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:

Birmingham economic development successes surpass $1 billion
By Barnett Wright
November 10, 2015
The rebirth of Birmingham's City Center has helped generate more than $1 billion in capital investment over the past year, according to the Birmingham Business Alliance (BBA).

Brian Hilson, president and chief executive officer of the BBA, said Birmingham's year-to-date capital investment within its primary business sectors now stands at $1.1 billion - about double its annual average since 2011 and four times the annual average for the previous decade.

"A combination of factors is contributing to the 32 individual companies' decisions to invest in Birmingham," Hilson said. "Among them: competitive overall costs doing business, a productive workforce and in some cases incentives."


Foundation approves $21 million in oil spill restoration projects
on November 10, 2015 at 12:16 PM

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation has approved more than $21 million for five projects in Alabama to restore natural resources affected by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the governor's office announced.

The money comes from plea agreements reached in federal court in 2013 to resolve certain criminal charges against BP and Transocean.

Today's announcement marks the third round of funds awarded from the NFWF's Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund.


A Pickles and Salsa Partnership
November 2015

The little Wiregrass city of Brundidge - population just over 2,300 - has plunked down $1.2 million and taken on a $2.2 million debt to upgrade its wastewater system, in a play for new jobs, a platform to support its locally grown canning business and, hopefully, attract even more industry.

It's a big bet for such a small town. But it's based on the 14-year track record of one of the area's biggest industries, Southern Classic Food Group, which is putting up $8.7 million of its own money for an expansion and a brand new canning company.
Southern Classic Food Group has been in existence since 2001. Manager Chuck Caraway had 18 years of experience in the food industry when he decided to start his own company. What started in a rented former Piggly Wiggly building quickly grew to 205,000 square feet.

 The new expansion, a $3.2 million investment by Southern Classic Food Group, will bring the space up to 240,000 square feet. And that will allow Southern Classic to diversify, partnering with a nationally distributed juice company under a multiyear contract agreement leading to production of about 1.7 million gallons of orange juice, as well as other juice products.


Alabama Power gets PSC approval for solar projects at Anniston Army Depot, Fort Rucker
By Michael Sznajderman
November 9, 2015

Alabama Power has received approval from the Alabama Public Service Commission (PSC) to move forward on developing and operating two solar generation projects, one at the Anniston Army Depot and one at Fort Rucker.

Groundbreakings on the photovoltaic solar panel projects are expected to take place next spring. The projects are slated to be operating before the end of 2016.

The two projects, which will be owned by Alabama Power, are expected to produce a combined 20 megawatts. That's roughly the amount of energy needed for 4,200 homes.


New publications promote West Alabama tourism
By Patrick Rupinski
Business Editor
November 9, 2015 

Two new publications promoting tourism in West Alabama will be available at state visitor centers and other locations.

The publications are a booklet titled "Visit West Alabama" and a brochure titled "West Alabama BBQ Trail."

"Visit West Alabama" has a press run of 10,000 and offers a two-day itinerary for visiting the seven West Alabama counties of Tuscaloosa, Bibb, Hale, Pickens, Greene, Lamar and Fayette. Among its recommended stops are the Pie Lab in Hale County and the Brierfield Ironworks Historical Park in Bibb County.


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