Memphis, Tennessee is an ideal location for manufacturing and distribution companies due to its central location and its transportation infrastructure. Although the manufacturing sector has declined its still an important part of the economy. Services are now the largest economic element in Memphis. Industries with significant roles for the city are food processing, financial services, medical devices and pharmaceuticals. Memphis also has a noteworthy film industry. Memphis is also a major cotton market and an important center for hardwood and wood and paper products.
The Memphis economy is bolstered by numerous nationally and internationally known businesses including about 150 companies from 22 countries. The city is the headquarters for FedEx Corporation, International Paper and Fred's Stores. Federal Express Corporation is the largest employer in Memphis, Tennessee. The Memphis International Airport is one of the world's busiest airports regarding cargo tonnage. Other companies with a large presence in the region are Belz Enterprises, AutoZone Incorporated, First Horizon National Corporation, Harrah's, Cargill Cotton, and Hilton.
The science and technology sectors are represented by companies such as Buckman Laboratories, Brother Industries USA, Morgan-Keegan, Medtronic Sofamor Danek, Sharp Manufacturing of America, Wright Medical Technologies and Smith & Nephew.
Memphis has been placed in the top 8 of the 50 best major metro areas in the country for starting and growing a business by Inc Magazine. Memphis was named as one of the most successful models for economic development in the south by Southern Business and Development magazine. In addition, the agri-research sector, health related industries and high-tech bio sector are regarded as having strong growth potential.
Shown below is a list of the largest employers in Memphis, Tennessee:
- Federal Express Corporation
- Memphis City Schools
- United States Government
- Methodist Healthcare
- Baptist Memorial Healthcare Corp
- Shelby County Government
- Memphis City Government
- Naval Support Activity Mid-South
- Tennessee State Government
- Shelby County Schools
- University of Tennessee Memphis
- Park Place Entertainment
- Internal Revenue Service
- United Postal Service
- Kroger Delta Marketing
- International Paper
- First Tennessee Bank
- University of Memphis
- St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
- Horseshoe Casino & Hotel
The city's major nonagricultural employment segments:
- Trade, transportation and utilities
- Professional and business services
- Educational services
- Leisure and hospitality
Details about Memphis, Tennessee: Estimated median household income in 2007: $35,000. Cost of living index in 2008: 82.4 (national average: 100). Adult population that has earned a bachelor's degree or higher: 21%.
Some of the organizations that offer information and help to local businesses are:
- Memphis Area Chamber of Commerce
- Memphis & Shelby County Department of Economic Development
- Tennessee Economic Development Council
- Tennessee Small Business Development Centers
- Small Business Administration - Tennessee
The Memphis Business Journal offers details about local business and industry.