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Race to the Top and Set the Pace for 2012

The Small Business Council (SBC) of the Greater Memphis Chamber was created by the members for the members. With over 90% of the Chamber’s membership classified as "small business," the council was formed to share knowledge on issues and situations unique to small business in Memphis, Tenn. The SBC provides the forum to educate, support, network and gather the resources to help grow business.

We originally created this group to make sure that every voice is heard and not lost in the masses. There is an element of comfort knowing that you are not the only small business struggling with issues like human resource, IT, government legislation, efficiency or sales. Like all of our businesses, the SBC is constantly evolving its programming to keep up with current business trends and meet your needs as a small business. In fact, this summer we will launch a new mentoring program designed specifically to help our small businesses grow.

I hope you can join us for our next event “In the Mix with Small Business and Lexus of Memphis” on Wednesday, June 6, 2012, from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. This event is free to our members and $20 for future members. To register, please email Amanda Edmundson at or visit the Chamber's events calendar.

Watch for our monthly enewsletter and check back weekly right here to keep up with the latest small business news, too.

The SBC and the Greater Memphis Chamber strive to be a part of your business and a resource to help you grow and make Memphis the great place it is. I’ll end with this quote that I heard and can’t get out of my head, “The only challenge we have is our ability to work collectively.” Let’s work together, set the pace, and be a part of thriving small business community in Memphis.

-- Lee Still

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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.