New group focuses on economic growth in Memphis

(Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Source: WMC Action News 5)(WMC Action News 5)
Updated: Mar. 28, 2019 at 6:09 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - According to city leaders, Memphis’ economy is doing well and they want it to stay that way.

They hope the implementation of a new group will bring more high paying jobs to the city.

It may look like an ordinary meeting, but a group of economic leaders in Memphis and Shelby County, talking the in same room at the same time, is historic.

“It is a tremendous asset for Memphis,” said Beverly Robertson, President and CEO Greater Memphis Chamber of Commerce. “What this says is we’ve entered a new era of unity, collaboration, working together to drive economic success in Memphis.”

Thursday was the first time the new group called the Memphis and Shelby County Regional Economic Alliance met. It’s made up of leaders from the city of Memphis, Shelby County, EDGE Board, Chamber of Commerce and more.

The alliance won't be in charge of policy changes or direct action. They will be discussing ideas and determining areas of economic focus for all groups.

“The EDGE board will still grant the PILOTs, the chamber will still be the main sales force,” said Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland. “What this group is doing is making sure that we'll all work together.”

“Now with all of us at the same table, we have quadrupled the power of what we can do for this marketplace,” Robertson said. “So it feels like a new day.”

This advisory group will meet four times a year for public discussions and a working group will meet once a month.

Thursday, the group decided to initially focus on 6 target markets including medical devices, transportation, and agricultural technology.

The goal is to continue bringing in companies and high paying jobs.

“I think it helps grow our city and I think it helps our poverty efforts, I think it helps our recruitment efforts, job efforts, and I think people understand that Memphis is open for business,” said Al Bright, Chairman of the EDGE Board.

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