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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


In this issue:
Alabama exports reach record $19.5 billion in 2012
U.S. EDA Invests $400,000 to Help Businesses Rebound Tornado Damage
Alabama economy 'poised for stronger gains' says yet another report






Alabama exports reach record $19.5 billion in 2012
 By Dawn Kent | dkent@al.com 
on February 11, 2013

The value of Alabama's exports rose 9.4 percent last year, reaching a record $19.5 billion, Gov. Robert Bentley's office announced today.

Transportation equipment, including vehicles, remained the state's top export category, as the value climbed to $7.65 billion, up 27 percent from 2011.


Rounding out the top five export sectors were chemicals ($2.6 billion), minerals/ores ($1.8 billion), primary metals ($1.4 billion) and machinery ($1 billion).


Alabama products were shipped to 188 countries. The top five destinations were Canada ($3.9 billion), Germany ($2.5 billion), China ($2.4 billion), Mexico ($2 billion) and Japan ($795 million).



























U.S. EDA Invests $400,000 to Help Businesses Rebound Tornado Damage
 Feb 11, 2013

This EDA investment will help ensure the Birmingham region's resiliency in the face of natural disaster," said Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Matt Erskine. "The Alabama Small Business Disaster Recovery Program will offer storm-damaged businesses in the region the opportunity to acquire the skills they need to grow stronger and respond more effectively to future crises."


According to estimates made by the University of Alabama, the storms reduced Alabama's GDP by as much as $1.3 billion and resulted in the loss of between 5,600 and 13,200 jobs statewide. Over a two-year period, the Alabama Small Business Disaster Recovery Program is expected to offer guidance to more than 1,000 business owners in the six-county area surrounding Birmingham. Services offered will include assistance with business plans, marketing plans, banking, accounting, loans, and improving credit scores.


The project is part of a $200 million appropriation made by Congress to EDA to help communities that received a major disaster designation in fiscal year 2011 with long-term economic recovery and infrastructure support.


Within the context of the administration's National Disaster Recovery Framework (NDRF), EDA serves as the Coordinating Agency on behalf of the Department of Commerce for the Economic Recovery Support Function (RSF) to coordinate the activities of a diverse group of partner agencies supporting recovery in disaster-impacted communities. 













Alabama economy 'poised for stronger gains' says yet another report
By Alex Walsh | awalsh@al.com 
on February 12, 2013 
Add Mark Vitner to the growing list of economists who see growth potential in Alabama's economy for 2013.
Vitner, senior economist for Wells Fargo, estimates that contributions from new firms -- as well as upward movement in the health care sector -- will propel Alabama's economy forward in the coming year.

"While the recovery from the most recent recession has been challenging, we believe Alabama's economy is poised for stronger gains," Vitner said in a recent report, co-authored with Wells' Sara Silverman.

Vitner credits the state's "significant clusters of businesses" in three key areas: aerospace, metals, and health care. Airbus, Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, Honda, SSAB, Nucor and ThyssenKrupp each get individual mentions in the report.









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Val Walton
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