Economy

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.

Uncertainty Around Coronavirus Hits The Travel Industry Hard

Usually this time of year, families are gearing up for spring break trips. But coronavirus has people canceling plans, putting significant pressure on the travel industry.

Alabama Events Canceled, Attractions Close Amid Coronavirus Fears

The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted many closures and event cancellations across the state.

Shelby County Residents Vocal On Proposed Toll Bridge

For weeks, Shelby county residents have voiced concerns about a proposed private toll bridge that would cross Lay Lake on the Coosa River. Developers say the project will spur economic development but not everyone is convinced.

Report Says Better Collaboration Needed to Produce Enough Qualified Workers for Alabama

A report released this week says education and business needs to collaborate better to ensure Alabama has enough qualified workers for employers.

Birmingham Water Works Board Approves Rate Increase

Birmingham Water Works customers will have slightly higher monthly water bills starting in January 2020.

UAB Sees Opportunity with Precision Medicine

Many observers say UAB is well-positioned to lead a new front called precision medicine, especially in the area of cancer care.

Tax Bills Increase for Many in Jefferson County

The former AT&T City Center, a vacant skyscraper in downtown Birmingham, will have a property tax bill about half a million dollars more than last year's. It's one of many properties, including homes, that can expect to pay more in taxes this year.

Birmingham Gets Back to Distilling Liquor

The number of distilleries across the U.S. is on the rise. There are more than 1,500 active distillers nationwide, according to the American Craft Spirits Association. WBHM’s Janae Pierre reports, when it comes to spirits, a couple distillers in Birmingham are already on board.

Opportunity Zone Apartments Aim for Affordability Downtown. Will They Be?

Many people can't afford to live in downtown Birmingham's high-end lofts and condos. They city's first Opportunity Zone development aims to change that. But some question how effective it will be.

Revitalization Planned for Historic Black Business District

The Fourth Avenue Business District in downtown Birmingham once teemed with life. But over decades, the area's experienced a decline. Many hope a revitalization effort underway could breathe new life into the district.

Partnership Aims to Make Birmingham’s Economic Growth More Equitable

Birmingham has gained attention for its downtown rebirth. But the Birmingham area economy still falls behind similar cities, particularly when it comes to job growth. A partnership announced in December between the city and the Brookings Institution, a Washington, D.C. think tank, aims to boost the Birmingham economy with an eye toward making those gains more equitable.

Federal Appeals Court Hears Arguments in Birmingham Minimum Wage Case

Last summer, a three-judge panel said in its ruling that the "plaintiffs have stated a plausible claim that the Minimum Wage Act had the purpose and effect of depriving Birmingham's black citizens equal economic opportunities on the basis of race."

Birmingham’s Food Desert Plan: More Grocers, Fewer Dollar Stores

Nearly 70 percent of Birmingham residents live in food deserts, neighborhoods that have no grocery store or healthy food options. Now, Birmingham city officials are working to bring more grocers to the city.

Alabama’s Abortion Law Could be Bad for Business

Alabama’s abortion law has yet to go into effect, but it’s already causing ripples in the business community. The law sparked widespread criticism, including a campaign on social media calling for people to boycott the state. Officials with the City of Birmingham say it’s hurting the city’s ability to attract business.

Alabama Farmers Uncertain About Tomato Tariffs Effect

The Trump administration’s proposed tariffs on Mexican tomato imports could take effect as early as this week. Some say it’ll help Alabama tomato growers. Others say the plan could backfire.

Companies Look to Apprenticeships to Help Fill Jobs

Companies hiring for more technical occupations at Birmingham-area factories and plants often struggle. Now more employers are building their own pipeline through apprenticeships.

Another Pro Football League Takes the Field in Birmingham. Will This One Stay Afloat?

It’s almost become a tradition for football fans in the Magic City. Every few years, yet another professional football league comes to Legion Field, with aspirations to bring some semblance of high-level gridiron action to The Old Gray Lady on Graymont.

Shipt Founder Leaves. Now what?

Shipt founder and CEO Bill Smith is stepping down. Now what?

Birmingham Addresses the Jobs Gap

Birmingham has a workforce problem. Recent reports project thousands of future jobs, especially in information technology, but many potential candidates don’t have the skills to do to do the work.

U.S. Steel Revives Furnace Project in Fairfield

U.S. Steel Corporation will restart work on its electric arc furnace in Fairfield. The $215 million initiative will replace the former blast furnace at Fairfield Works.

Birmingham Denies Application For Woodlawn Charter School

The Birmingham school board denied the application Thursday for a proposed charter school in Woodlawn.

Gas Tax Is a Top Priority in 2019 Legislative Session

A gasoline tax increase to fund road improvements is expected to be a major topic of the 2019 Alabama legislative session.

Ready, Set, Action: Birmingham’s Become a Film-Making Destination That Brings Jobs, Millions of Dollars to Economy

The Magic City is not quite Hollywood, yet. But Birmingham’s economy is getting a show business-sized boost with millions of film dollars flowing into the local economy. The city’s Red Mountain substituted for the Hollywood Hills, wearing the famous HOLLYWOOD sign in “Bigger,” one of dozens of films made in metro Birmingham in recent years.

Birmingham Pursues Two Federal Agencies to Fill Downtown Building

The City of Birmingham hopes the federal government will move two agriculture agencies to Birmingham and fill downtown office space that's been vacant since 2010.

Coal Coming Back in Some Alabama Communities

Coal mines are coming back in some parts of Alabama. Industry observers say easing of regulations and a steady demand for coal overseas means more mining jobs. That's welcome news in places like Brookwood in Tuscaloosa County, where coal is mined to produce steel.

Amazon Breaks Ground Oct. 2, Laying Path for Western-Area Development

The official groundbreaking on the new Amazon development in Bessemer will be Oct. 2, Jefferson County commissioners said Thursday.

$25 Million Alabama Futures Fund: ‘This state is open for business for startups.’

The new $25 million dollar Alabama Futures Fund will try to attract and grow promising startups in Alabama.

UAB Opens New Business School Building

UAB's business school has a new home. Officials cut the ribbon Friday in the new Collat School of Business building.

Tariffs Imposed By U.S., Trading Partners Hit Home In Alabama

President Donald Trump is battling with countries he says are unfairly hurting America’s foreign trade, but some of his moves may adversely affect industries in Alabama in the process.

Uncovering Elder Financial Abuse? It’s Tricky.

The elderly can be easy targets for financial abuse. First, they might have money saved from a lifetime of working. Plus they might not be as alert to scams or people taking advantage of them. Banks and other financial institutions can sometimes spot potential problems early. That’s just the beginning of what can be a sticky issue.