Coronavirus Live Updates from NPR

Economy

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.

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?