Maury County Business Climate Attracts a Range of Businesses
Square Market & Cafe in Downtown Columbia, TN
Customers enjoy lunch at Square Market & Cafe in downtown Columbia, Tennessee. With recent streetscape improvements, restaurants like Copper Kettle, Square Market, Killion's Coffee and Creamery, and specialty shops like Castle Toy Store are bringing renewed vigor back to the downtown area.
With its strategic location, strong infrastructure and pro-business climate, Maury County and its cities of Mt. Pleasant, Columbia and Spring Hill are a natural hub for retail, services and manufacturing throughout south central Tennessee. Customers from four surrounding counties frequent shopping centers in the area, and the same goes for entities like Columbia State Community College, Maury County Regional Airport and Maury Regional Medical Center.
A variety of businesses and industries have also chosen to set up shop throughout Maury County's three cities—each of which attracts a diverse mix of companies.
Once known as the "Phosphate Capital of the World," Mt. Pleasant's industrial heritage dates back to its days as a mining boomtown following the discovery of elemental phosphorus there in the late 1800s. That industry eventually waned but the city has been able to attract niche manufacturers that produce everything from non-porous roofing material to inkjet and laser cartridges.
“Mt. Pleasant has seen a lot of manufacturing growth recently, including a September 2010 announcement that IB-Tech is making a $50 million investment and will create 385 new jobs,” says Brandom Gengelbach, president of Maury Alliance. “IB-Tech is in the automotive sector and makes seat adjusters for Nissan, Honda and other carmakers.”
Thanks to recent streetscape improvements revitalizing its downtown sector, Columbia's business district is booming and bringing in restaurants like Copper Kettle, Square Market & Cafe and Killion's Coffee & Creamery, along with specialty shops like The Castle toy store.
Columbia is home to several insurance agencies, including the state's largest insurance provider, the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation. The city also has a growing manufacturing base that recently added companies like Bakery Technology Enterprises, LLC, which manufactures commercial baking equipment, and Softspace South, which fabricates interior design furniture and accessories for high-end customers.
“Our company began in Maine in 1999, and we moved to Maury County in 2006 because we wanted our customer base to spread to the entire country – plus Middle Tennessee has much nicer weather than Maine,” says Gloria Clark, president of Softspace South.
Softspace’s clients include Maybelline and U.S. Cellular, and the company just completed interior build-outs for 19 of Nike’s top flight stores throughout the country.
“We constructed custom pieces for Nike such as solid walnut tables, leather benches, pegged accessory walls and shoe chandeliers, all made by our staff of 19 employees who are amazing woodworkers,” Clark says.
The Tennessee Center for Policy Research has named Spring Hill the fourth most business-friendly city in the state, based on job growth, median income, property and sales taxes, crime rate and academic achievement. One new Spring Hill business that has already experienced much success is Timberland Cabinetry Company, which built a 100,000-square-foot distribution center in 2008 and is already constructing high-end cabinets in new homes ranging in price from $350,000 to well over $1 million.
“As Spring Hill’s population continues to grow, more businesses become attracted to the area,” Gengelbach says. “We at Maury Alliance are getting a lot of inquiries from companies looking to locate back office service centers and call center operations in Spring Hill. Look for those information sectors to really flourish in Spring Hill in the near future.”