YOUR Community Partner: Williamson, Inc.

Nov 07, 2022 at 03:07 pm by RMGadmin

In Interview with Matt Largen, Willliamson, Inc. President

Every year, for our annual Salute to Businesses in Williamson County, we take time to speak with Williamson, Inc.’s President Matt Largen about the status of  business and economic development in our county and region and what impact the Chamber of Commerce has had in growth and success in the previous year. 2022 has had its own set of challenges and changes for our country and our community. Let’s hear what Matt has to say!

What was the focus and goal for 2022 for Williamson, Inc.? 2023?

ML: The central focus for Williamson, Inc. is always to help our members grow their businesses and grow the economy of Williamson County thoughtfully and strategically. In 2022, we remained focused on meeting our members where they were because every business came out of COVID in a different place. For the most part, Williamson County businesses have thrived this year. In fact, Williamson County saw the fifth-highest growth of physical business establishments in the country over the last three years. I believe we benefited from people and businesses leaving places that had more COVID-related restrictions and coming to Williamson County. Our focus for 2023 will be to build on our team’s great work this year in helping and supporting our members and businesses across Williamson County. As a team, we set a goal to improve our events and initiatives each year.

What were the most significant activities and projects of Williamson, Inc. this last year?

ML: Our work with our schools is always the most gratifying for me because I know we are helping to create and support future business leaders of Williamson County and creating a workforce that makes companies want to relocate and expand in our community. For example, we are working with Williamson County Schools and Franklin Special School District to design and deploy a leadership training program for all elementary, middle and high school principals. So far, we have delivered expertise on setting boundaries and getting organized, the importance of culture in a school building and managing conflict. The program aims to equip our principals (building leaders) with the skills necessary to work constructively with parents, teachers and students.

What are your thoughts about home prices decreasing but interest rates increasing? How may this affect Williamson County residents and those trying to live here?

ML: There has been a recent shift in the housing market, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. A slowdown was needed due to the rapid increase in prices. The region is still seeing an influx of cash buyers, but the inventory is still low. From a corporate standpoint, I understand that it is very difficult to recruit talent from outside our area because of the escalating prices and affordability factor. This recent shift will help stabilize housing prices which will help their recruiting efforts and continue to make this an attractive location for companies. While the last few years have increased the size of our collective nest egg for retirement, the market is returning to some level of normal now, which is great for people who want to move to or move back to Williamson County.

Despite obvious challenges in recent years, there still seems to be a lot of new businesses opening in Williamson County. How do staffing shortages impact new and existing businesses? How does the Chamber work with local business owners to meet this challenge?

ML: Staffing is the number one challenge of every business at this point. We are still viewed as a land of opportunity, and we know people are still moving here and returning after college. Williamson County is a great place for a career, and new companies moving to Williamson County create opportunities for our friends, families and neighbors. We work with our members’ companies and connect them with staffing resources in middle Tennessee. We also work directly with anyone looking for a job and connect them on a one-to-one basis with companies we know are hiring. The great resignation has become the great reshuffling, and we regularly share with our large employers best practices to retain and recruit talent. Employee expectations have changed, and companies willing to recognize and adapt to them are winning the war for talent.

What exciting business news can you report about why it is still a great idea to open a business, relocate a business and be in business in Williamson County?

ML: The most exciting business news is that we will set a record this year for ribbon cuttings in the midst of the increasing concern of a recession. Clearly, people are still willing to bet on themselves, their businesses and this community. It sounds a bit boring and repetitive, but our fundamentals are strong in Williamson County. Our quality of life is high, and crime is low. We have a variety of housing options, and taxes are reasonable. We have a AAA bond rating, and, more than anything, our public schools are strong. Public schools are still the number one economic asset in Williamson County. People are drawn here because of the schools, and companies are drawn here for the people.  

How can members–old, new and prospective–get the most bang for their buck out of joining Williamson, Inc.?

ML: We have such a great team at Williamson, Inc. dedicated to helping our members achieve success, however they define success. We take a very personal approach to help connect people thoughtfully and intentionally to others for mutual gain. When you join Williamson, Inc., attending some of our over 200 meetings and events per year is a great way to meet other people to begin or strengthen business relationships. In addition to attending our events, there are committees to join, like Women in Business, Engagement, Young Professional and Ambassador, that help you connect and engage with other business leaders in our community.

As the head of the Chamber in Williamson County, what message do you want to share with community members and business owners?

ML: We are fortunate to live in a place that appreciates the critical role small businesses play in the overall health of our community. Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy. I love hearing stories of prosperity and success from small business owners throughout Williamson County. I encourage people to continue to shop, dine and experience locally.

The Hub for All Things Community with Williamson, Inc.

Williamson, Inc. is Williamson County’s Chamber of Commerce and Office of Economic Development, which provides unparalleled access to education, leadership development, relationship-building and up-to-the-minute information about doing business in one of the country’s fastest-growing counties. 

Annual community updates held by Williamson, Inc. include State of the County with Mayor Rogers Anderson, State of the Schools with local superintendents, Market Update with commercial and residential real estate specialists and Outlook Williamson with panelists presenting trends and projections. These events host over 250 business professionals, leaders and community members. Attendees do not need to be members of Williamson, Inc., although members receive priority registration and pricing.

Special event resources launched this year, including a nationally recognized Minority Business Academy and Williamson Insider, a community onboarding lunch for new residents. Williamson, Inc. has also partnered with Williamson County Schools to provide Leadership Principles, a professional development series for principals focusing on leadership skills with the intent to retain top talent and strengthen Williamson County’s greatest asset – its schools. This year also marked the first year Williamson, Inc. brought an internationally recognized conference to the area, the Disney Institute. Launching in quarter four of 2022 is the Black Business Committee, a group of black business leaders charged with leading four events in 2023 sponsored by their committee and the economic development arm of Williamson, Inc. 

In partnership with the Heritage Foundation of Williamson County and the generous support of Calvin LeHew, Williamson, Inc. opened the Franklin Innovation Center in August of 2021. As part of the Franklin Grove restoration project, the Franklin Innovation Center is housed in a newly renovated 4,100-square-foot historic mansion just blocks from downtown Franklin. The center features six individual office suites that lease for one-year terms to innovative, scalable companies. Two new tenants have joined the space in 2022 to join the existing inaugural tenants. To learn more about this project or apply, visit 

Williamson, Inc. strives to provide a platform for the community to stay informed in upcoming elections. As part of that initiative, Williamson, Inc. offered live-streamed interviews to all candidates for local elections in 2022 and requested all candidates fill out written questionnaires on business topics in Williamson County. These are archived on 

Ribbon cuttings hosted by Williamson, Inc. are on pace to break the annual record of seventy-six set in 2022. Ribbon cuttings are free events open to the community and they can be found listed on When Williamson, Inc. hosts your ribbon cutting, you receive complimentary food, media coverage, printed materials and more from Williamson, Inc. members. If you are interested in hosting a cutting for your grand opening, re-opening, expansion, anniversary, remodel or other milestones, please email 

Williamson, Inc. also hosts a number of community networking events for small business owners, Women in Business, Young Professionals, minority businesses, non-profits and more. If you are interested in becoming a member of Williamson, Inc., please visit or email