February 11, 2021

Shelton Barnett Named Lawrenceburg/Lawrence County Emergency Management Director

LAWRENCEBURG, Tenn.Shelton Barnett’s appointment as Lawrenceburg/Lawrence County Emergency Management Director is official after passing both the Lawrenceburg City Council and the Lawrence County Commission. Shelton replaces Joe Baxter who served in the position from 1990 until his retirement on December 31. 

Shelton Barnett

Barnett has been involved in local emergency management in various capacities since 1992, and he has been the Deputy Director of Emergency Management under Baxter since 2013.

“Shelton has worked closely with our former EMA Director Joe Baxter for several years and is definitely the most qualified person for the job,” said Lawrence County Executive T.R. Williams. “During the recent E911 outage, Shelton demonstrated extraordinary leadership skills as we worked with the various local agencies to get services restored. I’m looking forward to working with Shelton as the new EMA Director.

Barnett’s recognition as an emergency management professional reaches beyond the local level. He has been deployed with TEMA as a communications technician and logistics support on several occasions. In 2010, he received Tennessee’s Homeland Security Award, which today is known as the First Responder Award.

“Appointing Shelton to this position was a great pleasure because he has faithfully served Lawrenceburg and Lawrence County for many years, and no one is more qualified to be EMA Director,” Lawrenceburg Mayor Blake Lay said. “We are fortunate to have someone with Shelton’s passion and expertise. He is such an asset to this community, and I’m proud to work with him.”

Barnett is highly trained and serves as an instructor for TDOT on Traffic Incident Management, for TEMA on Incident Command, and Hazmat on Awareness and Operations. He also teaches multiple courses for FEMA on public information processes and procedures.

“It is my honor and privilege to pick up where my friend and colleague Joe Baxter left off in this dual role as the Lawrenceburg/Lawrence County EMA Director,” said Barnett. “Lawrence County is my home, and the residents are my neighbors and friends, and I’m dedicated to working with all the local emergency services teams to keep our home safe and out of harm’s way.”

In addition to his emergency services responsibilities, Barnett serves as the president of the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Deputy Association and has been a reserve deputy since 2008.

Learn more about Lawrenceburg/Lawrence County Emergency Management and get up-to-date local information at

October 20, 2020

Downtown Lawrenceburg Unveils Wall Mural

LAWRENCEBURG, Tenn. - Downtown Lawrenceburg, a National Main Street Community, unveiled its mural on Friday, October 16. The mural is located on the Historic Lawrenceburg Square on the outside wall of Society American Nosherie and was funded by a 50/50 grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission.

Columbia native Whitney Herrington was selected to complete the mural project out of six artists who submitted proposals. Herrington is an accomplished artist, teacher, muralist and business owner, and she has done mural designs for several Columbia businesses, including The Linen Duck, B’s Salty and Sweet, Bodega On Main, Little Juice Co, and Pink Porch. Most recently, she was selected as one of seven female artists from across the state to participate in the Walls for Women event organized by DMA-Events. Herrington’s mural design for Lawrenceburg was inspired by Mexican folk art and by Lawrenceburg being the birthplace of gospel music.

“Being selected as the artist for the mural by the Mainstreet Committee was an honor,” Herrington said. “Most of my work is centered in Maury County, so the opportunity to spread art outward and get acquainted with the wonderful people in Lawrenceburg and on the Main Street Board was such a blessing.”

Former Main Street Director Baylee Fincher secured the grant for the mural in June of this year, and Marty Bradley picked up the project when she accepted the director position last month and saw it through to completion at Friday’s unveiling.

“While I have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of seeing the mural come to fruition, the hard part was already done before I came on board,” said Bradley. “I would like to personally thank Baylee Fincher for all the hard work she did on getting the grant award; Jason Grayson for allowing the mural to be painted on his building; the Main Street Arts Committee for their time and commitment to Main Street; and our sponsors Doan and Tiffany Cope, Story and Lee Furniture, Ben and Olivia White, Garrett and Baylee Fincher, and The Reserve. We now have a beautiful work of art that rivals any mural I have seen anywhere. Whitney did an amazing job!”

Main Street Lawrenceburg is a nonprofit organization that strives to maintain the National Main Street Center's Four Point approach. Comprising passionate advocates, dedicated volunteers, influential stakeholders, and community organizers who work hard every day to make a difference, they strengthen the community through preservation-based economic development in Historic Downtown Lawrenceburg and its commercial district.

