Americana Taphouse ribbon cutting

Andy Marshall (with scissors) and others from A. Marshall Hospitality and the community celebrate the ribbon cutting for Americana Taphouse in February 2020.

The number of new businesses starting in Williamson County has started increasing after hitting a low point in April.

Last month, 96 entrepreneurs applied for a business license in Williamson County, and 99 people applied for a business license in May. Those numbers are up from a low of 48 applications in April, the smallest number of applications since 2012.

The numbers for May and June are much closer to normal. In June 2019, 99 people applied for a business license, only slightly lower than last month’s total. Over the last five years, the county has received an average of about 146 business license applications per month.  

So far this year, the county has received 656 business license applications. That pace is about 15% slower than last year.

While some businesses are closing, others are finding new opportunities. 

Last year, Kevin Line designed a portable hang board that would allow rock climbers to easily train while traveling or in their homes. He started his business Porta-Hang this year, and expected to sell 100 units. He sold a few in January and February, but in March sales started blowing up and he’s now selling a few hundred every month. 

“I hear all the time 'this has kept me sane,' 'this has been a lifesaver,' 'best invention of the quarantine,'"  Line wrote in an email. “Our little company goes a long way to helping the community, especially those who feel cooped up and isolated in this time.”

In May, Kevin Murakami, took over Fairview Guitar from previous owner Dave Wood, who decided to retire. He renamed the store Kevin’s Rock and Roll Emporium. 

Last month, the audio-visual company AP Live created a new drive-in theatre in Franklin to help businesses and the community. 

"It's definitely a drive-in movie theater, but it's more than that," AP Live owner Tom Atema told the Home Page. "It's set up that you can do drive-in concerts and shows, and can even do drive-in corporate events."

In July, Williamson Inc. also celebrated ribbon cutting ceremonies for the restaurant Party Fowl and the cooking class company Black Diamond Culinary.

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