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Tara and Scott Shepherd, from left, are planning to open Work Out Anytime facility in Ooltewah.

The newest Work Out Anytime facility will open Friday in Ooltewah.

Ooltewah resident Scott Shepherd, a former collegiate soccer player and coach for his daughter's varsity Lacrosse team at Ooltewah High, is the owner of the new 5,600-square-foot facility in the Apison Crossing shopping center.

"There are no 24/7 workout facilities in Ooltewah so we think there is a great opportunity here in one of the fastest growing parts of town," Shepherd said.

The around-the-clock fitness center will be open for business from 8-10 a.m for the first few days, starting Friday, before being open 24 hours a day every day, starting next week. Shepherd is hosting a grand opening on Friday, March 15.

"I've wanted to open up my own business in the some sort of sports area pretty much since I was a kid," Shepherd said.

The Atlanta-based Work Out Anytime has more than 150 locations, including other local facilities in North Shore, Hixson, Cleveland, Dayton and Athens, Tennessee and in Lafayette, Georgia.

The centers stay open around the clock, providing key access during the overnight hours for members.


FedEx tests delivery in self-driving units

FedEx is testing a new self-driving robotic vehicle that could one day compete with Amazon in delivering packages or pizzas to homes.

The company unveiled its new SameDay Bot early Wednesday on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon."

FedEx is the latest of several companies, including Amazon, to experiment with sidewalk delivery robots. Initial testing will be limited to transporting packages between FedEx Office locations.

The boxy machine appeared on the "Tonight Show" stage crossing through sand, gravel and shallow water, and climbing stairs, to deliver a pizza to Fallon.

FedEx says it worked with Segway creator Dean Kamen on technology based in part on his company's iBot, a mobility device for the disabled.

FedEx is partnering on the project with Walmart, Walgreens, Target, Pizza Hut, AutoZone and Lowe's.


Xpress Global opens new Chicago center

Xpress Global Systems, the Chattanooga-based logistics leader for the floorcovering industry, has replaced its 30,000-square-foot Chicago service center with a new 70,000-square-foot facility in the Chicago surburb of Franklin Park, Illinois to expand capacity and efficiency.

"Not only have we doubled our capacity , the state-of-the-art technology upgrades are incredible and has everyone here excited," said Alex Morataya, the manager for the new service center. "It's our turn to show what we can do!"

Xpress Global Systems currently operates over 30 service centers, servicing over 90 percent of the U.S population.


Text Request tops 1,000 active clients

Less than five years after its launch, Text Request announced Wednesday it has surpassed 1,000 active clients as the Chattanooga firm tries to meet its aggressive 2019 goal of doubling annual recurring revenue (ARR) again this year.

"Throughout 2018 and now into 2019, we've experienced tremendous business momentum," Text Request CEO Brian Elrod said. "When we sprinted past the $1 million ARR mark last year, we immediately felt we had the experience under our belts and wind in our sails to successfully double that number in 2019."

Text Request is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) product that allows customers to sign up to text using their current business numbers, and get an online dashboard to manage texts professionally. The Text Request client roster includes Harley-Davidson, Penn National Insurance, Ticketmaster, DTE Energy, Nissan, and State Farm.


Brazil OKs Disney buying Fox assets

Walt Disney Co. has cleared one of the last major hurdles in its quest to buy much of 21st Century Fox.

Brazil's antitrust regulator, Cade, after a proceeding Wednesday, approved Disney's $71.3-billion deal after Disney agreed to sell a sports channel in Brazil. The South American government's conditional approval of the deal moves the Burbank company significantly closer to gobbling up Fox's prolific production studios and channels — a process that could be completed as early as next week.

To win the Brazilian government's approval, Disney agreed to divest the Fox Sports channel in Brazil, an asset that Disney had hoped to consolidate. Part of the appeal of the Fox transaction was expanding Disney's exposure internationally now that the U.S. entertainment market is mature.