With more than $19 billion in projects are planned investment or underway across Memphis, Memphis is a city with momentum. In Downtown Memphis alone, more than $5 billion in new development projects are underway. Find out more about why more companies are choosing to call the Greater Memphis region home. 


ten reasons to get Invested in MemphiS

1. Millennial Population Boom

With one of the southeast’s youngest populations, Memphis has become a destination for the next generations of talent interested in making its mark.

Memphis has seen a nearly 10 percent increase in its share of 25-36-year -old residents. Young people are flocking to our city and it is no surprise because we are home to the number one place to work for Gen Z – St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.  Timemagazine says we are one of the top five cities for Millennial population growth. And guess what? Those Millennials must like it here because they are putting down roots. Memphis has the third largest share of Millennial homebuyers in the country according to a 2017 study by realtor.com.

Downtown Memphis has the highest concentration of young professional residents of any zip code in the state of Tennessee. Forty-nine percent of all Downtown Memphis residents are Young Professionals under the age of 40.

2. Business-friendly Climate

Low debt and a pro-business regulatory environment make Tennessee one of the most business-friendly states in the country. A right-to-work state with no personal income tax on wages, our state and local tax burdens are among the lowest in the country.

Tennessee leads the nation is small business growth.

FACT: Tennessee added 3.7 percent more jobs over the past year to rank as the top state for small business job growth. 

Tennessee's average wage rate of $22.71 last month was up 3.61 percent in the past year — the third biggest gain among the 50 states behind Arizona and California. But Tennessee wages still averaged nearly 12 percent less than the U.S. average wage rate of $25.76.

Anchored by growth of Memphis-founded brands FedEx, AutoZone, ServiceMaster and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, Shelby County and the surrounding region have experienced steady growth for a decade with a recent acceleration in projects that will thousands of new jobs to the region. The region is also home to operations of more than 100 Fortune 500 companies. 

Those companies are attracted by a deep pool of skilled workers, low taxes and business costs, a pro-business regulatory environment and superior infrastructure including interstate highways and Memphis International Airport, North America’s busiest cargo airport.

3. Diverse Regional Talent Pool

With a regional population of nearly 5 million people, the Greater Memphis region offers a continuous and strong talent pipeline. As the largest metropolitan job center within a 150-mile radius, Metro Memphis is the economic hub of a three-state region that includes Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi. The MSA population is approximately 1.3 million. The 12-county region spanning three states is home to one of the largest and most diverse talent pools in the Southeast.



10-Year Growth

Memphis MSA*


3.5% from 2007-2017

50-mile radius**


3.7% growth from 2007-2017

150-mile radius


1.0% growth from 2007-2017




*This region includes 9 counties: Crittenden, AR; Benton, MS; DeSoto, MS; Marshall, MS; Tate, MS; Tunica, MS; Fayette, TN; Shelby, TN; Tipton, TN

**This region includes 12 counties: Crittenden, AR; Benton, MS; DeSoto, MS; Lafayette, MS; Marshall, MS; Panola, MS; Tate, MS; Tunica, MS; Fayette, TN; Hardeman, TN; Shelby, TN; Tipton, TN


4. Training and Education

More than 62,000 students in the Greater Memphis region are enrolled in four-year and community colleges. With 39 colleges and universities and 35 Technical Training Programs in a 150-mile radius of Memphis, the city is a magnet for the region’s talent.

In addition to being the first state in the nation to offer free community college to graduating seniors, we also offer free community college to adult learners. Memphis has already seen a spike in enrollments, helping prepare more of our city’s workforce for the future.

5. Affordability meets Livability

Our low cost of living – consistently 20 percent lower than the national average– is frequently cited as a driver 

for the next generation to choose Memphis as a place that makes it possible for them to create the work/life balance they crave.

A diverse and affordable housing supply proximate to the city’s center has attracted new investment and interest from Millennials looking to buck the trend of renting and putting down roots.Memphis has the third largest share of Millennial homebuyers in the country according to a 2017 study by realtor.com and was named the second cheapest place to live by CBS News. Abundant housing stock and many urban neighborhoods in the midst of revitalization make it a prime place for individuals and families looking for more space without sacrificing the walkability and convenience of urban living.

FACT: The average commute time in Greater Memphis is 22.5 minutes, making it the metro area with the sixth shortest average commute time in the country.

In addition, the state of Tennessee has no state income tax. 

