Bragging Rights



Business Climate

Memphis has a top-rated business climate.

  • In 2016, WalletHub, a leading personal finance outlet, ranked Memphis 4th for Best Places for Women Owned Businesses. The study looked at 10 key metrics and also ranked Memphis 4th for Overall New-Business Friendliness out of 100 metros. 
  • In a report published in March 2016The Center for an Urban Future found that Memphis had the highest women-owned business growth between 2007 and 2012 among the 25 largest cities in the U.S. Women-owned businesses grew 116% in that time period and by 2012, there were 35,710 female owned business. 
  • Adobo ranked Memphis #7 for Healthcare Practitioners & Technical Occupations in their report on the Best Cities for Job Seekers in 2016. 
  • Area Development magazine named Tennessee 4th in their 2016 “Top States for Doing Business” survey of location consultants. Tennessee also ranked in the Top 5 for Overall Cost of Doing Business, Business Incentive Programs, Leading Workforce Developement, Favorable Regulatory Environment, and Speed of permitting.
  • GoodCall ranked Memphis among the "2016 Best Places for Law School Graduates" because of high salaries, affordable housing, and a high number of job opportunties. 
  • In 2015, Memphis was designated as an Investment in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) community. The Made in the Mid-South Manufacuring Alliance was led by the Greater Memphis Chamber and includes nine surrounding counties.
  • In 2015, a WalletHub study named Memphis the 7th “Best City to Start a Business.” 
  • In 2015, Glassdoor, a workplace review and job search website, ranked Memphis 18th for their “25 Best Cities for Jobs” list.
  • A 2015 NerdWallet survey ranked Memphis the 4th best place for black-owned businesses. NerdWallet is a personal finance website.
  • Area Development magazine awarded Tennessee the “Gold Shovel Award” for economic development success in 2015, in part due to Target’s announcement of a new distribution center in Memphis.
  • Tennessee was ranked as having the #2 "Best Business Climate" by Business Facilities magazine in 2015.  Tennessee also ranked #1 for “Education: Tech Skills Leaders” for investments and improvements in education, #1 for “Automotive Manufacturing Strength,” and #1 for “Workforce Training Leaders.”

  • KPMG, a global auditing firm, ranked Memphis as having the 5th-lowest cost of doing business among mid-size cities in North America in their 2014 “Competitive Alternatives” report.
    • Memphis’ business cost index is 95.8, 4.2% below the U.S. average 
    • Memphis has the lowest factory lease cost among mid-sized U.S. cities
  • In October 2014 “Focus: A Roadmap for Transforming the Metro Memphis Economy” was completed in conjunction with the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program.  The plan is one of ten Metropolitan Business Plans completed with support from the Brookings Institution.
  • Chief Executive Group named Tennessee the #4 “Best State for Business" in 2014.
  • Tennessee ranked 7th on Site Selection magazine’s 2014 list of “Top State Business Climates,” with a second place finish in the “Competitiveness” category. 
  • Memphis Mayor A.C. Wharton was selected as one of four city mayors to participate in the 2013-2014 Daniel Rose Fellowship.  The program offered technical assistance for a local land use challenge.  In Memphis, the challenge was to create a plan for an Innovation District around the Memphis Medical Center.
  • In 2013, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce recognized Memphis as a model for government focused on job creation, economic growth and crime reduction in its report, “Enterprising Cities.”
  • Memphis ranked among MarketWatch’s “Top Business Growth Cities” in 2013, ranking #1 for cities with the most freight commerce.
  • Memphis ranked 6th in the nation for Fortune 500 headquarters per million people, according to Martin Prosperity Institute in 2012.
  • In 2012, the Mid-South Minority Business Council (MMBC) Continuum was selected by the U.S. Dept. of Commerce to operate the first Minority Business Development Agency in Tennessee.
  • The Business Journals ranked the Memphis metro area 26th out of the 100 largest metro areas for job growth, increasing nonfarm employment by 2.04% between March 2011 and March 2012. 
  • In 2011, Memphis was selected by the White House to participate in the six-city “Strong Cities, Strong Communities” pilot program. The program focuses on six priorities in Memphis: creating safe, vibrant neighborhoods, growing prosperity and opportunity, investing in young people, advance a culture of excellence in government, and strengthen federal partnerships.
  • The Gallup Job Creation Index ranked the Memphis metro area 3rd for the most hiring in 2011 among the top 50 largest MSAs, with 38% of companies reported to be hiring. In 2012, Memphis was ranked 15th based on the Gallup Job Creation Index.
  • The Memphis metro area was ranked 3rd of the top 100 metro areas for job growth in the fourth quarter of 2011 by the Brookings Institute’s Metro Monitor.
  • Memphis ranked 30th out of 101 metro areas in MarketWatch’s 2010 annual "Best Cities for Business" survey. 
  • In 2010, Site Selection magazine named Memphis as the 9th “Top 10 Metro Areas” in the U.S.
  • Site Selection magazine named Memphis Light, Gas and Water as one of the top-performing utilities in the country for 2010. The Tennessee Valley Authority, supplier of electricity to MLGW, has been named among the top-performing utilities each year since 2006.
  • The location of Electrolux’s new North American Cooking Products manufacturing center in Memphis was named the #3 “Top Deal of 2010” by Site Selection magazine, bringing $190 million in investment and creating 1,200 jobs.