New plan aims to attract and help small businesses

By Jamel Major - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Interim Shelby County Mayor announced a plan Thursday designed to encourage the development of small businesses in Shelby County.

It's an aggressive push to attract and aid small businesses in the county, like the family eye care business operated by Brister Shum. Like many small business owners, Shum knows how difficult it can be to stay afloat during these tough economic times.

"With the economy the way it is, we're very excited our patients are coming to us and they're very loyal," she said.

Shum, who is currently expanding and renovated her business, is excited about Shelby County's push to attract small businesses.  Thursday, Interim Shelby County Mayor Joe Ford said the county's economic development task is hard at work.

"Their mission is to go out in the community and seek out small businesses that can participate in county purchases," Ford said.

Officials will be focusing on awarding contracts to small businesses in order to grow the economy and create jobs.  A public service announcement will also begin running on local TV and cable stations, informing small business owners of the resources and incentives available to help their business succeed.

"We've really targeted our resources towards, for example, African American small businesses, at whatever level we can," said John Moore, CEO of the Greater Memphis Chamber.

To learn more about the county's small business program, click here.

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