TVA gives $25,000 to local Chattanooga Area Food Bank and more business news

TVA gives $25,000 to local Chattanooga Area Food Bank

The Tennessee Valley Authority is providing the Chattanooga Area Food Bank $25,000 to alleviate hunger and help provide access to nutritious food for those in need.

The TVA donation is part of $5 million the federal utility is providing in matching funds this year through its Community Care Fund launched in April 2020 to help support community initiatives during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Although we hope for the day when everyone in our communities and neighborhoods has enough to eat, many people are still facing hunger – especially as we continue to experience the negative impacts of the pandemic,” Melissa Blevins, president and CEO of the Chattanooga Food Bank, said in a statement Tuesday. “Household budgets are still very tight- anything that increases costs can have a negative effect on a family’s food budget, leading them to turn to the Food Bank for assistance.

TVA Senior Manager Althea Jones said the donation to the local food bank is part of similar efforts to help fight hunger across TVA’s 7-state region

“These partnerships help us further our core mission to help make lives better,” Jone said.


Ryder adds 250 jobs at facility in Georgia

Ryder System Inc. announced Tuesday that it will spend $44 million to open a distribution center in a facility already constructed at Locust Grove south of Atlanta. The building will employ 250 people.

“By increasing our footprint, we improve our customers’ speed-to-market, which is critical in today’s highly competitive environment,” said Steve Sensing, Ryder’s president of supply chain solutions,

Henry County, Georgia has added thousands of jobs in the last five years as corporations including Home Depot, John Deere and Luxottica have opened distribution centers in the county. County residents approved a one-cent sales tax increase last year to address traffic congestion caused in part by the increasing number of tractor-trailers on Henry roads.

The 678,000-square-foot building provides Ryder access to I-75 and will help the company “accelerate growth for its e-commerce and multi-customer warehousing offerings,” the company said.


Trade deficit jumps to record high in ’21

The U.S. trade deficit in goods soared to record levels in 2021, topping $1 trillion as Americans continued to spend heavily on computers, toys, bicycles, clothing, pharmaceuticals and other goods made in foreign factories during the pandemic.

The overall trade deficit in both goods and services also hit an annual record, rising 27% as the country’s imports far outpaced its exports, according to data released by the Commerce Department on Tuesday.

The widening deficit — which climbed to $859.1 billion from $678.7 billion the previous year — was a reflection of a highly unusual pandemic economy.

Americans, sheltering at home from the coronavirus and with many savings swelled by government relief packages, slashed their spending on travel, restaurants and movies and splurged on furniture, electronics, food and other goods instead.

The trade deficit numbers are also the latest sign of how dependent the United States remains on other countries, particularly China, for the things that consumers want to buy.

Imports surged by $576.5 billion, or 20.5%, rising sharply from a slump at the onset of the pandemic, as both the quantity and the price of the foreign products that Americans purchased increased. Businesses spent heavily on equipment and machinery, and the rising price of energy also pushed up the cost of total imports.

Exports grew 18.5%, or by $394.1 billion. Demand for foreign goods was so strong that it snarled global supply chains and clogged U.S. ports, in some cases making it difficult for some exporters to get their products out of the country.

— Compiled by Dave Flessner

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