In 2018, we set out to address some sobering facts about our city’s lack of population and job growth.
It is clear that our current economic development model isn’t functioning at a fast enough rate to produce the job growth we need to capitalize on this momentum. We have to take bold steps to make Memphis more competitive for jobs and investment.
Despite our growth challenges, for the first time in a long time, we have some positive momentum. Our share of Millennials has grown by nearly 10 percent. We’ve received recent accolades for the increasing volume of women and minority-owned businesses in our community. Most recently, we have seen a surge of investment – more than $15 billion underway – across the city. These are all good things.
Our goal is simple. We want Memphis to win.
Earlier this summer, the Greater Memphis Chamber commissioned a third-party comprehensive economic competitiveness analysis to benchmark how our processes, policies and procedures in Memphis and Shelby County compare to our peer cities. This study by Boyette Strategic Advisors looked at the City, County, EDGE, the Chamber, Tennessee Economic and Community Development and other partner agencies. We asked our consultants to look at the whole marketing and sales process from top to bottom.
Much of the information we found from the Boyette Study was not surprising. The findings in the Executive Summary from the Boyette Study reinforce many of the issues we have believed or suspected for years. We are not as competitive as we need to be to attract the robust growth needed to reverse some of our city’s biggest challenges. Please click here to view the Executive Summary of the findings of the Boyette Study.The information provided by the Boyette Study provides a foundational look at what we need to do to be more competitive. It should serve as a wakeup call to our community and a call to arms to our members to take advantage of the momentum that is underway and to act now to make the changes necessary for Memphis to win.
We have already taken some steps based on the study results.
At the Chamber, we have made significant staffing changes to reflect our shift in strategy and to address some of the things we have been doing that were not working. We’ve added top-notch talent in key positions across our Chamber to strengthen our efforts to promote our city’s business climate and to grow our existing businesses.
We are moving forward with an aggressive agenda to improve our Economic Development Ecosystem and changes to make Memphis and Shelby County more competitive for jobs and investment. You will hear more about that over the next few weeks.
Our vision is to turn Memphis and Shelby County into an Economic Development powerhouse that creates prosperity for all. Our hope is that our community will come together in an effort to amplify what is working and to make needed changes to what is not.
We continue to strive every day to Move Memphis Forward. We hope you will join us in that effort.
President & CEO of the Greater Memphis Chamber
Chairman of the Board of the Greater Memphis ChamberThis post is part of a Chamber series explaining the pieces, players, and processes behind growth in this city. It’s an exciting time to be in Memphis – click here to read more and join the conversation.