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Small Business Matters

The Small Business Council of the Greater Memphis Chamber works tirelessly in our local community and is representative of the small business membership of the Chamber. 

Approximately 90 percent of the Chamber’s members have less than 100 employees. It is the mission of the Small Business Council to aid in addressing the needs of small businesses in greater Memphis. The vision of the Small Business Council is to serve as the advocate for small businesses by encouraging, supporting, recognizing, and being a resource that enriches business practices within our community.

Small businesses have been an important staple of the economy since people and communities first began trading for goods and services years and years ago.  Earlier studies reported that as much as two times of the money spent in local business was retained in the local economy.   More recent studies indicate that this number is actually as high as three or four times the money spent in local businesses stays in the local economy.  

A study by the research firm Civic Economics found that “local retailers return an average of 52 percent of their revenue to the local economy, compared with just 14 percent for the chain retailers. Similarly, the local restaurants re-circulate an average of 79 percent of their revenue locally, compared to 30 percent for the chain eateries.”

Small or local-owned business also provide the benefit of local job opportunities in addition to supporting the Memphis area through everyday needs such as hiring local CPAs and attorneys, utilizing local landscape and supply companies and participating in major civic organizations in the community.

All businesses gain from the Small Business Council.  As a member of the Greater Memphis Chamber, regardless of your company size, you are automatically eligible to participate in events sponsored by the Small Business Council.  We welcome everyone to participate in the learning and networking events throughout the year. 
We kick off with the Small Business Council Program Launch Breakfast on January 26, 2015. We’ll discuss the resources you need to do business in Memphis and introduce the upcoming programming for the year. You can register for the breakfast here. I look forward to seeing you there.

-Judy Bell
Judy Bell Consulting
Small Business Council Steering Committee

Posted: 12/29/2014 8:54:28 AM | with 0 comments
Filed under: breakfast, business, council, events, launch, resources, small

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Your business may be small, but that doesn't mean that your impact can't be huge! The Greater Memphis Chamber's Small Business Council serves to encourage, support, recognize and be a resource to small- and medium-sized businesses in the Memphis area. Here, our talented panel of contributors will present big ideas that could make a huge difference to your small business. And don't be afraid to ask questions ... no matter how small.

Sales & Small Business Ownership
Voss W. Graham is CEO and Senior Business Advisor for InnerActive Consulting Group Inc. He is known by his clients as "a knowledgeable partner who helps our team achieve business growth." He provides practical experience as a small business owner for over 29 years, yet is often engaged with Fortune 500 companies in the development of their people and business strategies.

Public Relations
Several professionals and strategists from the local Obsidian Public Relations firm provide excellent advice on everything from research to media relations to event planning. They believe that all companies, no matter how big or small the company or its budget, should have a public relations plan driving how they manage their relationships with key stakeholders. Public relations is an integral part of doing business the right way.

Human Resources
Joel Myers is a career Human Resources professional, with over 40 years in the field including 26 years in consulting.

Small Business Advice
Tom Pease is a small business owner of an office equipment dealership called e/Doc Systems, Inc. He has also owned a full-line Kawasaki dealership as well as a document shop. He used 30+ years of experience in owning a business to author two books, including: Going Out of Business by Design: Why 70% of Small Businesses Fail and Small Business Survival 101. He also has published 85 columns in The Memphis Daily News as the Small Business Advisor.

Marketing & Public Relations
Lori Turner-Wilson is CEO and Founder of RedRover Company, a sales development, marketing and PR consulting firm. Lori works with companies large and small, from start-ups to mature organizations, to help them improve the productivity of their sales force and the return on their marketing investment. Lori writes a weekly syndicated column for the Daily News, Memphis News, Nashville Ledger, and Desoto Times, among others, titled “Guerrilla Sales & Marketing,” for which she won a 2011 Summit International Award and 2012 International Communicator Award.

Design and Digital Strategy
Founded in 1999, inferno provides brand development, advertising, public relations, design and digital marketing services to clients across a broad spectrum of industries. Headquartered in Memphis with a satellite office in Kalamazoo, Michigan, the award-winning firm produces results-driven work by passionately combining strategic thinking, creativity and culture to ensure the success of its clients. For more information, visit

Labor & Employment Law
Fisher Phillips attorneys are ready to help you take a stand: in court, with employees and unions, or with competitors. Fisher Phillips has the experience and resolve to back you up. That's why some of the savviest employers come to the firm to handle their toughest labor and employment cases. The firm has 350 attorneys in 32 offices, including Memphis. For more information, visit

Since its founding in 2005, Paragon Bank has maintained a solid focus on the community and customer service. For more than 10 years, Paragon has delivered innovative products and financial expertise, convenience, and a deep understanding of what both businesses and individuals need from a ban, in order to provide solutions that make a difference. In the areas of business or personal banking, lending options or wealth management, Paragon delivers cutting edge technology, an experienced team and the most service-oriented staff of any community bank.

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