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VOL. TMN-7 | NO. 51 | Saturday, December 13, 2014
Weekly Issue

Brewing Opportunity

Coffee fuels growing number of business ventures in Memphis

When Memphians like Jimmy Lewis are leaving established careers to remake themselves as coffee roasters, it’s one sign that coffee culture in Memphis is abundant with opportunity and steadily coming into its own.

EMPHASIS Regional Business

Making a Statement

Trustmark underscores commitment to Memphis

One of the regional banking players in Memphis is Jackson, Miss.-based Trustmark Bank, which took a big step that made a statement in Memphis this year.

Community Hospitals Becoming Endangered Species

The state of Mississippi has 110 hospitals and three-fourths of them are, as you might expect, in rural areas.

Competition, Cooperation Part of Regionalism Mix

When a group of mayors with common borders get together, it is usually a sympathetic gathering of chief executives where there is much comparing of notes.

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The 13th annual Porter-Leath Toy Truck will collect new, unwrapped toys and monetary donations Monday, Dec. 15, to Dec. 19 from 7 p.m. to 7 p.m. at WMC-TV Action News 5, 1960 Union Ave., and Bud Davis Cadillac, 5433 Poplar Ave. Donations from both locations will benefit children and families served by Porter-Leath. Visit porterleath.org.

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New Industrial Market Takes Hold in Marshall, Fayette Counties

In November, Volvo began operations at its new parts distribution center in Marshall County, Miss.

Editorial: Graceland Plan Ultimately Worth the Price

The Graceland economic impact plan is a mixed bag.

Target, Cummins Seek 15-Year Tax Breaks

Memphis and Shelby County are offering generous tax incentives to attract and retain hundreds of jobs.

FCC Approves Scripps, Journal Broadcast Merger

The E.W. Scripps Co., parent company of The Commercial Appeal in Memphis, and Milwaukee-based Journal Communications Inc. now have approval from the Federal Communications Commission for their plan to merge their broadcast operations.

Achievement School District to Add Six Memphis Schools

Five Memphis schools that are now part of Shelby County Schools will become part of the state-run Achievement School District starting in August with the new school year.


This week in Memphis history: December 12-18

2013: The city of Memphis was preparing to take day-to-day control of the Beale Street Entertainment District with the court settlement marking the formal exit of Performa Entertainment, the developer and manager of the district since its reopening in 1983. Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. announced the Downtown Memphis Commission would run the district until a new developer and manager could be selected by the city and a future direction agreed on. The DMC continues to run the district a year later.

Delta Cutting Routes to Three More Cities

Delta Airlines is slashing more routes at Memphis International Airport, including its nonstop flights to Chicago O’Hare International Airport.

Target Bringing 400-Job Project to Memphis

Memphis is poised to land hundreds of new jobs and retain several hundred more. Target will seek incentives from Memphis and Shelby County as early as next week for an online fulfillment center that will create over 400 new jobs.

A Tale of Two Projects

Fairgrounds, Graceland plans see different political trajectories

At 7.7 miles, it takes about 12 minutes to make the drive between the Mid-South Fairgrounds and Graceland.

Shelby County Commercial Sales Dip in October

Shelby County recorded 90 commercial sales in October, down 4 percent from 94 commercial sales recorded in October 2013, according to real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com.

November Mortgage Volume Drops 14 Percent

Looking at results from last month might suggest mortgage industry professionals are in the midst of a yearend slowdown, with phones not ringing quite as much as a result of interested buyers at the moment.

ReStoring Hope

Habitat for Humanity’s store furthers mission

The Habitat for Humanity of Greater Memphis ReStore is feeling the holiday love.

Chamber Wants to Clean Up Memphis

If Greater Memphis Chamber officials get their wish, Memphis will be the nation’s cleanest city by 2019.

Board Seeks ASD Transition Involvement

As the state-run Achievement School District prepares to announce which low-performing Memphis schools it will take in its third year starting in August, Shelby County Schools board members are considering a better transition period.

Armstrong’s Comments Overshadow Attorney General’s Visit

Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong had some concerns Tuesday about speaking before U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder addressed a group of 100 local leaders at Hattiloo Theatre in Overton Square.


Tigers wrap stellar season with Miami Beach Bowl bid

“Miami here we come!!!” That was quarterback Paxton Lynch’s tweet, spiced up with sun and palm tree icons.

DeSoto Sears Distribution Center Up For Lease

Struggling retailer Sears says it remains committed to the Memphis market despite that its 800,000-square-foot distribution center in Olive Branch is being marketed for lease.

Graceland Plan Clears Main Local Hurdles

Elvis Presley Enterprises attempted to secure private financing of its plan for a 450-room resort hotel and a remake of its plaza area, but those attempts failed, said Graceland’s bond counsel, because it is difficult for borrowers to get conventional financing for a hotel project.

Shelby County Home Sales Slow in November

After an unusually strong October for home sales, activity in Shelby County cooled in November.

AutoZone Net Income Up 9.3 Percent

AutoZone kicked off its new fiscal year with another quarter of growth, posting increases in same-store sales and earnings per share that are typical of earning announcements from the Memphis-based auto parts retailer.

Label Launch

Memphis music fans launch new singles label

John Miller and Chaney Nichols are a pair of Memphis music aficionados who tend to dismiss with a laugh that old saw about how music is fine and well for fun but involves misspent, wasted energy when pursued as a career.

Plough Foundation Grants $12 Million to Help Local Seniors

The Plough Foundation has made an unprecedented series of grants totaling nearly $12 million to serve Memphis-area seniors.

Basar Says Commission Past 'Storming' Phase

Shelby County Commissioners haven’t resolved all of their differences from the start of their term of office in September, but county commissioner Steve Basar says they are on their way.

