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VOL. TMN-11 | NO. 19 | Saturday, May 12, 2018
Weekly Issue

Grocery Wars

With everyone facing thin margins, grocery stores battle for customer experience

For a typical consumer, a trip to the grocery store might mean little more than a quick run to pick up essentials like bread and milk. Cart filled. Self-checkout. Back out the sliding doors. So mundane, none of it is given a second thought once you’re back in the car with your purchases.


Editorial: Buying Food in a Food City

The business of food is in a cycle of change from farm to table – whether it’s blowing up the Memphis barbecue stereotype or how we get our groceries.

Convention Center Hotel Footprint Bigger Than 100 North Main

Details of a tentative plan for a second convention center hotel at the 100 North Main Building show the conversion of the 53-year old skyscraper is just part of a plan that would have a larger footprint, taking in more Downtown real estate.

Three Companies Seeking Tax Abatements for Expansion Projects

Three companies will be seeking tax incentive packages from the Economic Development Growth Engine for Memphis and Shelby County during its Wednesday, May 16 meeting.

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The Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest returns Wednesday through Saturday, May 16-19, in Tom Lee Park Downtown. Among the highlights are the annual Ms. Piggie Idol Contest; the Kingsford Tour of Champions, which gives the public a chance to taste and judge barbecue from competing teams; the Cooker Caravan, a free guided tour of some of the best competition teams; live music; and more. Visit memphisinmay.org for tickets and a daily schedule.

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Not Taking Sides

Commission, council hesitant to schedule vote on Graceland plan

Elvis Presley Enterprises’ push to get city and county officials to back its plans for a Whitehaven arena hasn’t made very much progress, judging from discussions this month by the Memphis City Council and the Shelby County Commission.


May 11-17, 2018: This week in Memphis history

1976: An ad in The Daily News by Marx & Bensdorf offers a 170-acre estate at Holmes Road and Center Hill Road, then south of Collierville’s city limits, for sale for $1.1 million. The “picture book” estate is advertised as the one-time home of the state’s most famous walking horse, Carbon Copy, the 1964 world grand champion.


Rural Tennessee Fighting for Its Prosperity

For many Tennesseans the pain and financial loss of the 2008 recession has faded.

What Do Statewide Candidates Say About Rural Tennessee?

Like most of America, Tennessee’s metropolitan areas have prospered during the last eight years, while the rural areas have lagged in almost every measure. The state has 19 of its 95 counties classified as “distressed.” What can and should we do to give every Tennessean a chance to succeed?


Memphis To Be One of 10 Drone Test Sites

The Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority is leading a Memphis group that is part of a national pilot program to integrate drones into air traffic.


Local Entrepreneur Bringing Old Properties Back To Life One Building at a Time

Being a developer is something that local entrepreneur Eduardo Sanchez Borja has always been interested in, but has never really had the time to do.

County Home Sales Rise 13 Percent in April

Spring has sprung and that means the busy season for home buying and selling is in full bloom.

Conrad Hoping for Landmarks Compromise

It’s been nearly two decades since the last time a new historic district has been carved out, so when the Cooper-Young neighborhood’s application came before the Memphis City Council it was meet with some trepidation.

Two Large Industrial Portfolios in Southeast Memphis Sold

4049 Willow Lake Blvd., Memphis, TN 38118 (portfolio) -
Faropoint Ventures has purchased another batch of properties in the Memphis area, effectively increasing its local footprint by almost 1 million square feet.


County Veto Override Vote Called Off

Shelby County commissioners put off a vote Wednesday, May 9, on overriding Mayor Mark Luttrell’s veto of a resolution to renew the appointment of Julian Bolton as the county’s legislative policy adviser.

New County Leaders Face Big Funding Decisions

The new Shelby County mayor and County Commission elected in August will have some major budget decisions to make once they take office Sept. 1, including a new Regional One Health Center building that could cost more to build than the $250 million FedExForum and a permanent source of county funding for the universal prekindergarten effort.

Local Republicans and Democrats Regroup From May County Primaries for Unity

Shelby County Republican Party chairman Lee Mills knows what it is like to lose an election. Four years ago he ran for alderman in Arlington and lost by 21 votes.

Council Gives Final Approval to Speedway Terrace Historic District Status

Memphis City Council members approved historic overlay district status Tuesday, May 8, for the Speedway Terrace neighborhood north of Crosstown Concourse. The approval on third and final reading of the ordinance is the second approval in a month of a district whose standards are governed by the Memphis Landmarks Commission.

Strickland: City Given Enough For Entertainment

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland says he would support some kind of incentives for the manufacturing facility Graceland wants to open in Whitehaven. But not if it’s linked to a greater share of city and county property tax revenue for a 6,200-seat arena Graceland also wants to build.


From Enduring to Thriving

MIFA’s Founders Day Celebration looks back and ahead

By fall 1967, Memphis had a diverse group of people of faith working on a plan to better the community. Diversity, back then, mainly meant black and white, and Christians and Jews. The notion of them working together was considered bold.


