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Here is today's summary of economic development news, presented by the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama. 
in this issue:
City weighs options for rebuilding - Tuscaloosa News
Help available for storm-ravaged Alabama businesses - Birmingham News
Huntsville business community lends helping hand toward tornado recovery efforts - Huntsville Times
Regions remains only Alabama Fortune 500 firm - Birmingham News



City weighs options for rebuilding

By Stephanie Taylor Staff Writer

Published: Friday, May 6, 2011 at 3:30 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, May 6, 2011 at 12:37 a.m.


TUSCALOOSA | With the massive destruction still on the ground, it's hard to imagine what Tuscaloosa will look like six months, a year or 10 years from now.

As search and recovery efforts were winding down Thursday afternoon, cleanup efforts were just beginning. Mayor Walt Maddox and the Tuscaloosa City Council are already looking much further down the road.

They spent much of Thursday discussing what kinds of policies will be needed to make sure substandard construction doesn't replace what was wiped out by the tornado. All agreed that the rebuilding of the city should be deliberate and carefully considered.

"This is our one chance to do it right," said Councilman Bob Lundell. "I sure don't want to rush into it."

The mayor has established a Rebuild Tuscaloosa Task Force that will closely scrutinize residential and commercial construction in the storm-stricken areas.

"It's important that, as we rebuild, we do so in such a way that honors the 41 people who died here on April 27," Maddox said. "One way we can honor them is to rebuild this city better than it was."



Tuscaloosa News


Help available for storm-ravaged Alabama businesses


Published: Thursday, May 05, 2011, 7:00 AM


By Dawn Kent -- The Birmingham News The Birmingham News


Alabama's economic development agencies are mobilizing to connect businesses affected by last week's deadly tornado outbreak with disaster relief resources that can help put them back on their feet.


The Economic Development Partnership of Alabama and the Birmingham Business Alliance have designated space on their websites for storm recovery information.


For EDPA, the focus is small- to medium-sized businesses that don't have the network of a national or global firm to fall back on.


The move fits in with the mission of economic development, said EDPA President Bill Taylor.


"Certainly we have a role in creating jobs, but I think we also have a role in maintaining jobs," he said. "How can we help them be successful? How do we keep businesses alive so they can employ people in the state?"



Those questions have taken on a greater urgency in the wake of the April 27 storms, which demolished businesses across Alabama.



Birmingham News  






Huntsville business community lends helping hand toward tornado recovery efforts

Published: Friday, May 06, 2011, 1:38 PM     Updated:

Friday, May 06, 2011, 1:43 PM


Toyota made a $1 million contribution to the American Red Cross to support relief efforts. In addition, Toyota will match employee contributions to the American Red Cross. The company will also provide additional support and assistance to those Toyota employees who have lost their homes. Toyota employs about 900 people at its engine manufacturing plant here.

Boeing and its employees have donated more than $125,000 and the company also delivered diesel fuel and 40,000 tons of ice in refrigerated trucks. "We are extremely grateful to our employees' generosity and those locally who have volunteered to help in the community ...," said Tony Jones, vice president and Huntsville site executive for Strategic Missiles & Defense Systems. Boeing employs about 3,000 people in the Huntsville area.

United Launch Alliance donated $50,000 to the American Red Cross and established a relief fund for its employees. The rocket-building company has a facility in Decatur. "Our hearts go out to everyone affected by last week's tornados, including our 701 Alabama employees and their families," said ULA President/CEO Michael C. Gass. "As President Obama said, we can't control Mother Nature but we can control our response to this crisis and support each other. Our corporate funding and donations from our employees are small steps in helping Alabama rebuild." 



Huntsville Times


Regions remains only Alabama Fortune 500 firm

Published: Friday, May 06, 2011, 6:30 AM

Regions Financial Corp. remained Alabama's only Fortune 500 company, in rankings the business magazine released Thursday. Birmingham-based Regions, the state's largest bank, dropped to No. 293 from No. 254 in the rankings of companies by revenue.

Wal-Mart Stores was No. 1, Exxon Mobil Corp. was No. 2 and Chevron Corp. was No. 3.

Mississippi had no Fortune 500 companies based there. Louisiana had three -- utility firm Entergy at No. 213, phone and Internet firm CenturyLink at No. 334 and engineering firm Shaw Group at No. 336. Florida had 16, led by No. 102 Publix Super Markets.


Birmingham News


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Wendy Wallace Johnson
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