December’s a 'Fun Month' for MIFA

December is a good month at the Metropolitan Inner-Faith Association (MIFA), a “fun month, a popular month,” as executive director Sally Jones Heinz says.

Memphis Protests Channel Outrage, History

The mantra was steady in the courtyard of the National Civil Rights Museum last week as a group of 70 people lay on the cold bricks near the balcony where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated.


Prince, Leuer Lead Grizzlies Bench Above the Rim and Under the Radar

Let’s start with the dunks. Dunks by bench players – Jon Leuer and Tayshaun Prince – who don’t even know from night to night if they will get to play, never mind have an opportunity to catch a sliver of the spotlight.

Gasol, Grizzlies Refuse Satisfaction

Odds are, Marc Gasol will not win the NBA’s Most Valuable Player Award this season.

Q&A: Mike Conley, Memphis Grizzlies Point Guard

Fast Facts: Now in eighth NBA season, he set a career high in 2013-14 by averaging 17.2 points; was fourth overall pick of 2007 NBA Draft after leading Ohio State to the 2007 NCAA Championship Game as a freshman; father, Mike Conley Sr., won the gold medal in the triple jump in the 1992 Olympics.

Titans’ On-, Off-Field Decisions Defy Imagination

When the Tennessee Titans hired Ken Whisenhunt in January, it brought a breath of fresh air to an organization that sorely needed a change.

Old Friends Conspire to Get Tennessee a Better Bowl

For all the tough times University of Tennessee football has endured in recent years, a turn for the better was bound to happen.


Sharp & Robbins Names Popwell Partner

Chris Popwell has been named the newest partner at Sharp & Robbins Construction, which will now operate as Sharp, Robbins & Popwell LLC. Popwell joined Sharp & Robbins’ Memphis office in 2008 as an estimator/project manager and most recently served as general operations manager of the Nashville office since 2012.


Milhaus Acquires Highland Row Property

44 S. Highland St.; 366, 374 and 380 Ellsworth St., Memphis, TN 38111, Sale Amount: $4.3 million -
Indianapolis-based developer Milhaus Ventures has acquired several vacant parcels for the long-awaited Highland Row project near the University of Memphis for $4.3 million.


From Baghdad to Memphis, Mack Provides Dental Aid

A toothache doesn’t stop just because a soldier has been deployed to Iraq. And a brigade dentist in the U.S. Army with the 82nd Airborne Division in Baghdad sometimes has to moonlight as a field medic.


Back to Normal

NORMAL. AGAIN. Last week, Bob Loeb and I took a stroll through the 1950s in the reality of 2014.

Networking to the New Year

December is my favorite time of year for networking. It sounds a little crazy, right? The holidays are for family and loved ones. It’s a time of gift giving, cookie baking, and sing-alongs. It’s a time to visit those you haven’t seen in over a year, and if you’re lucky, to build snowmen with your children.

According to Foyle

My early New Year’s resolution is to be more like Christopher Foyle. Demeanor-wise and wisdom-wise. No, I won’t be wearing a vest.

Reinventing Retirement

Ray’s take: At the turn of the 20th century, the average life expectancy was 47 years. Today, the average American can look forward to about 78 years of life. The average life expectancy for today's 65-year-old has increased to 84, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. I currently have twelve clients over 90.

Holiday Tech Gadget Wish List

With the holiday season in full swing, you may find yourself scrounging for gift ideas for the technology aficionado on your shopping list. Wearable technology is an option worth exploring, and one that’s gaining popularity, particularly among fitness enthusiasts.

8 Social Media Missteps To Avoid

Social media can be an effective marketing channel and the cost to entry – the hard cost that is – is relatively low. Consider, though, your annual salary multiplied by the number of hours you and your team spend on social media each year, and you will no doubt want to ensure that you are getting the most out of that significant time investment by avoiding these common missteps.

Year-End Reflections – Part Two

Last week we shared a little of the history of this column. We hope we conveyed why we are committed to these weekly writings, and most importantly our belief in you, our readers. While we have met only a few of you in person, we hold you up before us in our minds as we write.

US Decoupling

The Eurozone, Japan and select emerging markets all seem to be struggling economically with low inflation levels, poor policy responses, and low demand. Meanwhile, the U.S. keeps posting surprisingly strong economic numbers.

It’s Time to Move

I posed the question just last week, “Ferguson, Missouri …What’s Next?” Little did I know, that the “what’s next” would be yet another grand jury finding no probable cause for having a criminal trial in the death of Eric Garner.

How to Gain Immunity From Funding Cuts

Martin Elliott, senior director of Mattel Inc.’s New Business Ventures, tells innovators how to avoid the budget cut thresher. Think like a V.C.

Nashville Edition

Goat Milk and Smart Marketing

Small-business contest winners cash in on #voteforgoats campaign

Maybe it was that last Facebook post that put them over the top. Or, maybe it was the #voteforgoats hashtag.

Stars Flock to Music City’s Ernest Tubb Record Shop

When Bob Dylan drops by, he generally goes right for “a handful” of Hank and Carter Family recordings, although on one Lower Broadway afternoon the old man from the North Country also is reported to have purchased a “Larry the Cable Guy” DVD.

Was Realty Lesson Taught By Father or Son?

All industries are loaded with personalities and characters and residential real estate is no exception. One of the most exciting is a mortgage loan officer known as Marty Maitland who is a twenty-something year veteran of the lending industry and a Nashville native who is currently working with BancorpSouth in Brentwood.

Knoxville Edition

Mapping a Path to Success

Knoxville couple scores runner-up finish in small-biz contest

Like many other things on paper, maps have largely become extinct as interactive, digital versions have taken over.

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The Memphis News: Business, politics, and the public interest.