Biz Buzz: Firehouse Subs spreads like wildfire in Murfreesboro

Aug 20, 2020 at 12:40 pm by Michelle Willard

Firehouse Subs in Murfreesboro
The employees at the new Firehouse Subs

Firehouse Subs announces the grand opening of its second location in Murfreesboro at 2445 Memorial Blvd. in Suite A. The restaurant opened its doors to the public on Friday, Aug. 7, under the ownership of Firehouse Subs Franchisee Mark Watson.

The new Murfreesboro Firehouse Subs will be open from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week. The new location offers steamed-to-perfection subs to go via online ordering through the Firehouse Subs app or website, call-in phone orders, third party delivery and takeout service at the counter inside. Following state and local regulations, the dining room and patio will be open at 50% capacity.

This is the sixth Firehouse Subs restaurant for Watson, who opened his first location in Smyrna more than 10 years ago. After growing up in a military family, Watson made his home in Murfreesboro more than 30 years ago, and had his first bite of Firehouse Subs while on vacation with his family.

"We like to try new and different restaurants while we're traveling, so that's how I was first introduced to the concept," Watson said. "We came back home and I noticed there really weren't any in Middle Tennessee, and that's what planted the seed."

Watson's family joins him in his passion for hearty and flavorful food and heartfelt service. His son Tyler is a District Manager for the family-owned restaurants, and wife Laura, daughter Ashley and son Jackson have all helped serve up hot subs to their community.

Watson is dedicated to sharing the brand's commitment to giving back through Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation, which has granted more than $2.2 million in Tennessee. Since March 18, Firehouse Subs restaurants and the Foundation have donated nearly 90,000 meals to local first responders, healthcare workers and people in need. A portion of every purchase at any Firehouse Subs in the U.S. benefits the Foundation, helping achieve its mission of providing lifesaving equipment, funding and education to first responders and public safety organizations across the country.

"Being able to support our first responders has been the biggest reward since first bringing the brand to the community more than 10 years ago," Watson said. "The Foundation has been able to grant more than $772,000 in lifesaving equipment in Middle Tennessee, like three mobile LED light towers to Smyrna Fire Department and a rescue boat to Murfreesboro Fire Rescue that were donated last year. I really appreciate the support of our guests, and I look forward to connecting with new neighbors and friends at our second Murfreesboro restaurant."

The Murfreesboro restaurant décor reflects the founding family's decades of fire and police service with gear and photos donated by local fire departments. The restaurant boasts a custom, hand-painted mural by Chief Mural Artist Joe Puskas, featuring the nearby Walter Hill Dam and a brush truck that carries several pieces of equipment that was purchased through a grant to Murfreesboro Fire & Rescue Department by the Foundation in 2015. Since the opening of the first Firehouse Subs in 1994, Puskas and his team have painted more than 1,175 murals from his studio at Firehouse Subs Headquarters in Jacksonville, Fla.

More aid is available for small businesses

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee and the Financial Stimulus Accountability Group recently announced new and expanded financial relief programs for small businesses, agribusinesses, displaced workers, and the tourism industry through the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF).

The Tennessee Small Business Relief Program will expand to include additional industries adversely impacted by reductions in commercial activity in April, with $83.5 million added to the program's initial $200 million allotment.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has placed enormous strain on businesses and industries of all types," said Gov. Lee. "We'll continue to distribute federal resources prudently to address the pressing needs of Tennessee businesses to get our economy back on track."

The Tennessee Small Business Relief Program will expand to include an additional $83 million for businesses provided they have less than $10 million in annual gross sales and fall within an industry impacted by executive order limitations on activities, gatherings, and other non-essential businesses and activities; or a retail industry that experienced a 25% reduction in taxable sales in the month of April due to the public health emergency.

The expansion list will also include, among others, the following businesses that are now eligible if their sales were reduced by at least 25%, as shown on their April sales tax returns (filed in May).

A full list of and instructions for eligible businesses will be available from the Tennessee Department of Revenue.

The funds will be divided between Agriculture and Forestry Economic Relief ($50 million), Tourism Industry Recovery Support ($25 million), and Workforce Development ($9.5 million).

Tennessee will allocate $7.5 million to two established workforce development programs: Reemployment Service and Eligibility Assessment (RESEA) Program Expansion and Career and Training Services, and $2 million to the Department of Labor and Workforce Development's Virtual American Jobs Center. These funds will provide reemployment services to a proposed 17,000 participants to return them to gainful, sustainable employment.



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