Economy

What Trump Could Mean for the Steel and Coal Industries

We look at what a President Trump could mean for the struggling steel and coal industries.

Birmingham Expects a Boost from National Civil Rights Designation

What a national historic monument designation for Birmingham's Civil Rights District could mean for tourism

TopGolf Complex Coming Soon to Uptown

The Birmingham City Council this week cleared the way for construction of a proposed 65,000 square-foot Topgolf complex in Uptown. The council also approved a $1.5 million incentive package to be spread out over the next eight years.

Alabama Cattle Ranchers Hit Hard by Drought

After months of warm, dry weather, it did finally rain this week. But a few days of precipitation won’t erase months of drought. The lack of rainfall has crippled the state’s $2 billion cattle industry. The drought has forced ranchers to buy hay from out-of-state and if the dry weather persists this winter, things could get a lot worse for farmers and their herds.

How Birmingham is Doing Attracting Millennials

As Birmingham works to keep its post-recession economic rebound going, a part of that is Millennials. As these people born roughly between 1980 and 2000 enter the job market or advance in their careers, they’ll rent apartments, buy homes, spend money that will fuel future growth. So business leaders are keen to attract and keep Millennials in Birmingham. That’s where we start in this week’s Magic City Marketplace.

What a President Trump Means for Business

President-elect Donald Trump won the election on a promise to make America the best place in the world to do business. But apart from backing away from trade deals, the specifics of what a Trump Administration would do for the business community are still unclear. We get a sense of what might be coming in this week’s Magic City Marketplace.

A Birmingham/NASA Connection and Amendment 11

Alabama has a long history with space exploration thanks to the Marshal Space Flight Center and other NASA facilities in Huntsville. But Birmingham is taking a small step toward that space industry through a project at UAB. We hear about it along with Amendment 11, a ballot proposal economic development leaders want to see passed, in this week’s Magic City Marketplace

A Conversation with “Mr. Fred,” 86-Year-Old Learning to Read

Fred Oliver of Birmingham is 86 and a world traveler. He served in the Korean War, spent time in Japan, and has held more jobs than he can count. He loves to visit far-off places, but as we reported yesterday, his latest odyssey is close to home, at the Literacy Council of Central Alabama: he’s learning to read and write.

Fighting Adult Illiteracy, One Reader at a Time

Imagine not being able to read an email from your family. Or a job application. Or medication labels. How about a simple road sign? Adult illiteracy is a complex, stubborn problem. Based on conservative estimates, in the five-county area around Birmingham alone, there are more than 90,000 adults who have trouble reading and writing. There are almost as many reasons as there are people.

U.S. 280 Becoming a Second City Center

There’s been plenty of attention showered on downtown Birmingham for its building boom and growth in restaurants and attractions. But there’s another area that’s been expanding too into almost another economic hub. That’s the U.S. 280 corridor from Jefferson to Shelby counties. We talk about that in this week’s Magic City Marketplace.

Alabama Leaders Hope to Land New Air Force Fighters

Earlier this year the Air Force declared its Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning 2 program combat ready. It’s been 23 years in the making and has suffered though shortcomings and budget issues. But with the fighters ready to take the sky, political leaders in Alabama are hoping to bring the program to this state and the economic benefits that come along with it. That’s in this week’s Magic City Marketplace.

Birmingham’s Airport Struggles to add Airlines

When a New Orleans-based airline announced it was starting non-stop flights from that city to Alabama earlier this year, they announced those flights would come to Huntsville. It was a blow to Birmingham which had been under consideration. But it also speaks to the position Birmingham is in when it comes to attracting new airlines or flights. We talk about it in this week’s Magic City Marketplace.

UAB, Private Groups Part of the Fight Against Breast Cancer

You may see more pink ribbons and other pink items in the next few weeks as October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. The UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center is one of many operations working to fight breast cancer. We talk about that effort and how it overlaps with the business community in this week's Magic City Marketplace.

Downtown Birmingham’s Middle Income Housing Gap

Birmingham’s downtown has seen many new apartment projects go up with more on the way. Developers have been pretty clear they’re after the high-end apartment market. But not everyone who wants to live in the city center can afford those high rents. It’s creating something of a housing gap and we talk about that in this week’s Magic City Marketplace.

Urban Dwellers Making a Push to Save Disappearing Honeybee

A quote about the honeybee made famous by an anonymous thinker states, “If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left.” As ominous as that sounds it’s not far from true. Bees play an extremely important role in the production of crops and the […]

Lakeshore/UAB Partnership Spurs Disability Health Research

The 2016 Paralympics took place earlier this month. When that competition happens, the Birmingham-based Lakeshore Foundation often gets some attention. Lakeshore is a training center for Paralympic athletes. But it is also driving research around physical disabilities and technology. We hear about it in this week’s Magic City Marketplace.

