Why Businesses are Moving to Blount County, TN
More businesses, and their employees, are calling Blount County home.
Blount County offers the calmness of the country while still providing access to nearby, more prominent cities. It is the best of both worlds, and many large businesses, like Arconic, Company Distilling and Cirrus Aircraft, have noticed.
Arconic is a leading provider of aluminum sheet, plate and extruded products for the ground transportation, aerospace, packaging and industrial markets. The company plans to invest more than $100 million in Blount County by expanding its operations and bringing 200 new jobs to its Alcoa facility, which has operated for over 100 years.
That’s the Spirits
Founded by renowned distillers, Company Distilling is also planning to house a distillery and manufacturing location in a mixed-use, family-friendly facility in Springbrook Farm — a master-planned “city center” in Alcoa — that will serve as the primary distillery and the site for the spirit’s leading manufacturing operations. The 20,000-square-foot refurbished building, with a mountain-inspired theme, will include a tasting room, restaurant, brewery and retail store.
“We chose Blount County because we found a location that was right for us and because it is a great place to work and live,” says Kris Tatum, president and founder of Company Distilling.
Getting a Taste of Townsend
Blount County is known for its charming small towns like Townsend, offering the perfect combination of seclusion without compromising access to many amenities. Less than 30 minutes from Maryville, it’s one of two entrances into Cades Cove, part of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The area is so appealing that Company Distilling plans to open a 4,000-square-foot tasting room and restaurant in Townsend, in addition to its other location in Alcoa.
“We’ve forged many partnerships with other Blount County businesses,” says Tatum. “Collaboration with local businesses is huge. The more successful they are, the more successful we are. We came out of a crazy time that we’ve all experienced. It’s great to have international business connections, but when times were tough, we stayed home and stayed in our communities. We need to make sure those communities are strong.”
“We chose Blount County because we found a location that was right for us and because it is a great place to work and live.”
Kris Tatum, Company Distilling
For Company Distilling, it’s about making a timeless contribution to the communities it serves.
“We’re bringing that quality of life into play as well,” says Tatum. “Ancillary jobs are huge for our industry. We touch a lot of different industries, and these jobs are creating other jobs. We’re not just looking to build something to sell, but we’re also looking to build something generationally. We want to leave behind something better than what we found it.”
Booming Business Continues to Soar
Cirrus Aircraft is the recognized global leader in personal aviation and the maker of the best-selling SR Series piston aircraft and the Vision Jet®, the world’s first single-engine personal jet and the recipient of the Robert J. Collier Trophy. Founded in 1984, the company has redefined performance, comfort and safety in aviation with innovations like the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System® (CAPS®) — the first Federal Aviation Administration-certified whole-airframe parachute safety system included as standard equipment on an aircraft.
The company expanded to Blount County in 2015 and couldn’t be happier.
“We looked at 28 different destinations, but we picked this area, and we’re so thrilled that we did,” says Stephen Deucker, vice president and general manager of Vision Center, Cirrus Aircraft. “It is easily accessible for our customers and offers a lot of great things to do when they visit, but it is also a great place for our employees to live. I moved here from Florida and always thought I wanted to retire there — now I want to retire in East Tennessee. We are surrounded by great neighbors in business and where we live.”
One of Cirrus Aircraft’s neighbors is McGhee Tyson Airport, home to its Vision Center campus that was recently expanded to include three new state-of-the-art hangars.
“What I appreciate about operating a business here is how everyone in Blount County seems to lean forward and try to help us,” says Deucker. “We’re all in it together, supporting each other — peers respect each other and share best practices. There are great people in Blount County that want Cirrus Aircraft to win.”
Want to know more?
If you’d like to learn more about the Blount County, TN, area, check out the latest edition of Livability: Blount County, Tennessee.