Archived News

New business coming to Macon County

New business coming to Macon County

The Macon County Industrial Park will be getting a new tenant after county commissioners approved a lease for TECO Inc. Solid State Lighting, a Tennessee corporation.

Macon County Economic Development Director Tommy Jenkins said TECO would be leasing 3,700 square feet of space at the Business Development Center for $918 a month. While the lease is for one year, Jenkins said the development center incubator space program allows businesses to stay for up to three years. 

The company, which was started by Darrel Thornberry in 2008, designs and manufactures LED paint inspection lighting systems for automotive manufacturers like Tesla, Toyota and Ford. TECO offers LED lighting solutions, including LED retrofit kits for industrial, commercial and specialty markets; LED bulbs for homes and offices; LED-based luminaires; and solar-powered LED luminaires. 

“They’re small but have had some success in the last couple years. (CEO) Mr. Thornberry is interested in locating here because he owns a home here. He likes the area and would like to grow his business here,” Jenkins told commissioners during a Nov. 14 meeting. “In the last year they’ve seen a steady growth in income and are also looking at new projects this year with Toyota and Tesla and they’re on track for projected income for 2018.”

The company plans to start out with just three employees and hopes by year three to have a minimum of 10 full-time employees and 15 part-time employees. While Thornberry will hire an office manager locally, Jenkins said he will presumably be bringing employees with him.

“Looks like a company that’s primed for growth,” said Commissioner Ronnie Beale. Commissioners unanimously approved the lease and also approved spending $7,000 out of the county’s economic development reserve fund to add a garage bay door to the unit TECO will be occupying.

The Macon County Business Development Center in Franklin offers over 14,000 square feet of business and light industry space available to qualifying startup small business entrepreneurs.

Leave a comment

Smokey Mountain News Logo
Go to top
Payment Information


At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.