Economy

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 […]

Birmingham Job Market Near Peak Employment

There's good news regarding the Birmingham job market. Since 2011, the city has added more than 30,000 jobs, just shy of the 45,000 needed for peak employment.

Strong Headwinds Against Wind Energy in Alabama

Drive through the Midwest or Great Plains and you may see expansive wind farms rising from the fields. That sight is not something you see in Alabama. Still there are those who see a place for wind energy in this state and we talk about it in this week’s Magic City Marketplace.

Cahaba Grand Sale Leaves Void for Large Events

Alabama’s largest church, the Church of the Highlands, purchased the Cahaba Grand Conference Center for $8 million earlier this year. As that facility along Highway 280 transitions from conference venue to house of worship, it’s causing ripples through the Birmingham area event space market. We talk about it in this week’s Magic City Marketplace.

Crowded Homeless Shelter Looking for New Home

The Firehouse Shelter serves thousands of homeless people in Birmingham like Johnson and has been a staple to the community since 1983. But they’ve outgrown their home on 3rd Ave North. and they’re working on moving to a bigger facility.

A Birmingham Business Mystery may be Revealed, Soon

A “good news” Birmingham business mystery may soon be revealed. The firearms business is booming. Changes in the industrial economy are impacting Alabama’s waterways and roadways. Ty West is Editor of the Birmingham Business Journal. He joins WBHM’s Scott Hanley to consider some of these latest stories in the Magic City Marketplace.

Alabama Organizers File Federal Lawsuit, Take Stand Against Wage Theft

A group of Alabama organizers filed a federal lawsuit last week on behalf of immigrant laborers who say their employers never paid them. The workers and their supporters gathered at the steps of the Hugo Black Courthouse in Birmingham Friday afternoon to celebrate the lawsuit.

The Potential for a New Round of Bank Mergers

Birmingham’s banking industry is not what it used to be. After major acquisitions in the 2000s and the Great Recession, Birmingham is left with two big banks: Regions and BBVA Compass, which was snapped up by a Spanish financial giant. While all that activity has died down, there’s chatter we could see a pick up in mergers and acquisitions among banks. We start there in this week’s Magic City Marketplace.

Birmingham’s Perceived Growth: What’s Real and What’s Not

The University of Alabama at Birmingham wants to expand its role as a statewide player in healthcare through the passage of the University Authority Act approved this spring by the Alabama Legislature. It allows the school's medical branch to join forces with other healthcare facilities around the state - especially in rural Alabama.

Birmingham Restaurants Face Worker Shortage

Birmingham’s food scene wins accolades from the around the country. It seems there’s always a new restaurant to try. But that success has created a new problem. There are not enough people to staff restaurant kitchens. We hear about that from Birmingham Business Journal editor Ty West in this week’s Magic City Marketplace.

Mosquito Control Businesses Expect Boost From Zika

With rising concerns about the Zika virus, mosquitoes have even more of a target on their backs than usual this summer. While the bugs spread the disease, the only cases of Zika in Alabama so far have been related to travel to infected areas. As residents try to protect themselves, one type of business is expecting to do well: mosquito control companies.

Increase of Private Funds for Medical Research Raises Ethical Concerns

Medical research is a notable part of the Birmingham economy and more and more funding for potential breakthroughs is coming from private dollars. That can open up ethical questions. We also talk about a planned technology festival in Birmingham and the effect of new federal overtime rules in this week's Magic City Marketplace.

WBHM’s “On The Line” Talk Show Tackles Uneven Birmingham Revival

Walk around downtown Birmingham and there’s an energy you wouldn’t have felt a few years ago. Residents are moving to new lofts and apartments. Restaurants and retailers are opening. People do yoga at Railroad Park or take in a ballgame at Region’s Field. They’re visible signs of a Birmingham revival. But that revival is uneven. Talk to some in neighborhoods away from Downtown and they’ll say "revival" doesn’t mean much to them. No fancy lofts, just abandoned homes and potholed roads that never seem to be fixed. And all this takes place against the backdrop of Birmingham’s racial history, with investment, by-and-large, coming from whites in a city that’s been majority black for a generation.

Birmingham Revitalization: City Investments at Work in West Birmingham

Birmingham’s western business district is one of the city’s oldest. At one time, a thriving community of working class families surrounded it. A shopping mall anchored the retail center, and businesses, large and small, lined Third Avenue West. Now, it's a different story. The area has been in decline for decades. In 2011, the city Birmingham spent $46 million on the Birmingham Metro CrossPlex sports facility in hopes of giving the area an economic boost.

Birmingham Revitalization: An Alternative Model from Cleveland

When a city neighborhood rebounds, it’s typically a story of investors buying cheap property, building and attracting new residents. That runs the risk of pushing out current residents who are often poor. This week as we explore Birmingham’s revitalization, we have at an example from Cleveland of an alternative model – worker cooperatives.

BJCTA Cancels Bus Service to Fairfield Over Significant Back Payment

Birmingham City Council members want to restore bus service to Fairfield following a vote this week by the Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority to stop service to the area on June 1.