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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:
Regions creates $1B loan pool for economic development
Montgomery-made Sonata tops dependability list
French ambassador sees investment opportunities in Alabama
Industry appreciation night highlights arts in Chilton County





Regions creates $1B loan pool for economic development
Antrenise Cole/Reporter-Birmingham Business Journal
February 13

Regions Bank has earmarked $1 billion for new loans this year to fund the growth and expansion of companies in Alabama.


Regions Financial Corp. (NYSE: RF) CEO Grayson Hall and Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley announced the economic development loan pool at a news conference today.


Regions, the area's only Fortune 500 company, is partnering with the Alabama Department of Commerce to identify and recruit companies that need capital to grow their businesses.


"As Alabama's largest bank, we are committed to helping other local companies thrive and succeed," Hall said.




[Birmingham Business Journal]




















Montgomery-made Sonata tops dependability list
Brad Harper
February 13

The 2010 version of the Montgomery-built Hyundai Sonata has landed at the top of a list ranking dependability among three-year-old vehicles.


The Sonata was the top-ranking midsize car in the J.D. Power and Associates 2013 U.S. Vehicle Dependibility Study, which measures problems experienced over the past year by the original owners of three-year-old vehicles.


However, Hyundai owners experienced more problems on average than most other brand owners in that time, according to the study. It found that 2010 Hyundai vehicles averaged 141 problems per 100 vehicles, worse than the average of 126. Overall dependability among all three-year-old vehicles was at an all-time high in the study's 24th year, with the gap between domestic and import brands narrowing.


The study also noted links between dependability and brand loyalty, saying that most people who experience no problems with their current vehicle stick with the same brand when buying a new car.


The current Sonata was Hyundai's best-selling car in the United States last month, slightly outpacing the Montgomery-made Elantra.




[Montgomery Advertiser]








French ambassador sees investment opportunities in Alabama Delattre was invited to speak by Alabama World Affairs Council
By Brad Harper
February 13

French Ambassador Francois Delattre saw a lot to build on Tuesday during his first visit to Alabama.


Delattre spent a rainy day in Montgomery meeting with Gov. Robert Bentley and other state officials about using French company Airbus' $600 million investment in the Mobile area as a launching point for more cross-investment between France and Alabama.


"We are working not only with the governor but with his economic development team to see precisely where he and I should promote these investments," Delattre said.


"So it's not a kind of business-as-usual meeting that we had. There is an ambition here."




[Montgomery Advertiser]










Industry appreciation night highlights arts in Chilton County
By Emily Etheredge
Published Wednesday, February 13, 2013

As rain heavily poured outside the Clanton Conference and Performing Arts Center at Jefferson State Community College Tuesday night, those inside were treated to a variety of visual arts.


The Chilton County Industrial Development Board hosted the first industry appreciation night designed for the community to say thank you to different industries in Chilton County for creating jobs and growing the economy.


The Chilton County Arts Council showcased works from the sweetheart fine art show and T.I.G.E.R. trails art show in the main lobby for guests to admire as they arrived.


Industrial Development Coordinator Fred Crawford told those in attendance that in 1986, former Mississippi Gov. William Winter chaired a committee of governors and others that looked at the need for growth in the South.


"At that time we had needs because of failures, lack of real leadership, money, jobs and education," Crawford said. "Economic development is the word that grew out of this and now economic development is bringing into Chilton County new and meaningful business and the growing of existing industry."






[Clanton Advertiser]











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