Memphis Startup Soundways Wins $200,000 in Rise of the Rest Competition

Memphis startup company Soundways, which helps professionals in the music industry collect unpaid royalties, won a $100,000 investment from Steve Case and other entrepreneurs as part of the Rise of the Rest tour that stopped in the Bluff City Tuesday, May 8.


No Easy Path Forward for Fred’s

Memphis-based discount retailer Fred’s Inc. operates 584 company-owned stores that each stock more than 14,000 items and saw average sales of more than $3 million in 2017.


Room to Grow

Checkers far from saturation point in Memphis market

Local Checkers franchisee group Tristate Restaurants LLC is preparing to open its newest location in Memphis at 3680 Lamar Ave. by early to mid-May, and plans for as many as five more locations over the next couple of years.


Graffam’s Simple Focus: A Better Workplace, Community

At some point after J.D. Graffam, owner and founder of digital design agency Simple Focus, had self-published a book and hosted several workshops teaching coding to graphic designers, an industry colleague asked Graffam why he gave away his trade secrets for free.


Fizdale: Lessons Learned in Memphis Will Help in New Job With Knicks

It seems like a long time ago now — or maybe it doesn’t — but back in the middle of David Fizdale’s rookie season as an NBA head coach he had the Grizzlies 11 games over .500 (36-25). Back then, it seemed logical and likely that he would put down roots here.

Grizzlies’ Poor Draft History In Focus With Lottery Pick

When the NBA Draft Lottery is held on Tuesday, May 15, in Chicago, Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley will be watching on TV. The lottery show will air at 6:30 p.m. on ESPN, should you be inclined to join Conley and root along.

Ensor: Vol Baseball Has Hurdles to Overcome

Knoxville’s Rusty Ensor still hasn’t gotten baseball out of his system.

Tigers Face South Alabama in Tennis Friday as NCAA Tournament Begins

Getting to the NCAA Tournament has become no big deal for the University of Memphis tennis squad. Coach Paul Goebel’s Tigers (18-5) will open tournament play for the sixth time in seven years Friday in Starkville, Mississippi, with a first-round match against South Alabama (14-9). That kind of consistency is what new Tigers basketball coach Penny Hardaway and his squad can only dream about, for now.


Stengel Elected President Of Construction Counsel Association

Evans Petree PC shareholder Elizabeth B. Stengel has been elected the first female president of the Tennessee Association of Construction Counsel, a not-for-profit professional association of Tennessee attorneys with practices related to the construction industry.


Snapshot: Downtown’s Newest Digs Almost Ready

Construction crews are putting the finishing touches on Patterson Flats just east of the South Main Historic Arts District Downtown. The 175-unit residential project, which is being developed by Nashville-based Elmington Capital Group, fills 3.7 acres between G.E. Patterson and Butler avenues.


Fall Creek Falls Project Leaves Destructive Trail

The Fall Creek Falls Inn and Conference Center will soon be in ruins like the livelihoods of the state employees who worked there.


Irony, Thy Name Is Tennessee

NEW STATUE PROPOSED. Last week in advance of the primary, I read with interest multiple accounts of the Shelby County Republican Party’s outrage with the candidacy of one of their own, Keith Alexander, for property assessor.

Renting vs. Buying

Ray’s Take: Buying a home used to be the pinnacle of living the American Dream and the trophy of your financial success. Conventional wisdom held that you either paid your own mortgage or someone else’s. 

An A-One Idea For Memphis

A-One Staffing LLC, a female- and minority-owned and operated staffing agency in Memphis, is all about people and all about Memphis.

Don’t Let Your Vacation Stop You From Switching Jobs

One of the No. 1 reasons people are hesitant to switch jobs is because of their vacation time. They start with one or two weeks of vacation each year at their company. Then, as they stay at their job for a few years, more days are added on. After a while, they may find that they have earned four or five weeks of vacation per year. This much vacation can truly be life changing. And, all that vacation time took years to earn. It makes you not want to leave. Can you relate?

Bid Farewell to Trial-and-Error Marketing

The average company spends 3 to 5 percent of revenue on marketing, which is certainly not a trivial expense. Why, then, do so many companies invest so little time in the construction of the marketing plan that ensures that investment is well-spent?

The Math Of Fundraising

How do you reach a fundraising goal? There are many activities that together can guide you to your fundraising destination. One of these is knowing how many people you need to ask to give to your nonprofit, and at what level people need to give at.

Conscious Capitalism: Conversation with Raj Sisodia, Part Two

Raj Sisodia is the professor of global business at Babson College and co-founder and co-chairman of Conscious Capitalism Inc. Raj has written 10 books and more than 100 academic articles.

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PROPERTY SALES 80 401 13,843
MORTGAGES 99 439 16,005
BUILDING PERMITS 233 998 28,755
BANKRUPTCIES 49 276 8,926

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