By Samuel X. Cicci

If you feel like rent prices are always going up, you’re not crazy. A recent study released by RentCafe details a large nationwide spike in average rent, with August seeing the highest increase in the last 18 months. Nationally, a decreased rate of apartment construction has seen tenants become more competitive about finding a place to live. Last month, the average had increased by 3.1 percent ($42), leaving the mean cost at $1,412 per month. The uptick comprised 89 percent of the country’s largest 252 cities. 10 percent froze prices, while 1 percent actually saw rent prices drop.

How did the changes play out in Memphis? Tenants aren’t lacking for available housing with a building boom, especially in the Downtown area, constantly providing new option. Worryingly, Memphis surpassed the national average increase with a 4.2 percent increase from 2017. With various real estate developments continuing at pace, don’t expect the upward trend to abate. From a financial perspective, however, Memphis still remains one of the most reasonable cities to live in, with a 2018 average rent of $776.

For more information and statistics, read the official study here.


– Memphis-based Hollywood Feed recently acquired the four stores of Atlanta-based Rucker Pet, bringing Hollywood Feed’s Atlanta store count to 16 and its nationwide store count to more than 80. “The recent trend of regional brands consolidating made the timing right for this latest acquisition,” says Shawn McGhee, president of Hollywood Feed. “A key component to our growth is strategic acquisition of like-minded brands in pet-friendly markets – and Atlanta tops that list.”

– Last Saturday, the pediatric cancer experts at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital kicked off the 50th anniversary of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month by celebrating the dramatic and record-breaking increase in survival rates over the past five decades and highlighting the hospital’s focus on how to care for childhood cancer survivors after treatment. Through comprehensive research, advanced innovations in medical treatments and improved understanding of childhood cancer, the five-year survival rates for cancer diagnosis among individuals younger than 20 exceeds 80 percent. Fewer than 60 years ago, a childhood cancer diagnosis was considered a death sentence.

– The Conference Board’s latest survey on job satisfaction finds that 51 percent of U.S. employees feel overall satisfied with their job. The results also show that, over the last seven years, employee attitudes about wages and job security experienced the biggest improvements. However, workers feel quite disappointed with their job’s professional development aspects – a warning signal for any organization looking to attract and retain talent in today’s tight labor market.


– Ted Evanoff writes in The Commercial Appeal that Trump’s trade policy will have this effect: Tariffs on Chinese products would impact about 10 percent of the cargo reaching most U.S. ports on average, almost 18 percent of the freight reaching Memphis, and minimal amounts in Knoxville and Nashville. Read the full story here. (subscription)

 The Daily News reports that Wright Medical Group’s expansion could add 80 jobs. The maker of orthopedic implants hope to construct a 43,750-square-foot building at the northeast corner of Tenn. 385 and Memphis Arlington Road. Read the story here.

– Pushing downtown development further south is interior designer Amy Cardiff and partners who have acquired the vacant, 39,000-square-foot building at 80 Virginia Ave. They plan a 24-unit apartment building. Read Jacob Steimer’s story in the Memphis Business Journal here. (subscription)


Inside Memphis Business magazine has long been running the Hot Sheet feature of promotions and achievements in local business. We’re now running it in our weekly Tip Sheet email blast to keep the info more current.

– Zachary B. Johnson and Darrell L. Douglas joined the law firm Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz, PLC, as attorneys.

– Anthony Norris joined YMCA of Memphis and the Mid-South as senior vice president and chief development officer.

– Ansley Grimes Stanfill, PhD, RN, assistant professor in the Department of Advanced Practice and Doctoral Studies at UTHSC, was recently awarded a $1.1 million grant to research the effects that social, clinical, and genetic factors have on the risk of developing post-stroke disabilities.

– The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges has elected Judge Dan H. Michael, juvenile court judge of Memphis and Shelby County, to Treasurer of the NCJFCJ Board of Directors.

– The Beverage Association of Tennessee has selected Greg Adkins to replace Raymond Thomasson as president and CEO.

– Turner Construction Company has hired Chris Chastain (pictured) as business development manager.


Inside Memphis Business magazine publishes a list of local Power Players every year. These are the movers and shakers in more than 30 categories who get things done in their respective fields. IMB’s April issue has the complete list. We also publish individual categories in other issues throughout the year, and we feature individual Power Players in our weekly Tip Sheet.

This week’s Power Player: Dr. Tracy D. Hall

President, Southwest Tennessee Community College. Bachelor’s, University of Missouri-St. Louis; master’s, Wichita State University; Doctoral, Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis, University of Missouri-Columbia. Former vice president of academic affairs, St. Louis Community College-Forest Park. Member, Higher Learning Commission Peer Review Corps., American Association of Women in Community Colleges, Missouri Community College Association, National Council of Instructional Administrators.

For the complete list of Inside Memphis Business Power Players, go here.


Every year, Inside Memphis Business magazine honors four CEOs who have proven to be exemplary in their fields, leading their companies to success on local, regional, national, and international stages.

Nominations for the 2019 CEO of the Year awards are open. Memphis is graced with tremendously talented, inspiring executives in charge of their companies and organizations, and we want to hear from you about the best in the business. Email your nomination to [email protected]com and include the CEO’s resume and a description of why he or she should get the award: vision, achievements, business philosophy, employee relations, management style, special qualities.

We give out four awards in categories according to the number of employees in the companies: 1-50, 50-200, 200-1,000, and 1,000 and up, so include that information as well. The deadline for CEO of the Year is November 16, 2018. When the nominations are in, an impartial panel will consider the nominees and pick one for each category. Each will be notified and interviewed for the February/March 2019 issue of IMB — and each will appear on the cover of the magazine. A breakfast in late January will honor the four CEOs.