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Welcome to New York (Part 2)

Read Part 1 of our media and economic development trip to New York City here.

Business, basketball and bedroom furniture - that’s how I would sum up our second and most important day in New York City. The Chamber team - along with members of the Chairman’s Circle - traveled to the Big Apple as part of a strategic economic development plan to promote Memphis’ business assets and recruit new jobs to the Memphis area.

Wednesday was the biggest day of the week, and can be broken down into three key events:

#1 Bloomberg BusinessWeek
Our President & CEO Phil Trenary and business leader Larry Jensen, President and CEO of Cushman & Wakefield/Commercial Advisors, met with an economic editor from Bloomberg BusinessWeek. The two gave an overview of some of the major initiatives occurring in Memphis. Some highlights include: our new workforce initiative, the EPIcenter and our huge water asset.

#2 IKEA Brooklyn
Mid-December IKEA announced they would be building their first store in Tennessee on Germantown Parkway in Memphis. Memphians collectively rejoiced at the news, but with the closest store almost 400 miles away, many will have the IKEA experience for the first time this Fall. Smart phones in hand, we decided to take a little trip out to IKEA Brooklyn to give everyone a taste of the smart, affordable furniture to come.

#3 Memphis Grizzlies
Many learned last week about one of the most potent tools in our economic development toolbox: the Memphis Grizzlies. Wednesday night we rented out two suites at the Barclays Center and hosted over forty New York City site selectors and commercial real estate advisors for the Brooklyn Nets versus the Memphis Grizzlies game. While the Grizzlies dominated on the floor, our Chairman’s Circle members and Memphis business leaders succeeded in the suite, sharing with our guests all the reasons Memphis is ripe for business - the same message we’ve been sharing with media throughout the week.
After the game, we took our guests down on the floor to meet some of our favorite Grizz players. Zach Randolph and Tony Allen came out to greet our guests and take pictures. It’s an incredible testimony to the Memphis area when its professional basketball players are willing to advocate on behalf of the community. Our guests left blown away by the experience, and we’re still receiving calls and emails about the event.

Some other highlights of the day?
-The New York Times published their video and article “What to do in Memphis in 36 hours.” The article highlighted our strong music heritage and our lively food scene, and it had impeccable timing.

-Jack Rogers from Business Facilities (who we met with Tuesday) wrote a blog on education reform in Tennessee and Memphis, entitled “Game Changer,” giving a Cliff Notes version of the Greater Memphis Alliance for a Competitive Workforce.

-Local media covered our trip to New York City, focusing on our collaboration with the Memphis Grizzlies.

-We released our “Magic of the River” video - a Running Pony production from our Annual Chairman’s Luncheon.

-And… perhaps my personal favorite: Tony Allen retweeted my tweet! #salute

All in all, it was a successful trip for the Greater Memphis Chamber and the Memphis business community as we continue to work together to recruit companies, create jobs and increase economic growth for the Greater Memphis area.

-Jenny C. Fish
Posted: 1/21/2015 12:53:26 PM | with 0 comments
Filed under: basketball, Chamber, City, development, economic, Greater, Grizzlies, IKEA, media, Memphis, New, York

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