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mandrws1

Memphis business climate

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I just heard from a reliable source that IBM is expanding its Memphis staff of 300 to nearly 500. With the bad rap that Memphis sometimes gets, the business climate always seems to thrive. Investment capital is always rising and new businesses have been sprouting up for a while now. While I don't think its as good as it could be, it seems to go against the negative image that some people have of the city. Anyone?

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I just heard from a reliable source that IBM is expanding its Memphis staff of 300 to nearly 500. With the bad rap that Memphis sometimes gets, the business climate always seems to thrive. Investment capital is always rising and new businesses have been sprouting up for a while now. While I don't think its as good as it could be, it seems to go against the negative image that some people have of the city. Anyone?

There's no negative image for Memphis from me. I, personally love the town. The only real negative I see is that it's a little too hot there for my taste. This is outstanding news for Memphis! These are prestigious, highpaying jobs that any city would be happy to get.

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There's no negative image for Memphis from me. I, personally love the town. The only real negative I see is that it's a little too hot there for my taste. This is outstanding news for Memphis! These are prestigious, highpaying jobs that any city would be happy to get.

Yeah, Memphis always gets pretty high marks for business development, although its unemployment rate is stubbornly high, over 6% this year.

These are some touts from the Chamber of Commerce page:

"The city appeared in the top eight of the 50 best major metro areas in the U.S. for starting and growing a business, according to Inc. magazine, in 2000. Southern Business and Development magazine ranked Memphis as one of the most successful models for economic development in the south

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There's no negative image for Memphis from me. I, personally love the town. The only real negative I see is that it's a little too hot there for my taste. This is outstanding news for Memphis! These are prestigious, highpaying jobs that any city would be happy to get.

I love Memphis too. But the high crime, high taxes, and corrupt politicians, (which all get blown out of proportion IMO) feed negative stereotypes too often is what I was saying. This doesn't seem to have a negative effect on businesses coming to the city though.

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I love Memphis too. But the high crime, high taxes, and corrupt politicians, (which all get blown out of proportion IMO) feed negative stereotypes too often is what I was saying. This doesn't seem to have a negative effect on businesses coming to the city though.

I'm not trying to excuse the crime and political corruption in Memphis, but crime is no worse than in Atlanta or Birmingham or New Orleans or Miami, most likely better. Same thing with political corruption.

I've said it before, but I think that to some extent Memphis gets negatively stereotyped by being in a state that is otherwise overwhelmingly white. Even metro Nashville--the next "blackest" city in the state--is one of the "whitest" metros in the south.

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I'm not trying to excuse the crime and political corruption in Memphis, but crime is no worse than in Atlanta or Birmingham or New Orleans or Miami, most likely better. Same thing with political corruption.

I've said it before, but I think that to some extent Memphis gets negatively stereotyped by being in a state that is otherwise overwhelmingly white. Even metro Nashville--the next "blackest" city in the state--is one of the "whitest" metros in the south.

The political corruption probably has less of an effect on attracting new business here than some would believe. No matter how corrupt the Fords, Herenton or anybody else is, they always roll out the red carpet for incoming business. Sometimes, they may do it too much in the form of excessive PILOT incentives for less-than-stellar jobs.

Where the crime and corruption image do hurt is attracting (or retaining) skilled employees that those businesses need. In today's knowledge-based economy, jobs are increasing going where the right employees live. This is where Nashville is really doing well lately - thanks in large part to all the universities in that area.

As to your last comment, I am forced to agree that there is a racial element to how Memphis is viewed, particualarly in the rest of the state. I am white, but I find the charge that Memphis is a "big black ghetto" to be both unfair and incorrect.

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The political corruption probably has less of an effect on attracting new business here than some would believe. No matter how corrupt the Fords, Herenton or anybody else is, they always roll out the red carpet for incoming business. Sometimes, they may do it too much in the form of excessive PILOT incentives for less-than-stellar jobs.

Where the crime and corruption image do hurt is attracting (or retaining) skilled employees that those businesses need. In today's knowledge-based economy, jobs are increasing going where the right employees live. This is where Nashville is really doing well lately - thanks in large part to all the universities in that area.

As to your last comment, I am forced to agree that there is a racial element to how Memphis is viewed, particualarly in the rest of the state. I am white, but I find the charge that Memphis is a "big black ghetto" to be both unfair and incorrect.

Sometimes, business development and corruption go hand in hand as well.

Crooked politicians and crooked businessmen may bring about a good deal of overall economic development, even though the average citizen may not see the promised benefits.

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As to your last comment, I am forced to agree that there is a racial element to how Memphis is viewed, particualarly in the rest of the state. I am white, but I find the charge that Memphis is a "big black ghetto" to be both unfair and incorrect.

I tend to agree that there is a racial element. Metro-Davidson doesn't fare too well on Quitno's famous crime standings, but they often are quick to point fingers at Memphis. It's easy to make assumptions based on race when one race does something more than another. It's not right, but certainly does occur.

As to the topic, business is picking up in Memphis. I only hope that the logistics and transportation that we are known for will produce more higher paying jobs. A good example is the biotech boom that is happening, which relies oftentimes on overnight transportation.

Although corrupt polititians may anger most of the state, just remember who was instrumental in getting several large projects for Memphis (e.g., fedex forum): John Ford.

