BUSINESS BRIEFS: Valley Growers looks for new location

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Valley Growers Garden Center has closed its location at Lascassas Pike and will be operating out of Valley Growers Too at the Co-op in Murfreesboro while owner Susan Tramel hunts for a piece of property to purchase.

According to manager Scarlett Davis, Valley Growers has been leasing its space in Lascassas for 12 years, and the time has come to invest in real estate.

“It has become so expensive, and if we can find a piece of land, it would actually be cheaper to buy (than lease),” she said. “You can’t really do things how you want them when you’re leasing. This move is going to be for the better. We are currently looking for some property where Susan can build the garden of her dreams.”

Visit Valley Growers at its Co-op location at 985 Middle Tennessee Blvd. in Murfreesboro, or call 615-890-9900 for more information.

Smyrna CPA firm moves to new office

One Rutherford County business is growing so much, it recently moved to a larger space.

Joel D. Parks CPA firm recently announced its new home at 752 Jim Parker Drive, just off Sam Ridley Parkway. The 25-year-old company opted for a new space to further expand its offerings as a full-service accounting firm.

“Over the past few years, we have strategically and intentionally grown the firm in the bookkeeping and management advisory segments of our business,” said Joel D. Parks, a certified public accountant and firm owner. “At the same time, we are being careful not to lose the very traits that have made us so successful. We know our clients personally, and we care deeply about their business and business success.”

According to a press release, the firm works with individual, corporate and partnership businesses, handling their accounting and tax needs.

“We serve small, mid-size and large clients and are fortunate to retain approximately 95 percent of our clients year-to-year,” Parks added. “Our clients want a variety of levels of service. Some simply want us to serve as a layer of protection, double-checking numbers and correcting as needed. Others require weekly assistance with accounting, leaving them free to direct their energy to their clients. Still others want us to handle it all. Our staff always structures our services to meet individual client needs.”

Submit scholarship applications soon

The American Council of Engineering Companies of Tennessee is currently accepting applications from engineering and land surveying students in Tennessee for several state and national scholarship programs. The deadline to submit applications is Friday, Jan. 25, 2013.

“ACEC of Tennessee is committed to the continued growth of the engineering profession. These scholarships will help ensure that engineering students have the necessary resources to continue their education,” said Jerry Stump, senior vice president of CDM Smith, who chairs the committee that will review all scholarship applications submitted by Tennessee students.

“ACEC of Tennessee is an advocate for all engineers and is committed to the future of the profession through both education and advancement,” he said.

The national scholarship program offers several scholarships totaling $20,000.

The Council of Structural Engineers of ACEC will award a $5,000 scholarship to a structural engineering student enrolled in a master’s degree program. ACEC of Tennessee will award up to two $1,000 scholarships and will announce its scholarship winners in March 2013. The national scholarship winners will be announced later next year.

The 2012 ACEC of Tennessee scholarship winners were Eric Collins, a senior in nuclear engineering, and Liz Pruttianan, a mechanical engineering student, both of whom attend University of Tennessee-Knoxville.

To qualify for a scholarship, a student must be a U.S. citizen pursuing a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctor of philosophy degree in an engineering or land-surveying program in Tennessee approved by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. 

Students must be entering their junior, senior, fifth or graduate year in the fall of 2013 to qualify. 

Candidates for the Council of Structural Engineers’ scholarship must be enrolled in a master’s degree program for Structural Engineering in the 2013 fall semester.

Complete information and application forms are available at

Learn more about starting your own business

The Tennessee Small Business Development Center, in conjunction with the Small Business Administration, will conduct a free seminar on “Starting your own Business” from 3 p.m. till 6 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 10, at the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce in Murfreesboro.  

The purpose of this seminar is to provide individuals interested in starting a business a broad overview of the many things they will be confronted with in doing so. It will introduce attendees to the Small Business Development Center, the services available, and how it can assist in the development of their business venture.  

Sources for information gathering, research and databases available are also discussed. This seminar is intended for persons who have never been in business.  

There is no charge to attend the seminar, or for one-to-one counseling, which is available by appointment after attending the seminar.

Reservations are required and available on-line at or by calling 615-898-2745.

Read more from:
Accounting, Business, Chamber of Commerce, Education, Engineering, Finance, Gardening, Joel Parks, Murfreesboro, Scholarship, Small Business Development Center, Tennessee, Valley Growers Garden Center
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