Economy

Will The Gulf Coast Amtrak Line Ever Leave The Station?

Plans for a passenger line connecting New Orleans with Mobile are underway, but opposition from the freight train industry could derail the service – and possibly President Joe Biden’s vision for an Amtrak resurgence.

Hack Exposes Vulnerability Of America’s Energy Supply Lines

Colonial Pipeline shut down its 5,500-mile pipeline on Friday after a ransomware attack. The pipeline made news back in 2016 after a gasoline spill in Shelby County. Some say it takes major events to bring attention to the pipeline's vulnerabilities.

Governor Shuts Down Extra Help For The Unemployed, Says Workers Needed To Invigorate The Economy

Alabama will stop participating in all federally funded pandemic unemployment compensation programs beginning June 19. Gov. Kay Ivey says she made the decision because of the increasing difficulty of business owners and employers to find workers to fill jobs.

Big Union Loss At Amazon Warehouse Casts Shadow Over Labor Movement

Last week's overwhelming vote against forming a union at Amazon's Bessemer warehouse was the latest in a string of disappointments for labor unions. Now Amazon employees and union backers are trying to find a way forward.

Alabama Amazon Workers Reject Union, But Organizers Say The Fight Isn’t Over

The union accused Amazon of illegal anti-union tactics and will challenge the results.

Why Alabama Lawmakers Just Won’t Give Up The Grocery Tax

Politicians across the aisle agree that grocery taxes harm low-income families. And yet the tax remains untouched.

What Labor Wins And Losses In The South Can Tell Us About the Amazon Union Vote

The unionization effort at the Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Ala. may seem like a once-in-a-lifetime chance for a big union win in the South. Yet union organizers had a nearly-identical opportunity just four years ago in Mississippi.

Dozens Rally To Support Amazon Union in Bessemer

The upcoming union vote is significant for Amazon, which has fought efforts to unionize, and the region as a whole.

Union Election At Amazon Warehouse Set For February 8

About 6,000 Amazon workers from the fulfillment center in Bessemer will begin voting next month on whether to unionize.

Alabama Labor Department Discontinues In-Person Unemployment Assistance

Labor officials cite safety concerns as the primary reason for moving to a phone-based system.

Federal Regulators To Set Election Date On Amazon Union

Employees at Amazon's Bessemer warehouse want to unionize, but the online retail giant opposes those efforts.

Demand For Bikes & Outdoor Gear Surges During Pandemic

The pandemic has driven many people outdoors, but finding the right gear could be a challenge.

Restaurants Are Hardest Hit As Businesses Try To Rebound From Pandemic

Some restaurants in Birmingham are working to regain a loss in revenue after forced closures during the pandemic. Meanwhile, other restaurants like Babalu and Lucy's Coffee & Tea weren't so lucky - closing their doors indefinitely.

Alabama Is In ‘Survival Mode’ Says University Of Alabama Economist

One economist says the country's deficit isn't as important as surviving the pandemic. He's advocating for renewed extra unemployment checks, injection $1 trillion a month into the country's budget and issuing another round of stimulus checks to working Americans.

Birmingham Gives Tax Breaks For UAB-Area Student Apartment Project, Commission Expected To Follow Suit

The company building a seven-story student housing development near UAB received permission from the city this week to forgo some property and sale taxes for the project. The county is now set to hear a similar request later this week.

Business Capital, Knowledge Remains Out Of Reach For Many Minority Entrepreneurs

None of the Black-owned businesses in 4th Avenue and Civil Rights commercial districts have gone out of business because of the pandemic.

With End Of $600 Unemployment Benefit, Groups Expect Surge In Evictions, Homelessness

As Congress debates another stimulus package, many Alabama residents will now see their weekly unemployment checks drop to less than $300.

First Black American To Lead Birmingham Business Alliance

Kenneth Coleman starts Monday as the new president and CEO of the Birmingham Business Alliance.

Beef, Poultry Farm Operations Hit By Coronavirus, But Peaches Are On Their Way

Pricing and processing delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic have made a direct hit on the Alabama cattle and poultry industries.

Pepper Place Farmers Market Becomes A Drive-thru For The Pandemic

The crowds of the Market at Pepper Place have given way to a line of cars for safety's sake during the pandemic.

Shoppers Emerge From Quarantine As State Eases COVID-19 Emergency Order

Alabama's retail industry opened its' doors once again after being closed for at least a month because of COVID-19.

UAB Furloughs Staffers And Cuts Pay Amid Pandemic

UAB announced Monday that more than 300 university staff members will be temporarily furloughed in an effort to offset significant financial losses due to COVID-19.

Small Business Loans Site Crashes Amid Flood of New PPP Applications

Alabama bankers couldn’t access the federal Paycheck Protection Program application site on Monday so that small businesses hurt by the coronavirus could apply for the loans.

Despite Relaxed COVID-19 Restrictions, Many Plan To Stay At Home

Gov. Kay Ivey will ease coronavirus restrictions starting at 5 p.m. Thursday. Under the new rules, businesses and all retailers can reopen. So will beaches and doctors offices. Nevertheless, many people plan to stay put.

COVID-19 Restrictions Not Slowing Work For Divorce Lawyers

Courtrooms are quieter because of the coronavirus. But divorce lawyers have found ways to keep working.

Is Stay-in-Place Currently A Wise Policy For Alabama?

There's a tension between the social distancing measure to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and the economic cost that's causing. The Harvard Club of Birmingham took up that issue in a formal debate this week.

As Quarantine Spurs Demand, Some Companies Are Hiring

Many businesses have laid off workers as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, but plenty of companies in Alabama are hiring. While some companies grapple with worker safety concerns, it hasn't stopped them from growing.

Falling Tax Revenue Looms For State, Counties, Cities

Late April will bring financial pain for state and local governments as businesses in Alabama begin submitting lower taxes because of the coronavirus.

Alabama Bankers Association CEO Says Banks Are Secure During Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has many people wondering about their economic future and the safety of their money. The head of the Alabama Bankers Association says banks across the state have been preparing for a crisis of this magnitude for years.

Birmingham’s Food & Beverage Industry Struggles Amid Coronavirus

Many small businesses in Alabama hit by the coronavirus crisis are struggling to stay afloat. State health officials recently prohibited on-site eating and drinking at restaurants and bars. The restrictions have forced a few Birmingham establishments to close their doors for good.

Layoffs, Job Losses — COVID-19 Impact Expected To Play Out Over Months

The coronavirus pandemic has caused layoffs and job loss across the country. Now Alabamians are figuring out how to cope with a new normal.

Coronavirus Puts Focus On Preppers

Preppers — those who stockpile food and other supplies — are getting a lot of attention lately given the public’s concerns over Coronavirus and the fear of some kind of societal breakdown.