Tuesday: Tennessee Small Business Alliance and Local Business Owners to Host Press Conference in Opposition to TVA’s Proposed Rate Structures

Guest Blog | May 7, 2018 | Press Releases

Nearly 300 have signed on the Small Business Alliance’s open letter to TVA board

Contact: Alissa Schafer, SACE, 865-235-1448, [email protected]



Lenda Sherrell – State Director, Tennessee Small Business Alliance

Jon Nessle – Arborist and landscape coach. Owner of The Ornamentor.

Chris Calhoun – Owner of The Tap House and The Brew Market.

Location: Sidewalk in front of Chattanooga TVA Headquarters, 1101 Market St Chattanooga, TN 37402

When: Tuesday, May 8, 2018, Noon ET

There will also be a telepresser for media not able to attend in Chattanooga. Telepresser will be held at 1pm ET, Tuesday, May 8, 2018. Call in number 727-258-5789 PIN: 97609

Open Letter to TVA: http://businesstn.org/tva/


Chattanooga, Tenn. – On Tuesday, May 8 at noon, business owners will gather in front of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) offices in Chattanooga to state their opposition to the rate proposal to be voted on at the May 10 TVA board meeting. The Tennessee Small Business Alliance has published an open letter to the TVA board, outlining their concerns with the both the proposal, as well as the current trend of TVA continuing to show preferential treatment to a small handful of large industrial customers at the expense of smaller customers, citing a $1.4 billion cost shift onto smaller customers over the last five years.

There are over 580,000 small businesses in Tennessee alone, employing 1.1 million, and functioning as the true “economic engine” of Tennessee. In fact, Tennessee consistently ranks in the top five, and frequently leads the nation, in small business job growth. Small businesses are Tennessee’s most effective job creators and drivers of the state’s economy.

“The best way for us to encourage economic development is to focus on our small businesses throughout the Valley. Today, small businesses employ over 1.1 million people through the state of Tennessee, providing the crucial backbone to our local and state economies,” said Lenda Sherrell of the Tennessee Small Business Alliance. “This proposal from TVA is a bad deal across the board, continuing preferential treatment for a handful of large industrial customers, while passing the cost along to Tennessee families and small businesses.”

Other speakers at the press conference will include Jon Nessle and Chris Calhoun. Nessle is the owner of landscaping company The Ornamentor, and moved to Chattanooga nearly 20 years ago because of the good businesses environment. “I hope that TVA recognizes the importance of providing a level playing field to the hundreds of thousands of small businesses throughout their territory,” said Nessle. “I am very concerned about the direction that TVA is headed and am speaking out against their new rate proposal which will further accelerate these massive cost shifts from large customers onto small customers, increasing the financial burden on local businesses like my own.”

Another Chattanooga local, Calhoun is the owner of The Tap House and also recently opened The Brew Market. “Our businesses are a crucial part of the Tennessee economy – creating jobs and functioning as the literal heart and soul of our communities,” said Calhoun. “I have worked hard to open two establishments here in Chattanooga, and I care about the future of this city and our state. This latest proposal from TVA to increase fees for small businesses while giving MORE discounts to their large customers is completely off the mark and unfair, missing the fact that small businesses are the ones truly making an economic difference a Tennessee.”


About Southern Alliance for Clean Energy

Founded in 1985, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy is a nonprofit organization that promotes responsible energy choices that work to address the impacts of global climate change and ensure clean, safe, and healthy communities throughout the Southeast. Learn more at www.cleanenergy.org.

About Tennessee Small Business Alliance

The Tennessee Small Business Alliance consists of local small business owners who are invested in Tennessee’s growing economy. We advocate for policies to ensure that Tennessee small businesses can continue to thrive. Learn more at http://businesstn.org.