VOL. 131 | NO. 86 | Friday, April 29, 2016
Local Council Gets Funding for Minority Business Center
The Mid-South Minority Business Council will receive a federal grant to operate a U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Business Center in Memphis, MBDA announced on Thursday, April 28.
The $285,400 in federal funding will be distributed annually during a five-year period.
The grant program is designed to help minority-owned firms across the nation create jobs, develop their businesses, and compete in the global economy.
A key component of MBDA’s Business Center Network is providing minority firms with access to technical expertise and resources to grow their businesses.
Minority-owned firms in the U.S. increased from 5.8 million in 2007 to 8 million in 2012, and employed 7.2 million people in 2012, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2012 Survey of Business Owners.
In Tennessee, there are 105,234 minority-owned firms that contribute more than $14.5 million annually in economic output. These firms employ more than 79,000 local residents.
Since 2009, MBDA Business Centers have assisted minority firms with gaining access to more than $31 billion in capital and contracts, while creating and retaining nearly 142,000 jobs.
– Terry Hollahan
University of Memphis Students to Cover Rio Summer Olympics
Fourteen students in the University of Memphis journalism program will travel to Rio de Janeiro this summer to cover the Olympics.
The U of M and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are the only two universities approved to bring student journalists to the event as interns.
The student group will be housed in an Olympic Media Village with other international media professionals. The student reporters will be assigned a sport to cover during the entirety of the games for the Olympic News Service.
Dr. Roxane Coche, assistant professor in the U of M’s Department of Journalism and Strategic Media, will supervise the program from July 29 to Aug. 22. Participating students will receive three hours of academic credit. The Summer Olympics open Aug. 5.
– Madeline Faber
Haslam in Memphis Friday on Way to Asia
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam will be in Memphis Friday, April 29, as Circuit Court Judge Valerie Smith takes the ceremonial oath of office.
Haslam appointed Smith in March to the vacancy created by the death last year of Judge D’Army Bailey.
The appointment is through the certification of election results for the office on the Aug. 4 ballot. Smith is running for the remainder of the eight-year term of office, through 2022, along with attorney Michael G. Floyd.
Haslam, along with Tennessee Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd, begins a 10-day business trip to Asia Monday, with stops in South Korea, China and Japan. Tennessee ranks third in the nation in Japanese capital investment. The state’s 216 Asian-owned businesses represent a combined investment of nearly $20 billion and more than 52,000 jobs.
– Bill Dries
Family of Billy Fletcher Endows U of M Scholarship
The family of former University of Memphis football player Billy Fletcher is providing an endowment in the form of the Billy Fletcher Football Excellence Scholarship, it was announced by the Tiger Scholarship Fund.
Fletcher, a quarterback at Memphis from 1963-65, died last January. A native of Memphis, Fletcher transferred to then-Memphis State and played three seasons under former head coach Billy J. Murphy. As a junior, he threw for 921 yards and seven touchdowns, returned 16 kickoffs for 389 yards and booted a then-school record 50-yard field goal against West Texas.
As a senior, he threw for 1,239 yards and 13 touchdowns, rushed for 556 yards and six TDs and kicked 24 PATs. He became the first Memphis quarterback to pass for more than 1,000 yards in a season, and by the end of the 1965 season, had set 15 Memphis football records. In the 1965 contest against nationally-ranked Mississippi State, Fletcher led the Tigers to a 33-13 win over the undefeated Bulldogs and was named the Associated Press and Sports Illustrated National Back of the Week.
Fletcher was drafted by the Denver Broncos and after a stint in pro football, returned to Memphis to start a career in the metal supply business. Fletcher was inducted into the M Club Hall of Fame in 1985, received the Billy J. Murphy Award in 1996, was named to the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame in 2001 and was inducted in to the All-American Football Foundation Hall of Fame in 2002.
The endowed donation through the Tiger Scholarship Fund helps the athletic department cover costs for members of the Tiger football program. For information on donating to the Billy Fletcher Excellence Scholarship or to any scholarship to support any of the program’s almost 400 student-athletes, contact the Tiger Scholarship Fund Office at 901-678-2334.
– Don Wade
First Permit Pulled for CMOM Construction
The Children’s Museum of Memphis is setting the stage for the Memphis Grand Carousel’s return.
Montgomery Martin Contractors recently applied for a $510,000 construction permit for foundation work at 2559 Central Ave. The permit is the first piece of a 20,000-square-foot building designed for the historic carousel, which was a part of the Mid-South Fairgrounds from 1923 until Libertyland closed in 2005.
In 2015, the 107-year-old carousel was shipped to Ohio for a two-year, $1 million renovation.
The Children’s Museum of Memphis listed as owner and tenant on the building permit application.
At its April 27 meeting, the Memphis-Shelby County Board of Adjustment approved the plan for the new building.
– Madeline Faber
Memphis Attractions Touted at MCVB Tourism Party
To kick off tourism season, the Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau will host a tourism “Party in the Park” where more than 50 Memphis attractions will be on hand with interactive booths and giveaways. Food trucks will be selling food and there will be live music. Admission is free and open to the public. The Party in the Park will take place Tuesday, May 3, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Downtown’s Court Square
The event coincides with U.S. Travel Association’s National Travel and Tourism Week (May 1-7), which unites communities each year to celebrate what travel means to American jobs, economic growth and personal well-being.
“The Tourism Party in the Park has become our annual kick-off to a busy tourism season for Memphis and Shelby County,” said Kevin Kane, president and CEO of the Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau. “The event makes a statement that travel is more than just fun, it’s one of the largest economic generators for our city and the nation.”
Tourism is big business in Memphis and Shelby County. The city welcomes more than 10.5 million visitors per year. The industry employs more than 35,000 workers in Memphis, brings in more than $3.2 billion annually, and generates more than $135.4 million in local taxes.
In addition to its benefits for the local economy, travel can also have a positive effect on personal well-being for residents and visitors of Memphis and Shelby County. Numerous research studies have confirmed the positive health effects of travel and time off, from reducing risk of heart disease to decreasing depression. Using time off to travel with our families is good for everyone, especially our children – kids who travel with their families are more likely to attend college and earn more as adults.
– Daily News staff
Oak Hall Hosting St. Jude Run May 1
Oak Hall will hold its 29th annual Run for St. Jude this weekend.
The run is set for Sunday, May 1, at 3 p.m. Since the race's inception in 1997, Oak Hall has raised more than $2 million for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
The 3-mile course begins on Briarcrest Avenue and ends at the front doors of Oak Hall, 6150 Poplar Ave., in Regalia Shopping Center. Participants will circle around Briarcrest Avenue and the Ridgeway Loop and the Ridge Lake Boulevard office park.
Oak Hall will hold the post-race celebration with Germantown Commissary Barbecue beginning at 3:30 p.m., with an awards ceremony at 4:15 p.m.
For more information, including the range of fees, visit oakhallrunforstjude.racesonline.com.
– Andy Meek