Thankful for Business in Chattanooga
By Gabe Evans
So, here we are again facing another holiday season. It’s that time when we can sit back, pause our busy lives and ask each other, “What are you thankful for this year?” While it may seem like an elementary concept, I encourage us all to take the time to truly examine our situations and ask that question to ourselves, “What AM I thankful for this year?” That includes our business lives. Look at your company, colleagues, employees, and the city where you do business.
I must say I extremely thankful to be located in such an amazing city here in Chattanooga. Sure, America as a whole still has its economic ups and downs, but Chattanooga is a thriving city with so much to offer. The business environment here, from local products to Gig City, has led to an incredible entrepreneurial spirit. If for some reason you have cornered yourself in your office and you have no idea what I am talking about, I suggest you take five minutes to walk downtown and look around. From new businesses and ideas popping up almost weekly to food trucks surrounding Miller Plaza on Friday afternoons; this city is literally bursting at the seams!
One of the best parts of Chattanooga is the incredible atmosphere that its citizens have created. Ask anyone that you meet this week what the overall “theme” of Chattanooga is and I guarantee you will hear things like “stay local, buy local, be local, and grow locally.” It isn't enough for Chattanooga to just grow into a thriving juggernaut of its own, but Chattanoogans want their city to grow organically in the spirit of what is best for the people that already live and work here. That is an amazing concept and one that I am extremely thankful to be a part of!
I am also thankful for the incredible networking that is available in this city. Networking is key to success in every business and Chattanooga has more opportunities and groups than one could imagine. From breakfast and lunch opportunities to afterhours meet ups at some of Chattanooga’s hottest spots; there is a time, place and atmosphere for everybody to network. A few of my favorites include the Chambers AM Networking, Craig Miller’s B2B Networking Group and the Connect for Lunch facilitated by the Chattanooga Chamber.
Depending on your line of work, you may not always meet directly with the individual that you need to connect with for business purposes, but I can promise you that you can meet someone there that can get you in front of the contact you are looking for. And the people who attend these events WANT to get you connected with the correct person. I’ve done business in larger cities in the past few years and you will NOT find that environment there. In my opinion, Chattanooga is one-of-a-kind when it comes to networking and willingness to create lasting business relationships.
I am exceedingly thankful to be a part of the Chattanooga community. It is comforting to know that with whatever happens in the coming election, Chattanooga and its citizens will find a way to continue our own economic growth and success. The environment that Chattanooga has chosen to foster will continually grow this great city year by year. So, I challenge you to take a few minutes this holiday season and ask yourself what you are thankful for this year in your business. It may be your colleagues, your employees, or even your employer. Here in Chattanooga we should also take the time to examine the city we’re in and how it has helped grow our businesses!