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2016 Successes for Memphis & the Greater Memphis Chamber

At the beginning of the year, we outlined the Greater Memphis Chamber's objectives for growing our city's middle class, increasing receipts for minority & women-owned businesses and creating higher enrollment for workforce training key sectors.

Today, we'd like to highlight some of the ways our team met these goals and others these past 12 months:

1. Launched a forgivable loan program for minority- and women-owned businesses to be trained and certified in the international recognized quality management system, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) – the first program of its kind in the country – and certified six MWBEs.

2. Assisted in locating the ServiceMaster, Inc. global headquarters in the vacant Peabody Place, bringing 2,000 employees to Downtown Memphis in 2017.

3. Rebranded and re-launched Advice on Tap, a program that provides small businesses with free 30-minute consultations from experts in marketing, IT, business law, sales, public relations, finance, accounting and human resources.

4. Mobilized our business leadership to send letters, make phone calls and travel to Nashville to oppose the de-annexation bill that threatened to significantly raise taxes for citizens and destabilize service delivery. The bill was successfully delayed to allow time for additional review of its impact, and we continue to work with the City Council to determine a sustainable way to shrink our City’s footprint. 

5. Worked with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to seek state funding for their expansion, which will create over 2,000 new jobs and transform the Pinch District.

6. Created BizPalooza in conjunction with BNI, a B2B showcase featuring over 60 small businesses and forming our largest networking event of the year.

7. Launched MEM2NASH, where over 50 business leaders invaded Nashville with Memphis soul. The trip included 7 meetings with legislative officials, a hallway display of Memphis business and tourism, and an evening reception at B.B. King’s.

8. Supported Music Export Memphis, a new initiative to create opportunities for Memphis musicians across the U.S. and abroad as an export office for Memphis music. The effort officially launched at the AmericanaFest in September.

9. Worked with the Supplier Diversity Collaborative to identify four focus areas for increasing minority- and women-owned business receipts: business-to-business, business-to-government, business-to-church and a partnerships program to launch in the beginning of 2017.

10. Met with the following local, state and federal leaders in 2016 to discuss our legislative priorities: City of Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland, Shelby County Mayor Mark H. Luttrell, Jr., Representative Glen Casada, Tennessee State Treasurer David Lillard, Speaker of the House Beth Harwell, Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey, TN Department of Transportation Commissioner John Schroer, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and the Tennessee Valley Authority with 40 congressional staffers. 

11. Assisted with the first citywide cleanup of the Memphis Clean by 2019 initiative on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on January 18th with over 1,645 participants and 4.67 tons of litter removed.

12. Created and retained over 6,500 jobs and $1.5 billion in investment with final totals to come in January of 2017.

13. Continued support for the Mid-South Regional Greenprint, which was adopted by all 22 jurisdictions and began the implementation phase.

14.  Selected to lead the Metro Memphis Export Alliance with the goal to increase Memphis exports by 5 percent, growing export revenue by $290 million and creating over 1,600 jobs.

15. Advocated for state bill to improve the state’s volunteer pre-K program, create more rigorous pre-k programming and addressing disconnects between pre-K classrooms and elementary schools. Governor Bill Haslam signed the pre-k bill into law in April.

16. Assisted in securing local, state and federal grants worth over $11 million to support workforce development efforts, including the “Strengthening Working Families Initiative” to help train workers with families by providing transportation and childcare services and the “America’s Promise” grant to assist 1,000 adults with training for advanced manufacturing positions.

17. To date the Entrepreneurship Powered Innovation Center has created or incubated over 90 companies, served 250 entrepreneurs, created 110 jobs and raised more than $11 million in capital.

18. Received the Governor’s Award for Trade Excellence, which honors companies and organizations that have achieved excellence in engaging in global trade. The Chamber was the only non-profit organization to receive this award.

19. SoundCheck, the Chamber’s Young Professionals Council, held Q&A discussions with 10 Chairman’s Circle members, with City Council Chairman Kemp Conrad and with City Councilwoman Patrice Robinson this year.

20. Identified and trained stakeholders in 28 zones and fully activated 14 zones as part of Memphis Clean by 2019. Also expanded the high profile cleanups to cover 15 exit ramps, 10 major intersections and 10 major arteries. Removed 72,568 lbs of litter from Memphis streets.

21. Member AT&T brought their fiber network to Memphis, allowing businesses and citizens to experience faster downloads, less buffering and an ultra-reliable WiFi connection.

22. IKEA Memphis opened in December, the first and only location for this destination retailer in the state of Tennessee.

Posted: 12/21/2016 9:48:50 AM | with 0 comments
Filed under: 2016, Chamber, Greater, Memphis, Successes

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