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Greater Memphis Chamber builds relationships with community stakeholders

by Paula Anderson

In June, the Greater Memphis Chamber revealed initiatives to strengthen and develop economic development in the Memphis community at its annual mid-year update.

In a separate interview, two internal staff members - Jessica Mosley, director of diversity and community development and Patricia McKinney, project manager, member programming - shared initiatives focused on increasing business support and economic development in local communities.

Mosley expressed the Chamber’s mission on diversity and inclusion among the business community and ways minority and women business enterprises (MWBEs) can work with the Chamber.

"At the Chamber, our goal is to relentlessly pursue prosperity for all and to me that looks like empowered residents, healthy neighborhoods, nurturing schools, robust public transit, high-paying quality jobs and expansive entrepreneurial resources," said Mosley. "By being present, listening, and collaborating with likeminded investors, we hope to strengthen our diverse neighborhood economies and create a healthy environment where both residents and businesses can thrive."

Courtesy photo of Jessica Mosley

According to Mosley, the Chamber is conducting listening tours throughout the city of Memphis to get feedback and input from community stakeholders about economic development in their neighborhoods.

The listening tours cover Hickory Hill, Whitehaven, Frayser, Orange Mound and Midtown. The initial listening tour covered the Hickory Hill community and the Power Center CDC.

Courtesy photo|Hickory Hill Listening Tour

Mosley and McKinney are collaborating on in-house projects to strengthen their efforts.

“I am working with Jessica (Mosley) on an initiative called “Business on the Block,’ said McKinney. “It will allow businesses to make connections in the Hickory Hill community with large and small businesses.”

McKinney also serves as co-chair of the Small Business Council and has worked on initiatives to strengthen business owners due to the aftermath of the pandemic.

Courtesy photo of Patricia McKinney

“We launched the PROSPER program in response to the pandemic,” said McKinney. The acronym stands for Perspective, Refocus, Operations, People, Engagement and Resiliency.

“We convened 45 business leaders and touched on the letters in the acronym,” said McKinney.

McKinney said this is an effort to help business owners think about a response plan for a future crisis.

While the pandemic was an example of a crisis, McKinney said we want businesses to be prepared for whatever comes.

"This initiative re-shaped the Small Business Council, and we developed the ‘Think Tank’ that was created [to] develop programming to help businesses manage business challenges," said McKinney.

She said businesses asked for help on financial management, customer engagement, technology and people.

The Chamber has upcoming events to engage help small business owners:

  • Aug. 30 - ‘Emotional Intelligence’ - Baptist East

  • Sept. 27 - Business on the Block - Hickory Hill Community

To learn more about the Chamber, visit

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