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:

September 24, 2015 
Alabama Launchpad, a program of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, has awarded $55,000 in grants to assist 11 small businesses across the state boost their chances to get a share of the $2.5 billion in federal funding available to commercialize their products.

Five companies each received $5,000 grants for financial assistance to fund preliminary data, while six received $5,000 awards for accounting compliance through the Alabama Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) Support Program Phase 0 Awards Assistance.

The federal government calls the money available for early stage research and development funding, America's largest seed fund. The money is awarded through its agencies such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Science Foundation (NSF) to the Department of Defense (DOD).  But applying for the government's SBIR/STTR grant programs is highly competitive, daunting and time consuming for small businesses. For an early stage business, the process to land the non-dilutive federal money begins with preparing the grant proposal and making sure the submission stands out.

That's where Alabama Launchpad comes in.


Publix buys property for $34 million distribution center in McCalla
on September 22, 2015 

Publix has closed on a property to build a distribution center that will create 200 jobs in McCalla.

The Lakeland, Fla.-based grocery chain paid $23 million for four parcels in Jefferson Metropolitan Park, according to public record. 

The 625,000-square-foot space will house a non-perishable warehouse and distribution center. Products in this warehouse will be shipped to stores in Alabama, Tennessee, western Georgia and the Florida panhandle.


Second expansion planned at Consolidated Tool
By Jennifer Edwards Staff Writer
September 24, 2015 

MUSCLE SHOALS - An expansion in the works at Consolidated Tool in Muscle Shoals could begin in the summer, according to a representative from Consolidated Tool's parent company Gemini Group.

Curt Watkowski, of the Bad Axe, Michigan-based Gemini Group, told the Muscle Shoals City Council his company expects to start construction on the expansion in the summer. He said the project should be completed in less than 18 months.

He did not disclose additional details about the expansion plans.


20th annual BTW Economic Development Summit begins today
By Hannah Lane
Sep 24, 2015 

TUSKEGEE, AL (WSFA) -If you're an entrepreneur in Alabama here's your chance to hear from the experts. It's time again for the 20th annual Booker T Washington Economic Development Summit at Tuskegee University.

Officials say the focus of the summit is on economic development and entrepreneurship with hopes of revitalizing small and rural communities. The major objective is to enhance financial security and organization for families, start-up micro-entrepreneurs, and communities.

The summit is packed full with workshops, panel discussions, and guest speakers, including Jim Byard, Jr. director of the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs or (ADECA) and Maj. Gen. A.C. Roper, who is commander of the 80th Training Command and leads more than 7,300 Army Reserve soldiers.


Gov. Bentley set to address manufacturing industry leaders
 WSFA 12 News
Sept. 24, 2015

POINT CLEAR, Ala. (AP) - Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley is scheduled to speak about the state's economic development work at a meeting with manufacturing industry leaders.

Bentley is set to speak to roughly 250 manufacturing representatives Thursday afternoon during the annual fall Manufacture Alabama meeting at the Grand Hotel in Point Clear.

Bentley's press office says the governor is expected to speak about the impact of the state's manufacturers on industrial recruitment efforts.


Carnival is set to sail again from the Alabama Cruise Terminal
By Kelli M. Dugan
September 23, 2015

Four- and five-day cruises from Mobile to Mexico will resume aboard the Carnival Fantasy in November 2016, company and city officials announced Wednesday, ending months of speculation and breathing new life into the long-vacant Alabama Cruise Terminal.

"It's the Fourth of July, Christmas and Super Bowl Sunday all in one day," Al Hutchinson, president and chief executive officer of the Mobile Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, said moments after the Mobile City Council voted unanimously to approve the ship and berthing contract with the Miami-based cruise line.

The announcement marks the 835-foot ship's return to Mobile, having first sailed from Mobile Bay in November 2009, when it replaced the Carnival Holiday. The Fantasy was, itself, replaced by the Elation in May 2010.


Join Our Mailing List