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Memphis has been leading the state in capital investment for a while. Its numbers are skewed downwards, because when the state looks at Memphis, they don't count Arkansas and Mississippi. I don't know how many years in a row it's been that there have been $1+ billion in capital investment, mostly from existing corporations expanding (i.e. Nike, IP, etc).

As for biomed research, Memphis already leads the nation in orthopedics. It boasts leading clinics and hospitals for pediatric catastrophic disease, oncology, opthamology (sp?), and cardiology. And Le Bonheur just lured a team of world-class brain surgeons in its effort to become a national leader in pediatric medicine. This doesn't even take into account the biomedical research park, Wright Med, Medtronic/Sofamor-Danek, Buckman Labs, GTx, etc. I think Memphis is well-poised to beomc a leader in biomed.

The issue is what else Memphis can become a leader in. I think Memphis can reclaim at least a portion of its former glory in music entertainment, and achieve never before seen ground in movie production (which isn't a high threshold to meet, until recently). Memphis can also become a leader in energy research as well, if enough focus and support is provided.

What I'd like to see is Memphis reclaim its former position in the hospitality industry. There is such a legacy here with HI, Promus, Harrah's, etc. It's a shame that there is a meager vestige of what used to be.

Memphis also has potential on the energy front, with Sharp expanding its solar cell plant, Memphis' position as a logistical monster with all the highways, rail, air, and water transport.

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Although corrupt polititians may anger most of the state, just remember who was instrumental in getting several large projects for Memphis (e.g., fedex forum): John Ford.

John Ford wasn't actually a bad, ineffective politician for the Memphis area.

He was just crooked.

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As to your last comment, I am forced to agree that there is a racial element to how Memphis is viewed, particualarly in the rest of the state. I am white, but I find the charge that Memphis is a "big black ghetto" to be both unfair and incorrect.

I agree, that is unfair and incorrect. Every major metropolitan area has ghettos. Some people associate this stereotype with the large African-American population that Memphis has. Of course Nashville is doing great, but thier crime stats are pretty close to those of Memphis. I also believe that the area's colleges and universities get looked over. The University of Memphis isn't the only major school here. What about Rhodes, Christian Brothers, and the up and coming Crichton College among others?....

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The University of Memphis isn't the only major school here. What about Rhodes, Christian Brothers, and the up and coming Crichton College among others?....

US News & World Report's recent "Best Colleges" edition ranked Rhodes 45th on its list of best liberal arts schools in the country. In the south it ranked about #5. Pretty impressive. I also think that Christian Brothers is too often overlooked. I didn't know until recently that it had an engineering school!

The UofM, of course, is largely at the mercy of state funding but seems to be developing strengths in certain areas, such as emerging technology and research. And while graduates/fans of various SEC schools still like to ridicule it as "Tiger High", the UofM currently has the highest entrance requirements among the state's public universities.

I believe postsecondary institutions are vital to Memphis' future. We need all of the schools in the surrounding area - UofM, UT Medical School, Rhodes, CBU, Crichton, Lemoyne-Owen, Ole Miss, Arkansas State - to improve and grow to provide Memphis with highly skilled workforce. That will attract high-wage industries much like it has around Nashville.

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US News & World Report's recent "Best Colleges" edition ranked Rhodes 45th on its list of best liberal arts schools in the country. In the south it ranked about #5. Pretty impressive. I also think that Christian Brothers is too often overlooked. I didn't know until recently that it had an engineering school!

The UofM, of course, is largely at the mercy of state funding but seems to be developing strengths in certain areas, such as emerging technology and research. And while graduates/fans of various SEC schools still like to ridicule it as "Tiger High", the UofM currently has the highest entrance requirements among the state's public universities.

I believe postsecondary institutions are vital to Memphis' future. We need all of the schools in the surrounding area - UofM, UT Medical School, Rhodes, CBU, Crichton, Lemoyne-Owen, Ole Miss, Arkansas State - to improve and grow to provide Memphis with highly skilled workforce. That will attract high-wage industries much like it has around Nashville.

Couldn't agree more. It wouldn't hurt to establish a full-course private research university here either. I think it can only help fuel Memphis' growth.

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John Ford wasn't actually a bad, ineffective politician for the Memphis area.

He was just crooked.

Why did the citizens vote his sister in??? That just seemed a bit odd to me.

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Why did the citizens vote his sister in??? That just seemed a bit odd to me.

Low voter turnout is why she won, but remember just barely (12 votes). A Republican almost won a very solidly Democratic Senate District because Millington turned so heavily in proportion to the rest of the district; which is mostly downtown and the area north of it stretching up to Millington. Had Ophelia ran in a regular primary its questionable she would have won that either, since she only beat Rep. Henri Brooks by 20 votes with very low turnout in that race as well.

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Why did the citizens vote his sister in??? That just seemed a bit odd to me.

Like Rural King said, she won against a republican by 12 votes in an 80% democratic district.

Beyond that of course, we have no idea whether she's crooked, honest, straight-laced, or otherwise.

I wouldn't just presume she's crooked because of her last name--particularly since the heat is on.

And apparently, Memphis is no more corrupt than Chattanooga, where indictments flow weekly.

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