The low cost of living and tax structure in Memphis translates to a competitive cost structure for businesses and make it an attractive place for employees looking to keep more hard-earned dollars in their pockets.

6. Infrastructure & ACCESSIBILITY 

Memphis is a center for global commerce. Centrally located, 75 percent of the US population is within a 20-hour drive of Memphis. 

Memphis Accessibility

Long known as America’s Distribution Center, the city's just-in-time deliver network allows companies to ship goods out late with next day delivery. With a $1 billion expansion of the FedEx Super Hub underway, the city’s already unparalleled logistics infrastructure offers companies a top notch global commerce advantage.

We’re a quadromodel powerhouse with assets known as the 4 Rs – Runways, Rail, Road and River – which represent an unmatched transportation network.


FACT: The US Transportation Department Recently awarded Memphis a $71.2 million grant to upgrade Lamar Avenue. Lamar is one of our nation’s most multimodal freight corridors linking interstate highways, airports, maritime ports and rail.

In addition, the Port of Memphis landed a $1.7 million grant to add new railroad tracks at the public terminal on Presidents Island, giving Presidents Island the potential to serve unit trains – a huge benefit for our logistics infrastructure in Memphis. This grant is expected to increase rail capacity about 15 percent and clear the way for unit trains of 100-plus cars to access the island.

 7. Memphis Fiscal Strength
As one of the most fiscally responsible states, Tennessee operates with a healthy surplus rather than a deficit in the state budget.

Memphis, the state’s largest population center, is also committed to creating a business-friendly environment with forward-thinking fiscal reforms and smart policies to drive growth.

Our Fiscal Strength and Efficient Government make Memphis a prime target for companies looking to relocate or expand in Tennessee. Our AA credit rating– one of the best of the metro areas in our state – shows we are dedicated to fiscally responsible government.

8. Strong Entrepreneurship Ecosystem 

Entrepreneurship is part of the Memphis DNA.

Innovators, groundbreakers, music-makers; and world-shakers come to Memphis to bring their ideas to life and make their mark. Memphis is a place where creativity, philanthropy, and business entrepreneurs collide.

Memphis has made aggressive moves to create an entrepreneurial ecosystem that’s second to none. Though tech is the primary driver, we’re launching successful companies across a spectrum of industries – from home services to food to music – that will change the future.

Funding by the Greater Memphis Chamber’s Chairman’s Circle Epicenter is a world-class entrepreneurial hub that connects and coordinates innovators with the support they need to start, launch and scale their businesses.

  • Since 2014, more than 500 entrepreneurs have been served by Epicenter and more than $50 million in capital has been raised.

  • Of those who have reported demographic data, more than 60% are entrepreneurs of color, and 60% are women.
9. Diversity

Memphis boasts one of the most diverse populations in the state of Tennessee.

We’re a city dedicated to diversity and inclusion.

The Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Memphis helps women and minority-owned businesses grow and thrive.

RISE OF THE REST: In May 2018, AOL Founder Steve Case brought a busload of investors on a 12-hour whirlwind tour of Memphis as part of the Rise of the Rest Tour, showcasing our city’s entrepreneurial ecosystem to a dynamic group of investors interested in funding promising startups in cities located outside the traditional Silicon Valley tech scene.

10. Memphis Gives Back

The Chronicle of Philanthropy named Memphis the world’s most charitable city in 2017.

Of all charitable causes from the nearly 400,000 families in metro Memphis totaled 5.6 percent of gross personal income from 2015-2016, up from 5.1 percent in 2014. In fact, Memphians give to charity at a rate almost twice the national average.

Giving back is so important to the next generation of leaders and Memphis’s robust and sophisticated nonprofit structure provides easy plug-and-play opportunities for individuals and companies to give back.

FACT: 80 percent of all charitable contribution dollars remain in the Greater Memphis region, which is home to more than 4,000 nonprofit organizations.

Getting connected to opportunities in Memphis is a breeze.

Memphis-based Volunteer Odyssey helps companies connect teams or individual volunteers with their ideal volunteer opportunities based on the company goals, individuals’ interest, skill or neighborhood using an innovative digital platform called VolunteerCompass.

Interested in making a move to Memphis? Check out the Greater Memphis Relocation Guide for more information on the livability of our city. 

Interested in relocating or expanding your business to the Greater Memphis region? Contact our economic development team here. 


The Greater Memphis Chamber is the lead agency for economic development marketing in the Greater Memphis region.  Learn more about what we do or become an investor via the link below.


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