Downtown Lawrenceburg Mural

September 14, 2020

Marty Bradley named new Main Street Program Director

LAWRENCEBURG, Tenn. - Downtown Lawrenceburg Board of Directors announce Marty Bradley as the new Main Street Program Director. 

Bradley is a native of Lawrenceburg and a 1988 graduate of Lawrence County High School. She co-founded Giftapalooza in 2013, an intimate shopping boutique held annually on the Square in November. Working for Title and Escrow for over three years piqued her interest in real estate, and she is currently a licensed realtor with Crye-Leike.Marty Bradley

“I’m honored and humbled to be selected to serve as Main Street Program Director,” Bradley said. “Downtown Lawrenceburg has been a special place to me since I was a little girl, and I’m passionate about being a part of preserving the history of downtown while moving forward into an exciting future. Former Director Baylee Fincher leaves me big shoes to fill, but I’m looking forward to the challenge, and, fortunately, I have a strong, supportive board of directors that shares my passion and drive for our historic downtown.”

Main Street Lawrenceburg is a nonprofit organization that strives to maintain the National Main Street Center's Four Point approach. Comprising passionate advocates, dedicated volunteers, influential stakeholders, and community organizers who work hard every day to make a difference, they strengthen the community through preservation-based economic development in Historic Downtown Lawrenceburg and its commercial district.

“This year has presented our community with many challenges, but with those challenges comes a time for growth and new opportunities. One of those challenges was saying goodbye to our director, Baylee Fincher. Baylee was exceptional at her role,” said Board President Deejay Martin. “The position of Main Street Program Director is not an easy one. It takes an extraordinary amount of passion for the downtown area, its history, and the businesses that keep it thriving. Marty has that passion and the skills to not only support and love Downtown Lawrenceburg as it is, but to also see it grow and flourish. The Main Street Board of Directors believes Marty will seamlessly pick up where Baylee left off. We have the greatest confidence that her love for downtown will shine through as we transition from this year of obstacles into a future of growth.”

September 10, 2020

Mayor Lay Appointed to Tennessee Emergency Communications Board

LAWRENCEBURG, Tenn. – Lawrenceburg Mayor Blake Lay has been appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) to serve on the Emergency Communications Board for the State of Tennessee. Lay will represent all city governments across the state with his service beginning immediately and ending June 30, 2023.

The Tennessee Emergency Communications Board is a self-funded, nine-member board located within the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance. The Board was created to establish emergency communications for citizens across the state and assist emergency communications districts (ECDs) in the areas of management, operations and accountability.

“Blake Lay is a dedicated servant who has prioritized the safety of his citizens and his community,” said Tennessee House Speaker Cameron Sexton. “He is extremely deserving of this appointment to the Tennessee Emergency Communications Board, and I know he will do a great job for our entire state in this important role.”

Lay’s appointment to the Emergency Communications Board came about after Lay inquired about the funding and management structure of the E911 system in Lawrence County and across the state. As a result, multiple state officials, including Speaker Sexton, Senator Joey Hensley (R-Hohenwald) and Representative Clay Doggett (R-Pulaski) recognized long-standing funding inequities with E911 spanning the state.

“We appreciate Mayor Lay’s dedication to questioning the per phone call expense for Lawrenceburg citizens with E911 and working with us to find solutions,” said Doggett. “With him also serving as 6th District Director on the Tennessee Municipal League Board, he is in a great position to help all southern Middle Tennessee counties as well as the entire state.”

Learn more about the Emergency Communications Board at Also visit or Facebook@CityofLawrenceburgTN.

August 25, 2020

LAWRENCEBURG, Tenn. – Chamber officials have released a new service to support business and industry throughout the community. Lawrence County’s first local jobs board,, was launched on Monday, August 24. The new platform will serve as the premier website for job seekers seeking a job opportunity in Lawrence County and is designed to serve businesses of any size and any sector. For job seekers, the platform will list full-time, part-time, seasonal, and available internship opportunities.

 “We know that providing a community jobs board is not only essential for jobs seekers getting back on their feet, but for local businesses ramping up in our post-COVID economy,” explained Chamber President & CEO Ryan Egly. “Through LawCoJobs, it is our hope that all businesses in Lawrence County will be able to quickly find qualified talent to support their operations.”

 “I am proud of the Chamber staff and the partnership we were able to build between WLX, the City of Lawrenceburg, and Aha! Creative to create We believe this new website will be a service to our small businesses for many years to come,” stated Ben Gobble, Board Chairman of the Lawrence County Chamber.

