Here is today's summary of economic development news, a free service of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, representing Alabama's private sector investment in economic development. If you enjoy NewsFlash, thank an EDPA Partner.
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BAE-EADS merger could have big impact on Gulf Coast
Published: Sunday, September 16, 2012, 11:00 AM
By Ellen Mitchell, Press-Register
MOBILE, Alabama -- A potential merger between BAE Systems and European Aeronautic, Defence & Space Co., the parent company of Airbus, could have big implications on the Gulf Coast region. But whether they'll be positive or negative is still unknown.
"I think it could only be positive," said Bill Sisson, executive director of the Mobile Airport Authority. "I think the fact that BAE already has a presence here and Airbus' presence is growing, it would make us that much more of a global region."
London-based BAE Systems and Toulouse, France-based EADS last week confirmed they were in talks toward a possible merger. Should the deal go through, the new company would have a combined market value of about $49 billion and about 45,000 workers in the U.S.
EADS's Airbus unveiled plans in July to construct a $600 million final assembly plant at Brookley Aeroplex in Mobile -- its first on U.S. soil -- a move projected to create 1,000 new jobs in the area.
BAE Systems in July 2010 gained substantial shipyard assets in Alabama and Florida with the purchase of Atlantic Marine Holding Co.'s facilities in Mobile and Jacksonville. The company's Mobile shipyard now employs 830 workers for its mostly commercial order book.
Black Belt baits the hook
Hunting, fishing support 11,000 jobs in region
2:05 AM, Sep. 16, 2012
Written by Brad Harper
More than half a million people live in one of the most economically depressed regions in Alabama, the Black Belt counties that span the southern part of the state from Mississippi to Georgia.
While other parts of the state have gotten an economic infusion from new automotive and manufacturing industries in recent years, Black Belt counties have remained a fixture at the top of the state's unemployment rankings. Wilcox, Dallas and Lowndes counties each had more than 16 percent unemployment in July - double the state average.
"We've been leading political leaders in these small counties to think they're going to get a big manufacturing plant, and there's just not a workforce (to support it)," Thomas Harris said.
But Harris and others in the Black Belt believe the region's most valuable industry already is in place - its 11 million acres and resources for outdoor sports.
"We've got a workforce that can support the hospitality and tourism industry," he said. "You really just take the assets that are there."
The numbers back him up.
A recent study compiled by Southeast Research, using federal, state and business figures, shows that hunters and anglers spend more than $3.2 million a day in the Black Belt alone, creating a $1 billion industry there that supports 11,000 jobs.
Governor joins panel discussing UAB online tax-loss study
Thursday, September 13, 2012
By Kevin Storr
A panel featuring Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley will discuss how potential federal tax law changes regarding online sales taxes will affect the state and retailers at an Alabama Retail Day event set for Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012. The discussion will be moderated by Robert Robicheaux, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Marketing, Industrial Distribution and Economics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, who recently authored a study that estimates loss of sales and use taxes from online purchases will cost the state of Alabama more than $1 billion during the next five years.
"The loss of that much revenue also means the loss of thousands of jobs," says Robicheaux, whose study concluded that Alabama is losing about $250 million in sales and use taxes and more than 4,400 jobs annually. "I am excited to hear directly how the state's top political leaders plan to work with business leaders and help prevent what could be a catastrophic loss of revenue for our state."
Alabama Senate President Pro Tempore Del Marsh; Jason Brewer, vice president for communications and advocacy at the Retail Industry Leaders Association; and George Wilder, president and owner of The Locker Room in Auburn and Montgomery and an Alabama Retail Association board member, will join Gov. Bentley on the panel. Wilder and Brewer will open with a summary of their perspective on federal efforts in e-fairness; the political leaders will discuss ongoing preparations to make sure all businesses in Alabama are treated fairly. The discussion is scheduled for one hour.
Huntsville-based nLogic honored by Principal FinancialPublished: Friday, September 14, 2012, 5:16 PM
By Budd McLaughlin, The Huntsville Times
HUNTSVILLE, Alabama -- Gayle Milton of Financial Resources may have put it best:
"My happiness is watching companies like this ... they put people first."
Her remarks came Thursday night during a reception honoring nLogic as one of the Principal Financial 10 Best Companies for Employee Financial Security for 2012. This is the 11th year of the program that honors growing businesses with fringe benefits that give employees an edge in achieving long-term financial security.
Huntsville-based nLogic is an employee-owned small business that focuses on systems engineering and integration, software development, modeling and simulation, test and evaluation, logistics, information technologies and cyber security.
It is also the third Huntsville company to be honored by Principal Financial in the last four years. Torch Technologies was named to the list in 2008 and Davidson Technologies was cited in 2010.
[The Huntsville Times]
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