Kelly Subaru gives $10000 to Equal Justice Initiative and more business news – Chattanooga Times Free Press


Kelly Subaru gives $10,000 to Equal Justice Initiative

Kelly Subaru has donated $10,000 to the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), which was matched by Subaru of America, as part of its annual giving campaign. EJI is an organization committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment, challenging racial and economic injustice, and protecting human rights for the most vulnerable people.

Working with the brand’s Black & Latino Employee Network for Diversity at Subaru, Subaru announced a $500,000 donation to the Equal Justice Initiative, which has inspired regional dealers, such as Kelly Subaru, to also donate to EJI.

With the tagline, «Love, it’s what makes Subaru, Subaru,» the company believes that love for the brand can translate into action by doing more to promote inclusiveness. Kelly Subaru Dealer Principal Tim Kelly, who is also running for Chattanooga mayor, said he hopes the additional funding «will assist in addressing racial and economic injustice and support basic human rights for our fellow citizens.»

Feds put flight limits on support animals

The days of pets flying with their owners in airplane cabins for free are coming to an end.

The Transportation Department issued a final rule Wednesday covering animals on airlines. It decided that only dogs can fly as service animals, and companions that passengers use for emotional support don’t count.

The rule aims to settle years of tension between airlines and passengers who bring their pets on board for free by saying they need them for emotional help. Under a longstanding department policy, all the passengers needed was a note from a health professional.

Airlines argued that passengers abused the situation to bring a menagerie of animals on board including cats, turtles, pot-bellied pigs and, in one case, a peacock.

The agency said Wednesday that it was rewriting the rules partly because passengers carrying unusual animals on board «eroded the public trust in legitimate service animals.»

Jim Ayers steps down as FirstBank chairman

Jim Ayers, who bought a tiny, rural West Tennessee bank in 1984 and turned it into an $11 billion regional powerhouse, announced Wednesday he was stepping down as executive chairman of FirstBank and its parent company FB Financial Corp., effective Jan. 1.

Ayers, who owns 29% of the publicly traded bank, will retain a board seat and expects to continue working at the bank, focusing his time calling on customers.

«Having just celebrated my 77th birthday, I thought this would be a good time to dial back some of my responsibilities to give me more time to spend with my family and on my hobbies,» Ayers said. «The bank is strong, we have excellent leadership at the top with Chris Holmes as President and CEO, and we have a strong and diverse board. I can go hunting and fishing, and that’s what I intend to do.»

Discovery Plus joins streaming platforms

Discovery is joining the increasingly crowded streaming fray with its own reality-focused service Discovery Plus that will include shows from the Food Network, HGTV, TLC and its other networks. It launches Jan 4.

The service will cost $5 a month with ads and $7 a month without ads. By comparison, the ad-free Disney Plus costs $7 a month and Netflix’ most popular plan costs $14 a month.

Each account will include up to five user profiles and support four concurrent streams. Discovery said the service will be available on «major platforms,» connected TVs, web, mobile and tablets, but it didn’t specify which services would carry it.

Discovery has built a reality-TV empire with popular channels that feature reality programming, including the Discovery Channel, HGTV, Food Network, TLC, Investigation Discovery and others. Hit shows have included TLC’s «90-Day Fiance,» HGTV’s «Fixer-Upper» and Guy Fieri’s «Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives» on the Food Network.

American resumes use of Boeing 737 Max jets

American Airlines is taking its long-grounded Boeing 737 Max jets out of storage, updating key flight-control software, and flying the planes in preparation for the first flights with paying passengers later this month.

All Max jets worldwide were grounded in March 2019 after the second of two crashes that together killed 346 people. Last month, the Federal Aviation Administration approved changes — mainly in flight-control software — that will allow airlines to resume flying the plane.

American is likely to be the first carrier to put passengers on Max jets, beginning Dec. 29 with once-a-day round trips between New York and Miami. In the meantime, the airline has been flying the plane with employees on board.

— Compiled by Dave Flessner

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