 “We know there are other websites out there for job seekers, but as we enter a new economy I understand the value of a consolidated local jobs board to serve the diverse businesses located in Lawrenceburg and Lawrence County,” said Lawrenceburg Mayor Blake Lay. “I would like to congratulate the Chamber and encourage all businesses—from hospitality to healthcare, manufacturing to mom & pop—to post their job openings to”

 For job seekers, LawCoJobs can be accessed on websites for the county and city governments of Lawrence County, WLX’s website (, and the Chamber’s website ( A video tutorial explaining how to access and use LawCoJobs was released by the Chamber this week and can be found on its social media platforms.

 Charlotte Stremler of WLX Radio stated, “WLX is excited about and committed to working with the Lawrence County Chamber to launch the jobs board for Lawrence County. It has long been my vision to create a jobs board, and I commend the Chamber for making this a reality, providing yet another example of how they continue to create economic connections for our communities. I appreciate everyone who had a hand in making this happen, and I look forward to seeing how we can use this tool to help people find new jobs that they love.”

 About the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce: The Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce is a network of businesses, industries, local governments, utilities, and private citizens that are committed to improving the quality of life in and around the Lawrence County, Tennessee region through economic, tourism, and workforce development.

May 29, 2020

Inter-local agreement between Lawrence County and Lawrenceburg passes

– The inter-local agreement between Lawrence County and the City of Lawrenceburg regarding the Southern Tennessee Higher Education Center (STHEC) was passed this week by both the county commission and the city council. The agreement gives equal ownership and management responsibility of STHEC to both the County and the City.

“Putting the pieces of an agreement like this together can be tedious and frustrating,” said Lawrenceburg Mayor Blake Lay. “The City Council and I want to thank everyone at the County and the City for their commitment and hard work on getting this agreement finalized and making the process as seamless as possible.”

The inter-local agreement outlines how the County and City will manage STHEC together and protects the County’s investment of $4 million and the City’s investment of $8.2 million.

Construction began on STHEC on November 1, 2018, and the college is projected to be completed this fall.

Find more information at or on Facebook@CityofLawrenceburgTN.

May 14, 2020

Lawrenceburg and Lawrence County one vote away from inter-local agreement 

LAWRENCEBURG, Tenn. – After working together on an inter-local agreement outlining the specifics of managing the Southern Tennessee Higher Education Center (STHEC), the City of Lawrenceburg and Lawrence County are one vote away from making the agreement final. Lawrence County’s facilities and budget committees both passed the inter-local agreement with only one ‘no’ vote. Next week the full County Commission will meet in regular session and cast their votes to put the agreement into place, moving STHEC a huge step forward by giving the City and the County equal ownership.

Southern Tennessee Higher Education Center

With the City’s $8.2 million investment and the County’s $4 million, the inter-local agreement protects both investments. “This community has put its heart and soul into building the Southern Tennessee Higher Education Center, and the City Council and I are proud to work and serve with people who put the needs of our citizens first and invest in their future,” said Mayor Blake Lay. “This college will open doors of opportunity for not only the citizens of Lawrence County but also for the residents in all of southern Middle Tennessee by providing access to a four-year college education. Lives will be changed for the better tomorrow because of our investment today.”

Construction began on STHEC on November 1, 2018, and the college is projected to be completed this fall.

Find more information at or on Facebook@CityofLawrenceburgTN.

Do you have questions about the 2020 Stimulus Package for COVID-19 and/or questions about the virus in general?  

You’re not alone, so we have provided a list of resources to help you, our small businesses and our citizens, get the answers you need--from understanding the 2020 Stimulus Act and applying for the loans and grants available to you getting to up-to-date information from the Tennessee Department of Health. Please call us if you have questions or need more information.

Resources for Business

The Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act

The programs and initiatives in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that was just passed by Congress are intended to assist business owners with whatever needs they have right now. When implemented, there will be many new resources available for small businesses, as well as certain non- profits and other employers. This guide provides information about the major programs and initiatives that will soon be available from the Small Business Administration (SBA) to address these needs, as well as some additional tax provisions that are outside the scope of SBA.

The programs and initiatives in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that was just apssed by Congress are intended to assest business owners with whatever needs they have right now.  When implemented, there will be many new resources available for small businesses, as well as certain non-profits and other employers.  This guide provides information about the major programs and initiatives that will soon be available from the Small Business Administration (SBA) to address these needs, as well as some additional tax provisions that are outside the scope of the SBA. 

