Memphis Chamber has good news despite crime numbers

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Good news — business owners and Memphis residents can expect more money in their wallets this year, unlike previous years, a CEO said in a speech on the local economy Tuesday.

David Waddell, CEO and Chief Investment Strategist of Waddell & Associates, spoke to the Greater Memphis Chamber’s annual State of the Economy event, and the group believes things are moving in the right direction.

“I think the world will go from being crazy to as it has been post-COVID to being a little bit more normal,” Waddell said. “Inflation is coming down, your grocery bill is going to get less, no inflation at the pump right now, the FEDs are going to bring down interest rates, and tax codes are frozen. So, the pinch people have been feeling is going to start to release which should give people more money in their wallets.”

‘Take the city back’: Memphians, tired of crime, look to leaders for action

Economic specialists said things are moving in the right direction. However, we must address the elephant in the room: crime.

“It’s a strategic plan that we continue to have to focus on and how do we combat crime and do we come together as a community to combat crime so that we can continue to promote Memphis and the Mid-South for what it is,” said Shawn Clayton, president of Renasant Bank.

Memphis saw 397 homicides in 2023.

Rampant crime creating a big problem for small businesses and the Memphis economy

“Businesses are saying they want to leave the city of Memphis because of the crime. Do we have any numbers to support that? Are businesses leaving the city?” said Gwyn Fisher, economic development officer with the Greater Memphis Chamber. “We do not, quite frankly, our pipeline is larger than it’s ever been of business wanting to come to the city and grow here.”

Fisher says there is still plenty of work to be done.

“Our poverty numbers are still unacceptable. We still have too many Memphians who don’t have access to high-quality jobs. So, there’s a lot for us to still do,” Fisher said.

Leaders also stated that Memphis is number one in growing more high-quality jobs for those with degrees or without than our peer cities. For job listings, you can head to the Greater Memphis Chamber website.

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