A Look at the Struggling Neighborhoods of Birmingham’s West Side

Communities like Ensley, West End and Fairfield were commercial hubs during the industrial heyday of the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Picture Not Quite as Rosy for Law School Grads

Law school graduates seem to be in an enviable position. They're on the way to a solid job with good pay and a prestigious career. That rosy picture though has tarnished somewhat. We hear about it in this week's Magic City Marketplace.

From CIA to United Way: Weld for B’ham on Diverse Agencies

This week, CIA Director John Brennan met with Birmingham City School students as part of a self-described crusade to make the agency more diverse. That’s one story in the latest Weld For Birmingham. Editor Nick Patterson joins us most Thursdays to discuss Weld's top stories. He tells WBHM’s Dan Carsen about Brennan's visit, and about Weld’s cover story on the United Way and area nonprofit groups.

Where Clinton and Trump Stand on Business Issues

We’re less than 60 days from the presidential election. It’s been a roller coaster of a campaign already between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton. But there are issues beneath the headlines and we look at some of the issues of importance to the business community in this week’s Magic City Marketplace.

Weld for B’ham on Living Beyond the Headlines, West of I-65

When you hear “Ensley,” or “Brighton,” or “West End,” what comes to mind? Many people who work, live, and raise families on the west side of Birmingham want you to know there’s more to life there than the crime and other problems that fill so many news reports.

What Birmingham’s Music Festivals Could Mean for Business

As Labor Day unofficially marks the end of summer, this week's Magic City Marketplace looks at why Birmingham's music festivals hold relevance for the business community.

Why Is It So Hard to Recycle Glass in Alabama?

Glass is a part of our daily lives. It’s in our refrigerators and our cabinets. We eat off it. We drink out of it. It’s everywhere. Everywhere but in our recycling bins, and that’s because the majority of waste services in Alabama don’t recycle glass. But that’s not the case at the Alabama Environmental Council’s […]

Birmingham’s Climate for High-growth Companies

The idea of starting or growing a business is pretty straightforward – an entrepreneur takes money and through hard work develops products or services to bring to the marketplace. But not all marketplaces are equal. This week in Magic City Marketplace we have some perspective on how well Birmingham is for entrepreneurs and companies trying to scale up quickly.

Birmingham’s Evolving Luxury Home Market

Birmingham’s housing market has steadily improved since the recession with some pockets absolutely on fire this year. But there's a segment of housing worth look at more closely – luxury homes. We talk about these homes selling for more than a million dollars in this week's Magic City Marketplace.

Birmingham’s Comprehensive Plan: Four Years After the Launch

Some feel Birmingham residents are worse off now than they were before the Comprehensive Plan was implemented.

What’s Ailing Birmingham’s Public Transportation Industry?

There are several transformative projects many feel have lost momentum. We start this week's Magic City Marketplace asking, "Where do we go from here?

CEO Pay in Birmingham

Researchers have documented rising inequality between those at the top of the economic ladder and workers at the bottom. Perhaps nothing represents this split more than the CEO salary. We hear about the earnings of Birmingham area CEOs in this week’s Magic City Marketplace.

Alabama’s “Back to School” Sales Tax Holiday is this Weekend

Alabama’s annual “back to school” sales tax holiday starts on Friday. That’s when the state waves its 4-percent sales tax on school related items. Many counties and cities drop their sales taxes too. It represents a chance for parents to save but it's also a big weekend stores.

Birmingham Startup Lands $20 million in Venture Capital

Birmingham tech startup Shipt grabbed eyeballs earlier this year when its logo went up on a on a downtown building. It drew wider attention with the announcement the company pulled down $20 million in venture capital. We talk about what that means in this week’s Magic City Marketplace.

Why is Commercial Real Estate such a Hot Commodity in Birmingham?

Birmingham is attracting a lot of commercial investment. Since 2011, out-of-state investors have spent more than $3.8 billion on commercial property in Jefferson and Shelby Counties. This trend is said to have peaked in 2014, but experts say investor money is still flowing into the city. In this week’s Magic City Marketplace, Ty West, editor […]

Utz Buys Golden Flake

“The South’s Original Potato Chip” will soon be a part of a company out of Pennsylvania. UTZ Quality Foods made a merger agreement, yesterday with the company that owns Golden Flake. Under the deal, Golden Enterprises will be operated as a wholly owned subsidiary of UTZ. Golden Flake says management and production of the southern […]