Rep. Watson: Moving Tennessee Forward

Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - by Rep. Eric Watson
Rep. Eric Watson
Rep. Eric Watson

Over the last several weeks, myself and others have joined with the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community to announce numerous major business expansions from all across the state. With these expansion projects, thousands of jobs have been created, as well as, millions of dollars invested into local Tennessee communities.  Companies like Gap, Surface Igniter, Dot Foods, and Miller Industries will move their headquarters here or expand their current space.  

When companies expand their existing space in Tennessee that says a lot about the current economy.  When companies are moving their headquarters here that says a lot about the state of Tennessee.

In 2010, I was proud to have been a part of the TN General Assembly that established the Office of Small Business Advocate.  My family owns a small business within the Bradley County area.  Small businesses are vital to Tennessee.  The OSBA is the primary contact for Tennessee small business owners who need assistance with specific business issues or have general questions about state agencies, regulatory compliance, or other business-related topics.  In addition, if a small business owner feels that his or her business has been subject to unfair enforcement actions by a state agency, the business owner can seek assistance and relief from the OSBA.  With 97 percent of the companies in Tennessee being classified as “small businesses,” the Office of Small Business Advocate provides an invaluable resource to business owners across the state, providing help and information to the entrepreneurs who are the backbone of creativity and job production in Tennessee.  To contact Tennessee’s Small Business Advocate, Lauren Plunk, call 615.401-7806 or email her at<>.

I am thrilled to announce that Benton Elementary School has been recognized as a Reward School by the Tennessee Department of Education.  The designation means the schools are in either the top five percent of all schools in the state for annual academic growth or the top five percent for overall academic achievement.  The Reward School program spans 52 districts across the state and includes 169 total schools.  Republican leaders praised the news, thanking teachers, administrators, and students for all their hard work in achieving the important educational goals.  The 2012-13 Reward Schools made their impressive accomplishments during a year when Tennessee saw consistent gains on the statewide Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program testing. As schools across the state made improvements and reached higher levels of proficiency, the Reward Schools led the way in overall school performance.  A complete list of Reward Schools can be found by visiting:

Why I Am Voting For Esther Helton

I retired from the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, with 37 years of state service in 2015. I graduated from East Ridge High School in 1969 and raised my son in this community. I am proud to be from East Ridge. Several months ago, I decided to learn more about East Ridge leadership by attending the City Council meetings. At the meetings, I met ... (click for more)

Send Your Opinions To

We welcome your opinions at Email to . We require your real first and last name and contact information. There is no word limit, but if your article is too long you may lose your reader. Please focus more on issues than personal attacks. (click for more)

City Council Set To Act Tuesday Night On First Reading On Short Term Vacation Rentals

The City Council is set to take action on first reading on Tuesday night on a process to legalize short term vacation rentals in Chattanooga. The second and final reading is set for the following Tuesday. The final version comes after several public hearings and extensive discussion by the City Council and staff. Short term vacation rentals will be allowed in residences with ... (click for more)

16,858 Cast Ballots In First 3 Days Of Early Voting In Hamilton County

In the first three days of early voting in Hamilton County, 16,858 have already cast ballots. That includes 1,607 ballots received by mail. There were 5,157 who turned out at early voting sites on Wednesday and 5,083 on Thursday. The total on Friday was 5,011. Sites: Brainerd 1,084, 1080, 1,030 Election Office 1,848, 1,731, 1,698 Collegedale 956, 954, ... (click for more)

Goetz Outlasts Huwe To Win Signal Mountain Pie Run

The annual Signal Mountain Pie Run is one of those races where you don’t have to be the first across the finish line to be the overall winner. It’s a prediction run, so the runner getting nearest his or her predicted time was honored with cash prizes. Gregg Sutton crossed the line next to the old Signal Mountain Junior High with a time of 46 minutes flat, which was exactly ... (click for more)

UTC Defeats VMI, 30-13

UTC junior running back Richardre Bagley rushed for a career-high 189 yards and two touchdowns to lead the host Mocs to a 30-13 Southern Conference win against VMI at Finley StadiuMocs quarterback Alejandro Bennifield threw one touchdown pass and ran for another and Henrique Ribeiro kicked a 30 yard field goal to complete the scoring for the victors. The Mocs led 17-0 at half, ... (click for more)