Crime rate makes it difficult to attract new businesses - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Crime rate makes it difficult to attract new businesses

Crime scenes are a routine sight in the city of Memphis. It's something that doesn't sit well with many who live here.

"I'm scared all the time--scared standing out here at night," says one Memphian.

"You can't even go to the store--stuff like that--it's pretty bad," adds another. Business leaders have taken notice too.

"Every city has its problems, its challenges and its weaknesses," says Memphis Regional Chamber President & CEO John Moore.

He says companies look at a lot of things when choosing a place in which to do business. Crime is always included.

"Unfortunately, for us in the U.S., crime is an issue in every major city," says Moore.

Memphis is certainly no exception. You just have to consider four murders in the first fivedays of the new year.

"Anytime you have bad news like that, it's concerning," says Moore.

Moore says he's heard of employees not willing to move to Memphis because of crime, but can't recall a company refusing to locate here. He says they are often just as interested in what's being done to combat crime.

"You know, we spend a lot of time talking about this--it's not ignored, trust me," says Moore.

Tackling the crime problem, according to Moore, includes good PR like focusing on Memphis's many amenities instead of its crime rate. So far, Moore says incentives have helped Memphis thrive, despite concerns about crime.

Currently, the chamber is working with police and the crime commission to try and do more.

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