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Memphis, Tennessee

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Memphis Business Signs

The Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture claims John Overton, James Winchester, and Andrew Jackson founded the city of Memphis on May 22nd, 1819.  They named it after the ancient Egyptian capital, which was located on the Nile River.  The American Memphis is located on the Mississippi River.  It was officially incorporated on December 19th, 1826.

The modern day city of Memphis has a population of 653,450, according to a 2013 US Census estimate.  This makes it the largest city in the state of Tennessee as well as the largest city along the Mississippi River.  Memphis is the 20th largest city in the country.  The Memphis metropolitan area, which includes counties in the US states of Mississippi and Arkansas, has a population of 1,316,100, according to a 2010 estimate.  This makes the Memphis metropolitan area the second largest in the state, after Nashville’s.

The Memphis International Airport is the world’s second busiest cargo airport, after Hong Kong, according to data provided by Airports Council International.  The city of Memphis itself serves as a primary hub for FedEx Express shipping.  In fact, FedEx is one of three Fortune 500 companies headquartered in the city.  The other two are AutoZone and International Paper.

Other businesses of note based in Memphis include Allenberg Cotton, American Residential Services, which is also known as ARS/Rescue Rooter, Donelson, Caldwell & Berkowitz, Cargill Cotton, City Gear, Evergreen Packaging, Fred’s, Lenny’s Sub Shop, Perkins Restaurant and Bakery, Varsity Brands, and Verso Paper.

Memphis also boasts several well-known landmarks.  Hernando de Soto Bridge, named after the 16th century Spanish explorer who charted the local stretch of the Mississippi River, was opened in 1973 and spans across the famous river.  It is a through arch bridge and has been nicknamed ‘New Bridge’ and ‘M Bridge’, after its distinctive shape.

The most famous attraction in the Memphis area, however, is undoubtedly Graceland.  Architects Furbringer & Ehrman built this mansion in 1939 and it was the home of singer Elvis Presley.  In 1991, Graceland was listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and in 2006 it was declared a National Historic Landmark.  It was opened to the public in 1982, and according to the Elvis Encyclopedia is the second most visited private home in America (after the White House), attracting more than 600,000 tourists.

Elvis wasn’t the only musical sensation to come out of Memphis, however.  The city is responsible for the creation and development of numerous American music genres including Memphis blues, Memphis soul, gospel, rock n’ roll, Buck, crunk, and ‘sharecropper’ country music.  Memphis launched the careers of Elvis, Aretha Franklin, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, Booker T. & the M.G.’s, Otis Redding, Isaac Hayes, Shawn Lane, Sam & Dave, and B.B. King.

Memphis is home to one major professional sport team, the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies.  They play their home games in FedExForum.

Do you own a small business in the Memphis metropolitan area?  Are you considering it?  These resources may prove useful to you:

Apply for a Business License in Memphis

Steps to Starting a Business in Memphis & Shelby County, TN

Greater Memphis Chamber (of Commerce)

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