• New economic development plan unveiled for Memphis and Shelby County

    By: Kirstin Garriss


    SHELBY CO., Tenn. - City, county and business leaders are rolling out a new data-driven economic development plan to attract and retain companies in Memphis and Shelby County.

    “We are open for business and all of us are working together to show companies that we are open for business and we want them here,” said Mayor Jim Strickland.

    The plan includes creating an advisory board that will use research to set development goals and hold elected officials accountable.

    “I think you got to have experts researching to figure out, is 1,000 jobs reasonable in the coming year with economic conditions or is 5,000? I don’t know and that’s not my expertise, but I do know we need to get that expertise on board,” said Strickland. 

    “Then at the end of the year they measure the results and celebrate the victories and then figure out where we fell short.”

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    Strickland said they'll hire eight to ten new positions like researchers and he expects it’ll cost about $600,000. 

    But he isn't sure whether the city or county will foot the bill for those initial costs. He said that’s an ongoing discussion. 

    This also comes shortly after Fred’s Pharmacy announced its plans to relocate its Memphis headquarters to Dallas. 

    Shelby County Commissioner Wille Brooks said this venture will also help grow and keep small businesses

    “If we're going to increase jobs it’s going to be with expansion of businesses in Memphis and Shelby County, so this certainly would impact expanding and increasing opportunities for local small business here,” said Brooks.

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