Click Here for more info

COVID-19 Unemployment for Employers 

If your business is reducing hours or closing due to COVID-19 you may expedite the unemployment claim process for your employees by submitting as Employer-Filed Mass Claim. 

Click Here for more info

For Manufacturers

COVID-19 Best Practices and How Coronavirus is Affecting Manufacturers - NAM

SBA Disaster Loan

The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering designated states and territories low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). 


Any such Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance declaration issued by the SBA makes loans available statewide to small businesses and private, nonprofit organizations to help alleviate economic injury caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). This will apply to current and future disaster assistance declarations related to Coronavirus.

The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance and can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.

The SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay. The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans are just one piece of the expanded focus of the federal government’s coordinated response, and the SBA is strongly committed to providing the most effective and customer-focused response possible. For questions, please contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center at 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or e-mail



Guide to SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (Link)

Guide to the Employee Retention Tax Credit (Link)

Payroll Protection Program FAQs

The Payroll Protection Program (PPP) provides small business loans of up to $10 million to cover payroll and certain other expenses, or 2.5 times your total payroll expenses for the loan period.  The program includes loan forgiveness covering costs for the first 8 weeks of the loan for companeis able to keep employees on the payroll or continue paying bills through the coronavirus crisis.  The amount of loan forgiveness will include payroll costs for individuals below $100,000 in annual income, mortgage and rent obligations, including interest and utility payments.  The total amount will be reduced if your workforce is drawn down through attrition or if wages are reduced.  If you are forced to lay off employees because of economic conditions, you may be able to preserve some of your loan guarantee by hiring them back.

You can apply for the PPP at any lending institution that is approved to participate in the program through the existing U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) 7(a) lending program and additional lenders approved by the Department of Treasury.  This could be the bank you already use, or a nearby bank.

CLICK HERE for a listing of FAQs from the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship.

CLICK HERE for the Payroll Protection Guide & Checklist 

SBA Virtual Office Hours: Daily AFTERNOON Conference Calls

The SBA Tennessee District Office will host virtual office hours to provide the latest information on how the SBA is helping small businesses with their economic recovery.  Each call will address disaster loan criteria, where to apply, how to apply, and will answer questions on any issues with the application process.  The daily AFTERNOON call is for those solely impacted by Coronavirus COVID-19 at 3pm CENTRAL/4pm EASTERN.  Only small businesses and private nonprofits are eligible for SBA disaster loan assistance.  Participants may call at any time and are welcome to enter and exit at will.  Callers will be muted upon entry and will be taken in the order they are received.

Telephone: 1-415-655-0003
Access Code: 614 098 543

The Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development has created a dashboard with the most up-to-date resources from the State of Tennessee to employers and employees.

Tennessee Small Business Development Center at MTSU

The TBSDC at MTSU is here to help small businesses through this unpresented time.  The TSBDC consultants are capable of consulting with distressed businesses to guide them through restructuring their operations to remain viable in the ever-changing economic landscape. If you are in need of their skills, please  reach out to them directly to facilitate the engagement by clicking here. They exist to support you. 

PPP lender finder:

If you have members who are lenders and are participating in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) as a lender and they are not found at the SBA lender tool please have them reach out to us and we will submit their information to the SBA to have them added to the site.

TSBDC COVID 19 Resource page:

Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development

The Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development has created a dashboard with the most up-to-date resources from the State of Tennessee to employers and employees.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Combating the Coronavirus - Resources I Response I Impact Coronavirus Emergency Loans - Small Business Guide & Checklist
Corporate Aid Tracker

COVID-19 Unemployment for Employees

The Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development has compiled and is updating a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) relating to unemployment assistance.  The Chamber has found this resource to be most helpful in fielding questions about unemployment eligibility, timelines, and questions about filing for unemployment. To note, once the Department determines how the state will obtain federal funding and implement the changes, they will announce details for independent contractors, the self-employed, and business owners who will soon be eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.  

Click here to access the FAQs and to find more information from the Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development.


Tennessee Talent Exchange

The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development is working closely with the Tennessee Grocers and Convenience Store Association, Tennessee Retail Association, and Hospitality TN to try and match out-of-work Tennesseans with industries who need employees to fill current job openings. Many grocers and retail employers in areas across the state are actively hiring and need to fill positions immediately. This effort will quickly connect job-seekers to employers who need new workers right now.

If you would like to be considered for an immediate position, please complete the requested information here.

Your contact information will be shared with employers in your specific area who have immediate hiring needs