Are you feeling like Nashville is booming with more energy and opportunity than ever before? If so, you’re experiencing, what experts (us) call, “CRAZY growth in Music City”. Nashville is flourishing from all over from the real estate scene to entrepreneurship, healthcare, music, and more! Let’s take a look at how Nashville is hitting the charts for more than just music these days.
Nashville has been crowned the nation’s all-around best market for investment for the third year running, making it the prime stage for businesses to shine. With the city witnessing job growth rates that rank fourth in the nation and GDP growth that ranks second, the economic vibrancy here is undeniable. And for those of us calling Nashville home, this growth is bringing in new faces, and ever-expanding networks to the community with nearly 100 new residents each day.
But what do these statistics mean for current business owners in Nashville? They signal opportunities for expansion, collaboration, and leadership in a city that’s on an upward rise. By understanding and leveraging these trends, you can navigate the challenges, seize the opportunities, strategize for growth, and continue to drive forward, shaping the future of Nashville’s business landscape. Use this momentum to fuel your progress to continue making your mark on Nashville’s booming economy.
Why is Nashville Growing So Quickly?
Nashville’s growth is no coincidence; the city’s strong culture, history, and economic opportunities are drawing new people into the city every day.
From savoring the iconic Nashville hot chicken to tapping their toes along the Honky Tonk Highway, visitors and residents alike revel in the city’s culinary and musical delights. Nashville lives up to its title of Music City, being home to over 120 music venues and the famed Honky Tonk Highway, making it a mecca for music enthusiasts and industry professionals alike. People come for the music but stay for the Southern hospitality, consistently ranking among the friendliest places to live.
But what makes Nashville really stand out? Its diversity, which has earned Nashville the crown as Tennessee’s most eclectic city! Nashville is a melting pot of diversity, with a blend of ethnicities including Black, Hispanic, Middle Eastern, Kurdish, South and Southeast Asian communities. This mix of cultures is celebrated through international organizations and a thriving Black music scene. The diversity of the city is also reflected in everyday life, with the Nashville Public Library offering collections in 19 languages, showcasing the city’s commitment to cultural exchange.
Nashville’s impact reaches far beyond its musical roots; with the nickname, “Athens of the South,” Nashville’s list of universities speaks to the city’s far-reaching impact. With colleges like Vanderbilt and Fisk University bringing in students from across the world, the diversity and innovation in Nashville continue to flourish.
As the birthplace of country music, Nashville proudly hosts the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, attracting music enthusiasts from around the globe. Nashville’s country music scene largely grew to fame from the iconic RCA Studio B, where legends like Elvis Presley and Dolly Parton created tracks that redefined country music and are still widely popular today. It’s one of those spots that tells stories of Nashville’s rich history in music, reminding us why this city’s always has been and still is a hotspot for artists chasing their dreams.
Nashville’s civil rights movement, marked by protests and student activism, intersects with its vibrant music scene. Legendary venues like the Grand Ole Opry served as platforms for integration, while iconic musicians such as Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin used their art to advocate for social change, amplifying the message of civil rights in the city. Today, Nashville’s rich history of resilience and cultural progress continues to attract people from all walks of life, contributing to the city’s ongoing growth and vibrancy.
Nashville is known for its Southern hospitality and music scene, but there is SO much more – it’s also the capital of Tennessee, and has a booming economy! As the capital of Tennessee, Nashville is not only the center of political activity but is also one of the largest employers, behind Vanderbilt University Medical Center (1), Nissan North America (2), and HCA Healthcare, Inc. (3). The diverse opportunity offered in the public sector attracts a wide range of professionals to the city, making Nashville a hotspot for those seeking opportunities in public service.
But it doesn’t stop there! Nashville stands out as the ultimate hub for healthcare, music, and tourism, luring in a growing number of people to the city. Plus, with tax breaks drawing in corporations seeking to expand outside areas like Silicon Valley and New York, the job market’s hotter than a Tennessee summer, with employers like General Motors and Bridgestone making a mark on the city. With an unemployment rate of just 2.5%, Nashville’s top industries are showing no signs of slowing down, making it a prime destination for job seekers and businesses looking to hit all the right notes.
To better understand Nashville’s growth, it’s helpful to break down the industries that are shaping the landscape in Music City.
With over half of the US’s privately-owned hospital beds, Nashville’s healthcare sector employs over 126,000, led by Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
Nashville’s tourism industry saw record-breaking growth in 2022, with $8.8 billion in visitor spending and 14.4 million visitors, earning it a spot among Travel+Leisure’s top US cities.
Boasting 180+ recording studios and major labels like Sony and Universal, Nashville’s music scene is a vital cultural and economic driver.
Led by companies like Bridgestone, Nashville’s manufacturing sector exports nearly 34 Billion dollars worth of products annually.
Nashville’s tech industry is booming, attracting investment and corporate headquarters from tech giants like Oracle, Amazon, TikTok, and Meta Platforms, solidifying its status as a growing tech hub.
In Nashville, it’s not just big companies that call the shots. Actually, most businesses here are small ones, with about 60% having fewer than 25 employees. These businesses are what give Nashville its charm, making it a place where local business owners can thrive.
Women in Business in Nashville
Alright, let’s talk about women in business in Nashville. Let’s start by highlighting the positive: women-owned businesses in Nashville are on the rise. Despite representing only 35% of the city’s businesses, there’s been a 10% increase over the past decade, showing just how important they are to Music City’s economy.
Some noteworthy figures include Amy Adams Strunk, the primary owner of the Tennessee Titans. Amy has not only steered the team to success but has also become a beloved figure in the local community, known for her accessibility and genuine passion for the team, Amy embodies the spirit of female leadership in Music City. Alongside Amy, women like Laura Bailey Busby of Bailey and Jami Hall of Stones River Electric are also making their mark, showcasing the diverse and dynamic landscape of women-led businesses in Nashville.
But while that’s some good news, there’s a lot of progress to be made. Nashville ranks among the lowest in the country for women’s weekly earnings ($859 per week), and if things keep up, women won’t see equal pay here until 2054 (not on our watch)! However, Nashvilles’s recognition as the 15th best city for women business owners is a sign that progress is being made, even if there’s still work to be done.
Nashville’s growth story is about more than just statistics—it’s about the entrepreneurial spirit, the resilience of its people, and the endless opportunities that continue to shape Music City. As we celebrate the rise of women-owned businesses, we’re not just witnessing progress; we’re actively driving it forward. Despite challenges, Nashville remains a beacon of opportunity, with a rapidly growing economy and population. So here’s to the women business owners making their mark, to the vibrant community that defines Nashville’s success, and to the exciting journey ahead as we continue to build a brighter, more inclusive future together!