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News - Friday, January 1, 2021

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Tennesseans go all-in for online sports betting
State’s bettors set first-month U.S. record at $131.4M

The COVID-19 pandemic that impacted every facet of life in Tennessee this year also slowed the debut of online sports gambling across the state – but not the enthusiasm of bettors.

Even though its launch was delayed until Nov. 1, Tennessee enjoyed the best first month in U.S. betting history, two Las Vegas-based websites that analyze and track sports betting across the country report.

Pandemic fueled creativity and collaboration for Chattanooga’s legal community

There are many types of law, just as there are many lawyers and firms to practice it. Even in a legal community as close as Chattanooga’s, their paths might not often cross. But when the COVID-19 pandemic struck in March 2020, everything changed. Lawyers, law firms and courts had to find a way to safely conduct business.

A different perspective on sales
Hostetler uses lessons from medical field in commercial real estate

As an experienced broker, Natalie Hostetler, vice president of commercial real estate at Second Story Properties, has plenty of experience with the ups and downs of the Chattanooga business-property market. And as a native, she’s also able to look at past trends alongside pandemic performance and attempt to predict what 2021 will bring.

Realtors do more than sell houses

2020 is in the rearview, and with that my time as President of Greater Chattanooga Realtors is over. With my last column, I wanted to shine a light on some of the items I’m most proud of as association president in this surprising and often trying year:

Construction boom expected to continue in 2021

New Year, new home or home improvements? The NAHB forecast is for ongoing gains for single-family construction in 2021, though at a slower growth rate than in 2020. Remodeling will remain strong as people continue to upgrade existing homes.

“2020 was a huge year for home improvements such as window and siding replacement, and 2021 is pacing to be just as strong,” says HBAGC member Trey Moon with Window Works of Chattanooga.

Newsmakers: Life Care Center of Red Bank hires Love as executive director

Doyle Love has been named executive director of Life Care Center of Red Bank in Chattanooga.

Love most recently served as vice president of Life Care Centers of America’s Cumberland Region for two years. He has served in long-term care for 20 years, including 16 years in the Chattanooga area.

Insider Q&A: Volkswagen of America CEO Scott Keogh

Ever since Volkswagen got caught cheating on U.S. emissions tests five years ago, the automaker has been trying to regain the confidence of American consumers. Judging by sales figures, the efforts are starting taking hold.

Scott Keogh, VW of America’s CEO since 2018, says the company has worked to rebuild trust with big plans for clean electric vehicles. He spoke to The Associated Press about the German automaker’s U.S. image and changes that are coming to the auto business. His remarks have been edited for length and clarity.

Briefs: Chattanooga’s Clean Sweep is purchased

Sweeping Corporation of America, a power sweeping company, has announced four additional acquisitions in 2020, including Total Asphalt Services, Clean Sweep, Buckeye Sweeping and US Sweeping.

Clean Sweep Inc. is based in Chattanooga and is Eastern Tennessee’s leading provider of commercial lot sweeping and street sweeping services. Founded in 1984 by James Phillips then purchased by his son Peter Phillips in 1999, Clean Sweep provides mechanical broom sweeping services across Eastern Tennessee as well as Northern Georgia and Northern Alabama.

Financial Focus: Avoid tapping into 401(k) early

If you’ve been contributing for many years to your 401(k) or similar retirement plan, it may be your largest pool of money. So, if you are facing a financial need, you may think about tapping into your account. After all, it’s your money – why not use it?

Report: TN economy to grow, uncertainty remains in 2021

Expect positive economic growth in Tennessee in 2021 but it may be rocky and somewhat sporadic as the state digs out of the recession brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Boyd Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Tennessee has released a recent report that takes a deep dive into the state’s economic forecast.

Snow joke: It’s down to finale again for Titans

Titans safety Kevin Byard isn’t pulling any punches when it comes to describing the defense’s poor play this season.

“We need to improve in everything,” Byard said after Sunday night’s prime-time drubbing by the Green Bay Packers.

Surely Titans can clinch AFC South vs. lowly Texans, right?

For all the talk about locking up a playoff berth early and not having to fight and scramble just to get to the postseason, here are the Tennessee Titans once again having to win in Week 17 to nail down a playoff berth.

The Titans can clinch their first division title in 12 years with a win in Houston. However, a loss could leave them without a spot in the postseason. Here is a look at what they must do to win and reach the postseason.

Personal Finance: How young drivers can steer clear of costly car insurance

Insurance costs for drivers in their early 20s can be staggering. After teenagers, young adults have some of the highest car insurance rates in the country.

In fact, the average car insurance rate for drivers 20 to 25 years old is about $2,200 a year for full coverage, a 2020 NerdWallet analysis of the top five insurers in the nation reveals. That’s about $700 more per year than the average rate for a 40-year-old driver.

Career Corner: 2020 worksite changes might not fade away

The New Year is finally here. We’ve been waiting for 2021 since Friday, March 13, 2020. That was the day that it became apparent that a pandemic was going to be a big part of 2020.

Since then, we’ve felt that if we can just hang on until January, things will go back to normal.

Millennial Money: Right, wrong ways to discuss family finances in crisis

With 10.7 million Americans out of work as of November 2020 – and 3.9 million of those workers unemployed for 27 weeks or more – many have been forced into having tough money conversations as a result of the pandemic.

Whenever your life changes significantly, it’s a good time to check back in on your financial plan, because things like marriage, divorce, a new baby or a career change can profoundly affect your household’s situation and cause you to rethink who is responsible for what.