average, Chattanooga hosts over 40,000 visitors a day, and more than 31,000 people are now employed by the leisure and hospitality industry.

Regardless of industry or company size, Chattanooga is the place to be when it comes to business.

Chattanooga Business

Chatt Choices™

Raymond James Downtown team

Raymond James & Associates, Inc.

Opportunities to Thrive for Businesses of Every Size

Chattanooga is a great city to do business in. With a pro-business state legislature, low taxes, fastest internet in the world, unparalleled business support, and a location that is second-to-none, startups and larger corporations are increasingly calling the Scenic City home.

 

Over the last decade, Chattanooga has put itself on the map as a top city for doing business. Site Selection magazine rated Tennessee as the best state for business. Separately, CNBC also ranked Tennessee as a top state in the U.S. for business. Among several metrics, CNBC ranked Tennessee second for the strength of its economy.

 

With a favorable business tax climate (14th in the U.S. according to Tax Foundation) and located within a short distance to several cities in the South, Mid-Atlantic, and Central U.S., the Scenic City is a favorite for manufacturing and logistics companies.

 

By far, the largest contributions to the economy have come from the area’s manufacturing companies. Powerhouse Volkswagen recently ramped up production of the ID.4 electric SUV, and the manufacturing company expects to build more than 90,000 ID.4s in 2023. This, in part, led the employer to embark on its largest hiring surge since opening the factory, and in 2022 Volkswagen made the move to fill roughly 1,000 jobs and add a third shift.

 

The prevalence of electric vehicle manufacturing in the area has also attracted Piedmont Lithium, which will break ground in 2023 on what will be the largest lithium processing plant in the nation. Located about an hour outside of the city, the plant is expected to produce enough lithium hydroxide by 2025 for at least half a million cars annually.

 

In other major projects, subsidiary of GE Appliances, Roper Corp., announced a $118 million investment that will add 600 jobs, and asphalt emulsion product supplier Hudson Materials Company purchased the last undeveloped site within the Centre South Riverport Industrial Park to build a $10 million plant.

 

While many of Chattanooga’s largest companies are creating products, the Scenic City has a bourgeoning network of corporations focused on getting products to consumers as efficiently as possible. Local third-party logistics company Steam Logistics broke ground in early 2022 on a new downtown headquarters that will welcome 400 employees over the next five years. Taimen Transport is also ramping up operations and has purchased a 21,000-square-foot building in the city’s Southside district, which will undergo a $3 million renovation and eventually house an additional 115 employees. Network Transport also expanded its headquarters operation in a move that added roughly 10,000 square feet and the capacity for 100 more workers. In addition, West Side Transport also expanded into the market. Rounding out some of the top moves within the industry is KCH Transportation, which is relocating and expanding its headquarters within the Scenic City. The move is expected to allow the company to add approximately 400 employees over the next few years. Also making news in 2022 was FreightWaves, which gathered more than 2,000 logistics industry leaders from around the globe for its Future of Freight Festival.

 

While logistics and manufacturing companies are dominating Chattanooga’s business expansions, other companies are also thriving thanks to the city’s business-friendly environment. Concentrix, Five Star Food Service, and iFixit have all announced expansions, which will collectively result in more than 300 jobs and an investment of over $24 million. West Star Aviation is planning to increase its footprint by over a third and finish construction on a new hangar complex in 2023. The company also plans to add more than 100 people to its local team.

 

In 2022, 15 Chattanooga companies made the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing privately held companies in the United States. In the same year, the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce announced that its Chattanooga Climbs economic goal of $1 billion in capital investment was surpassed in just three years, signaling that the city is focused on successfully attracting business to the Chattanooga area.

 

Supported by EPB’s new 25-gig internet service, the Scenic City continues to attract data and tech companies, as well as a remote workforce seeking the quality of life Chattanooga has to offer. Bloomberg recently noted Chattanooga as a major remote work hot spot.

 

With one of the top business incubators in the nation, startups are choosing our city. The Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce oversees the third-largest business incubator in the United States and the largest in Tennessee. Aspiring entrepreneurs can also find support in the city from LAUNCH and CO.LAB, both of which run small business development programs.

 

AOL cofounder Steve Case mentioned the city as one of the top three in the nation for surprising startup activity, and according to finance website Smartest Dollar, Chattanooga has the seventh most minority-owned businesses in the United States, many of which are startups or small businesses.

 

Further adding to its economic growth is the number of new residents and visitors coming to the Scenic City. Chattanooga’s low property taxes, no state income tax for individuals, and great quality of life have attracted people from across the country to the city. In 2022, Chattanooga was the top city in Tennessee for attracting new residents due to its low cost of living (11.6% lower than the national average) and job growth rate that surpassed that for the U.S.

 

Following the devastating impact of the pandemic, tourism spending jumped 40% in 2021 to reach pre-pandemic levels above $1.5 billion. On average, Chattanooga hosts over 40,000 visitors a day, and more than 31,000 people are now employed by the leisure and hospitality industry.

 

Regardless of industry or company size, Chattanooga is the place to be when it comes to business.

Top Chattanooga Area Employers 

Hamilton County Schools: 4,980 

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee: 4,855

Erlanger Health System: 4,852

CHI Memorial: 3,549 

Tennessee Valley Authority: 3,431 

Volkswagen: 2,982

McKee Foods Corporation: 2,928 

Unum: 2,800 

Amazon.com: 2,518

City of Chattanooga: 2,217 

Roper Corporation: 2,050

Hamilton County Government: 1,842 

Cigna: 1,757 

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga: 1,371 

Pilgrim’s Pride: 1,328

Astec Industries, Inc.: 1,322 

Parkridge Medical Center: 1,321 

U.S. Xpress: 1,038 

T-Mobile: 851 

TN State Department of Transportation: 758

 

Source: Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, 2021

Note: total of full-time employees

Gross Metropolitan Product by Sector Graph

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