Banks and insurance companies were among Nashville's first businesses and have remained an important part of the economy. Banks headquartered in the city include Bank of Nashville, First American, and Citizen's Bank. Nashville is also home to the securities firm J. C. Bradford. American General Life Insurance has remained in the city after acquiring two other locally based companies and is now linked to Nashville's entertainment industry as a subsidiary of the Gaylord Entertainment Network, which owns the Ryman Auditorium, former home of the Grand Ole Opry, and the Opryland Theme Park.

Nashville is also a center of the private healthcare industry as home to Columbia-HCA, the largest operator of for-profit hospitals in the country. This sector has also gone in new directions, spinning off companies in child care and prison management.

Nashville's location in the Sun Belt puts it in prime manufacturing territory. Nissan Motors located its first U.S. plant here in the early 1980s. In the 1990s, a Saturn plant was operating in nearby Spring Hill, and the area is also home to a Bridgestone-Firestone plant.

Media and communications are represented by BellSouth, headquartered downtown, and the publishing and electronic media firm Ingram Industries.