VOL. 132 | NO. 27 | Tuesday, February 7, 2017
Made By Project Releases Results of Maker Survey
The Made By Project has released key data from its survey of more than 300 Memphis-area makers and creative entrepreneurs, data that showcase the business opportunities as well as the challenges for local artisans making handcrafted products.
More than 300 makers, artisans and micro-manufacturers responded to the survey, data from which will be used to develop an economic development plan for the sector.
The survey was led by Little Bird Innovation. Findings include:
• Area “makers” tend to also be community activists, of sorts. “Their attention to form, function and aesthetic make them worthwhile contributors to any community development initiative,” according to the survey results.
• Acquiring capital is a challenge.
• Completely handmade production isn’t scalable for most makers.
• Few makers have the option to pursue small-batch contract manufacturing.
• Makers lack local suppliers for critical raw materials, they often struggle to find space that meets their needs, and local classes and workshops aren’t always meeting makers’ needs to advance their skills.
• Early introduction to craft and entrepreneurship can help shape their future aspirations.
The local EPIcenter organization will take the lead in implementing recommendations in the development plan based on the survey results.
– Andy Meek
THDA Offers Down Payment Assistance in Targeted ZIPs
The Tennessee Housing Development Agency is offering $15,000 in down payment assistance to Great Choice-eligible homebuyers who buy a home in neighborhoods that were hit hard by the Great Recession and have been slow to recover.
The Hardest Hit Fund Down Payment Assistance program was announced Monday, Feb. 6, by THDA executive director Ralph M. Perrey and Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland. The goal of the statewide program is to attract homebuyers and stimulate home sales in certain areas, thus protecting families already living in those neighborhoods from blight, falling property values and risk of foreclosure.
The ZIP codes included in the program were chosen based on a number of “stress” factors, including foreclosures, short sales and negative equity rates. ZIP codes in West Tennessee include: 38012, 38016, 38018, 38053, 38063, 38105, 38107, 38109, 38111, 38115, 38116, 38122, 38125, 38127, 38128, 38133, 38134, 38135, 38141, 38301 and 38305.
Eligible borrowers who purchase homes in those ZIP codes using THDA’s Great Choice Home Loan program can apply for $15,000 in HHF-DPA assistance toward their down payment and closing costs in the form of a forgivable second mortgage loan.
Homebuyers will make no monthly payments on the second loan during its 10-year term, and it does not accrue any interest. THDA will forgive 20 percent of the second mortgage loan each year starting in year six. If a homeowner does not refinance, sell or move out of their home by the end of the 10th year, the second mortgage loan would be completely forgiven.
Buyers who qualify for both THDA’s new $15,000 down payment assistance program and one of the city of Memphis’ three down payment assistance programs can apply for and receive both simultaneously. Under the city programs, qualified homebuyers can receive up to $10,000 in assistance to purchase eligible properties if they meet certain income restrictions or are employed by the city as a uniformed police officer, firefighter, paramedic or EMT. Eligible Shelby County public school teachers can also qualify.
THDA received approval from the U.S. Department of Treasury to commit $60 million in federal funding to its new HHF Down Payment Assistance Program. The source of this funding is U.S. Treasury’s Hardest Hit Fund. For more information on the program, visit thda.org.
– Daily News staff
Regency Homebuilders Buys Land in Bartlett
Music City Investments LLC sold two parcels of vacant land in Bartlett to Regency Homebuilders LLC for $1.8 million, according to a Feb. 1 warranty deed filed with the Shelby County Register of Deeds.
The roughly 15 acres near the U.S. 64 exit off Interstate 40 is labeled in the deed as Brunswick Village at Wolfchase planned development.
J. Kevin Hyneman signed the deed as chief manager of Music City Investments.
In conjunction with the purchase, Regency Homebuilders took out a $1.2 million mortgage with Pinnacle Bank.
Sean Carlson signed the mortgage on behalf of Regency Homebuilders.
The two parcels were last appraised in 2016 by the Shelby County Assessor of Property for a combined $236,000.
According to its website, Regency Homebuilders has developed homes in seven Bartlett neighborhoods, including Brunswick Forest immediately to the north of the vacant property.
– Patrick Lantrip
Collierville Police Radio Transmissions Available
The Collierville Police Department is offering a “play-by-play of the department’s daily radio transmissions online to citizens.
The radio traffic is available on the web through Broadcastify.com and on mobile devices via the Broadcastify app, available in both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.
Broadcastify provides real-time radio feeds from more than 5,000 sources around the world. Collierville residents can tune in to the police calls 24 hours a day.
– Bill Dries
Pinnacle Financial Taps New Forest Hill Office Leader
Angie Brasfield has joined Pinnacle Financial Partners as a senior vice president and leader of the firm’s Forest Hill office.
Brasfield brings 30 years of financial services experience and comes most recently from Bank of Bartlett, where she was a branch manager for its Germantown office. Prior roles include branch manager positions with Iberiabank in Germantown and Bank of the Ozarks in North Little Rock, Arkansas.
Brasfield was also a financial center manager for First Tennessee Bank in Germantown and served as market president for Bank of America’s Conway, Arkansas, offices.
– Andy Meek
FedEx Institute Holds First Cybersecurity Certification
The University of Memphis FedEx Institute of Technology Cluster to Advance Cyber Security & Testing recently held its first training program in Nashville. The State-of-the-Art Cyber Security Certification Program was held at the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. This certification program focused on a broad scope of topics pertaining to cybersecurity and vulnerabilities.
Attendees of the weeklong event were taught by experts from the university. Training included an introduction to cybersecurity, standards and practices, behavioral and managerial aspects of cybersecurity, various types of cyberattacks, software vulnerabilities and cloud security, among other things.
“In a world of increasing cybercrime and threats to digital assets, it is essential that all corporations and organizations prepare themselves with a proactive cybersecurity strategy,” said Robin Poston, chair and professor in the Department of Business Information Technology and co-director of CAST Research Cluster;
CAST provides the educational and outreach activities that foster next-generation workforce development. The next certification program will take place in Memphis from Feb. 20-24 at the FedEx Institute of Technology.
– Don Wade