We put forth every effort to be On Our Way to Wealthy in 2012 as business owners shared their experiences and expertise.
From government contracting to supplier diversity certification, churches' economic development to young entrepreneurs, crowd funding to bankruptcy, and from mini manufacturing to sports-related businesses, their stories were inspiring and filled with advice to help others avoid their mistakes.
Before we plunge full force into 2013, let's review Memphis business for 2012.
Memphians witnessed the ups and downs of several large businesses. Electrolux and Mitsubishi continued construction as they moved forward with relocation and expansion plans in the Memphis area.
Incentives provided to International Paper ensured that the company remains a part of the Memphis community. Thousands of jobs were secured in the process. While International Paper has proven to be a provider of great-paying jobs, Electrolux and Mitsubishi should provide more such opportunities.
Just like small businesses struggle, large businesses struggle as well, and the impact can be widespread in a community. Even though we rooted for Pinnacle and provided support through incentives, it wasn't enough to keep them out of bankruptcy. A best-case scenario would see Pinnacle emerging stronger and still a viable part of our airport community.
As we embark on the next set of steps on our way to wealthy, here are some building blocks to keep in mind:
For the most part, Memphians greet you with a smile. When there is adversity the community comes together to support a cause like none other. While a few bad apples try to spoil the bag, this community keeps moving forward in spite of those few bad ones.
The Grizzlies are kicking butt and making us proud. It kind of makes you forget there was ever a fight to get them here, with some citizens dead-set against it. Many thanks to the pioneers.
Overton Park Zoo and the Levitt Shell are great assets to this community. Take some time out of your business schedule to go and enjoy some animals or a concert. Memphis always gets the music right. Whether you like a particular song or not, the Memphis sound is always memorable. Memphis in May always gets it right. Through every rainstorm imaginable, the music continues to play.
While we are striving to obtain wealth, we must maintain our health. Lifetime Fitness hit it out of the park. There is literally something for everyone regardless of your level of fitness. Whether it is a massage, manicure, pedicure, lunch, swimming, cycling, weightlifting, yoga, dancing, basketball, rock climbing, karate, or zumba, Lifetime Fitness has it.
Compared to other markets, real estate is affordable. Office space tends to be affordable as well. Since Memphis is centrally located in the country, business travelers can get anywhere domestically within two to three hours. Community organizations, including the Renaissance Business Center, Small Business Administration and SCORE, are all readily available to assist business owners striving to get to the next level.
Although climate is not within our control, it tends to work in Memphis' favor. We experience all four seasons and generally have mild winters.
As we move forward this year, expect more stories from businesses large and small. Let us know how you are doing in your quest for wealth. Your experiences are valuable.