EDPA NewsFlash


home       about edpa        relocation     resources for     resources for     entrepreneurship &
                                          assistance     companies        communities            technology    




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:
Report shows small business impact in Alabama
German Consul General to visit Alabama next week
High school robotics teams get valuable practice flinging discs at U.S. Space & Rocket Center
Huntsville keeps its AAA credit rating
Area leaders talk industrial recruitment initiatives
Miles College, Lawson State to sign alliance memo with SBA at Gaston Conference
Japan-America Society of Alabama (JASA) announces 2013 Executive Committee Officers





Report shows small business impact in Alabama
Sunday, February 17, 2013 
Staff Report 

According to a recent report by the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy, small businesses significantly impact Alabama's economy, employing 768,302 workers in 2010 with most of the employment coming from firms with 20-499 employees.


The annual state-to-state report, "Small Business Profile for the States and Territories," also reported that self-employment in the state improved over the last decade, while minority self-employment saw the largest growth. All in all, the state's 393,768 small businesses represent 96.9 percent of all employers, who employ 49 percent of the private-sector labor force.


"Like many states across the nation, small businesses are helping to strengthen the economy in Alabama," said Winslow Sargeant, chief counsel for advocacy. "Most of the country's small businesses continue to be very small, having fewer than 20 employees, but they paint a big picture of a recovering America. Advocacy's analysis gives us a clear understanding of just how important small businesses are in Alabama."




[Opelika Auburn News]


















German Consul General to visit Alabama next week
By Dawn Kent | dkent@al.com 
on February 16, 2013

Christoph Sander, the Consul General of Germany to Atlanta, will visit Alabama next week to tour the Mercedes-Benz auto plant in Tuscaloosa County.

Sander, who took office last year and is the German government's representative to the U.S. Southeast, will tour the Mercedes plant Monday. Later that day, he will visit the operations of BLG Logistics Inc., a German-owned logistics provider and Mercedes supplier.


He will travel on to Mississippi before returning to Alabama on Wednesday for his first official visit to Mobile.











High school robotics teams get valuable practice flinging discs at U.S. Space & Rocket Center
By Paul Huggins | phuggins@al.com 
on February 17, 2013

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama - The robots flinging discs around the Davidson Center on Sunday weren't ready for a full round of disc golf, but don't be surprised if the students who built them are engineering the grandchildren of the Mars Pathfinder one day.

Students involved in robotics programs are far more likely to pursue science and technology careers, studies show, meaning NASA's investment in FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition is fulfilling its aim to cultivate its engineers of the future.

"There is a high rate of students involved in robotics staying in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) programs," said Tammy Rowen, academic affairs manager for Marshall Space Flight Center.


NASA has identified an increased need for robotics to meet future demand to explore Mars and outer planets, assist with International Space Station operations, service satellites and work as personal assistants to astronauts.











Huntsville keeps its AAA credit rating, but Wall Street firms disagree on city's outlook
By Steve Doyle | sdoyle@al.com 
on February 15, 2013\

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama - Huntsville's stellar credit rating remains intact on Wall Street, although the major rating agencies have differing views on the city's future prospects.


Standard & Poors on Thursday gave the city its best-possible AAA credit rating with a stable outlook in advance of a large bond issue. Huntsville has now earned S&P's highest rating for five consecutive bond issues.


"That's a strong vote of confidence," said City Finance Director Randy Taylor.


On Friday, Moody's Investors Service also awarded the Rocket City its top Aaa credit rating - albeit with a negative outlook.
















Area leaders talk industrial recruitment initiatives
by James Phillips
Feb. 17

County and city officials met Wednesday to discuss industrial recruiting. From left, Gary Faulkner of the Alabama Department of Commerce talks with Jed Daniel of the Jasper City Council and Steven Aderholt of the Walker County Commission. Daily Mountain Eagle - James Phillips
In an effort to show how important industrial development is locally, several members of the Jasper City Council and the Walker County Commission came together last week for a workshop on industrial recruitment.

The meeting, which was hosted by the Walker County Economic and Industrial Development Authority and the Jasper Industrial Development Board, was led by officials from the Alabama Department of Commerce and Alabama Power.

"We felt like it was a good time to bring the city and the county together for this type of discussion," said David Knight, director of the development authority. "We have several new council and commission members that we felt could benefit from this meeting."

Gary Faulkner, senior project manager with the Alabama Department of Commerce, told area officials that patience is a key when competing for industry.













Miles College, Lawson State to sign alliance memo with SBA at Gaston Conference
By Stan Diel | sdiel@al.com 
on February 15, 2013

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama - The U.S. Small Business Administration next week will sign a Strategic Alliance Memorandum with Miles College and Lawson State Community College.


The memorandum, to be signed at the A.G. Gaston Conference on Wednesday, will allow the historically black colleges and the SBA to share resources to promote entrepreneurial efforts, to assist the schools' community outreach efforts and to make information on SBA programs more readily available to the schools.


The memorandum will have a two-year term, the SBA said today.














Japan-America Society of Alabama (JASA) announces 2013 Executive Committee Officers:


President, Mr. Lamar Smith

Past-President, Mr. Mike Oatridge, Honda Manufacturing of Alabama

1st Vice President, Mr. Calvin Miller, Talladega County Economic Development Authority

2nd Vice President/ Japanese Business Retention, Mr. Kozo Matsuda, ARCUS Services

Membership Chair, Ms. Carolyn Turner, Alabama International Trade Center

Programs Chair, Dr. John VanSant, UAB

Programs Co-Chair, Dr. Robert Wendorf, Japanese Garden Society

Executive Director, Tamara Moriya


See www.jasaweb.org for upcoming JASA Cherry Blossom Festival (3/16) and 24th Annual Event (5/15) information.










Please feel free to forward along to someone who can use it by clicking on the "I'd like to forward this to a contact" link below the green bar. Note also, that you can now make changes to your e-mail address and contact information through the link at the bottom.    
If you have news or suggestions, please forward them along to me.
Enjoy the day, 

Val Walton
Join Our Mailing List