Inside Memphis Business
by Jon W. Sparks and Samuel X. Cicci

What's happening: Small Business Friendliness
News from other sources: No bag ban
Upcoming: Bacon & Bourbon
Hot Sheet: Who’s going where
Power Player: Kevin Sharp
Quotable: Alejandra Alvarez

Thumbtack is a website and app that digs into the world of local professionals and occasionally it will do some surveys. The latest is the Small Business Friendliness Survey where cities and states are ranked with consideration to licensing requirements, tax regulations, and labor and hiring regulations.

Now we all appreciate that Memphis is a friendly city, but that's not quite what Thumbtack is talking about. And yet the news is good. Small business owners gave Memphis a B this year, ranking 10th in the survey. Memphis scored higher than Nashville (C) and St. Louis (D+). On the state level, Tennessee ranked 29th and received a C+.

Thumbtack also assigned eight policy-specific grades to evaluate how easy local governments make it to start, operate, and grow a small business. For more details about the report and the full set of results for Memphis, go here.

Here’s how small business owners rated Memphis:

Overall friendliness: B
Ease of starting a business: A+
Ease of hiring: B+
Regulations: A+
Employment, labor, and hiring: A+
Tax code: A
Licensing: A+
Training & networking programs: B-
Government websites: A
vaco | a talent & solutions firm

- FedEx Ground says no thanks to Amazon. Read Max Garland's story in The Commercial Appeal here.

- The city council says no to banning plastic bags. Read Erica R. Williams's story in The New Tri-State Defender here.

- SweetBio and Regional One Health Center are partnering in product testing. Read Jane Roberts' story in the Daily Memphian here.

- Airport construction is humming along. Read Corey Davis' story in the Memphis Business Journal here.


- The 4th annual Bacon & Bourbon Festival hosted by the Memphis Flyer will have creative bacon-inspired dishes of all kinds from some of Memphis' best restaurants, plus an array of distilled spirits to tempt your tastebuds. The music, merriment, and entertainment will be Saturday August 24th 2019 at Beale Street Landing downtown. A portion of proceeds go to the Memphis Farmers Market. Click here for more info.

- BLDG Memphis: Pizza With Planners: The next of the series focuses on how to improve communication between local government officials and the community to foster a more collaborative culture. Tuesday, August 27th, 5:30-7pm. Center for Transforming Communities, 258 N. Merton St. Go here for more info.

- 3rd Annual Total Woman Summit: Sherica Hymes’ event empowers women through education, connection, and community with this year’s theme of SOARing in every phase of life. Saturday, September 28th, 10am-3pm. Great Hall & Conference Center, 1900 S. Germantown Rd., Germantown, TN. $75/person; $1,000/VIP table. Register here.
- Need to know what to do this weekend? Check out Memphis Magazine's Five Things To Do This Weekend here.

- Now’s the time to vote in the Memphis Flyer’s Best of Memphis competition. Results will appear in the September 25th issue of the Flyer. Click here to vote.
Memphis Flyer Bacon & Bourbon Festival

Who's getting promoted? Who's closing big deals? Who's getting awards? Inside Memphis Business magazine's Hot Sheet has the latest on milestones in Memphis.
- UTHSC’s College of Medicine appointed Nicholas Verne as chair of the Department of Medicine.

- Lytania Black joined HopeWorks as the organization’s new director.

- Red Door Wealth Management added Genie Stringer as a fifth member of its team of advisors to focus on family office services.

- Paragon Bank hired Laura Parkinson (pictured) as financial services associate.

Inside Memphis Business magazine publishes a list of local Power Players every year. These are the movers and shakers in more than 30 categories who get things done in their respective fields. IMB’s April issue has the complete list. We also publish individual categories in other issues throughout the year, and we feature individual Power Players in our weekly Tip Sheet.
This week’s Power Player is Kevin Sharp, the Linda W. and S. Herbert Rhea Director of the Dixon Gallery and Gardens. Leads museum and public garden with dynamic and diverse exhibition and education programs. Expanded Dixon’s audience, membership, donor base, income yearly since 2007. Built collaborative relationships with museums in U.S., Europe. Oversaw Dixon’s AAM reaccreditation in 2011, developed strategic plans in 2009, 2012, 2016. Created comprehensive plan for facilities and grounds in 2014. Led a major renovation of the museum in 2015. Oversaw construction of the Farnsworth Education Building in 2018-2019.
For the complete list of Inside Memphis Business Power Players, go here.

"If they are successful, we are successful. And this is one way to show that we are in this for the long run."

- Alejandra Alvarez, Center for Innovation director, on the partnership between SweetBio and Regional One Health Center in the Daily Memphian.
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