Economy

Cindy Crawford: Magic City Marketplace

Historically low interest rates coming out the recession helped fuel a rise in mortgage refinancing which propped up banks and mortgage companies. But that activity is cooling off. We hear about why in this week's Magic City Marketplace.

Cindy Crawford: Magic City Marketplace

We've heard plenty in recent years about more and more people living in downtown Birmingham. While more apartment units are on the way, there's still that lingering question -- when will retail show up. We talk about that in this week's Magic City Marketplace.

John Archibald: The View from Wilcox County

There are portions of Birmingham with significant poverty. But that pales in comparison with what some residents of Wilcox County experience -- arguably the poorest place in Alabama. Alabama Media Group columnist John Archibald traveled there recently and shares his thoughts.

Cindy Crawford: Magic City Marketplace

Alabama has had a weekend to recover from the snowpocalypse, snowmageddon or whatever you want to call it. While the snow caused headaches for families and schools, businesses too had to cope with the chaos. We start with that in this week’s Magic City Marketplace.

Cindy Crawford: Magic City Marketplace

Cites often use incentives to attract businesses or keep businesses from leaving town. But within metro areas millions of dollars are sometimes spent to lure a business just a few miles across a city line. It's a tactic some say is counterproductive. We talk about it in this week's Magic City Marketplace.

Cindy Crawford: Magic City Marketplace

Medicaid spending has been putting more and more pressure on state coffers as medical costs rise and enrollment jumps. But Alabama is in the midst of a Medicaid overhaul that officials hope will make for better outcomes for patients while saving money. We hear more details in this week's Magic City Marketplace.

Cindy Crawford: Magic City Marketplace

At the start of 2014, a new economic and business "scorecard" of cities in the southeast in the Birmingham Business Journal gives a comprehensive picture of where the Magic City stands compared to its peers in the region. Cindy Crawford, Editor of the Birmingham Business Journal, joins WBHM's Scott Hanley for a conversation about what the metrics mean.

Cindy Crawford: Magic City Marketplace

With 2014 just underway it's a good time to look ahead at what's expected to happen in the business world around Alabama. That's how we'll kick off a new year of Magic City Marketplace with Birmingham Business Journal editor Cindy Crawford.

Cindy Crawford: Magic City Marketplace

As this year draws to a close, we're taking a look at the top business stories to watch in 2014. From prominent CEO retirements to new development near Railroad Park, we talk about it in this week's Magic City Marketplace.

Cindy Crawford: Magic City Marketplace

Alabama craft brewers have seen their sales and production rise over the last few years, following in the footsteps of many small-time brewers across the county. While momentum seems to be on their side, there is the question of if it can last? We talk about it in this week's Magic City Marketplace.

Cindy Crawford: Magic City Marketplace

Alabama is one of several states vying for production of Boeing's next generation aircraft, the 777X. Governor Robert Bentley would like to see that work, and the reported $10 billion installation, come to the Huntsville area. Cindy Crawford, Editor of the Birmingham Business Journal, brings us the odds on Boeing in Alabama and more business news in this week's Magic City Marketplace.

Hops for Honeys

Some might open a bottle of wine for Thanksgiving dinner or crack open a cold one for the football game. If that drink is a craft beer, there's a good chance the person enjoying it is a woman. Recent surveys have shown a major driver of Alabama's growing craft beer market is women in their 20's and 30's. As WBHM intern Hollie Parrish reports, one Birmingham group is tapping into this growing interest among female beer drinkers.

Cindy Crawford: Magic City Marketplace

Changes in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act in Washington will not have much impact in Alabama, as Blue Cross will not partake in the extension offer for current health insurance plans. Those stories and more in this week's Magic City Marketplace.

Cindy Crawford: Magic City Marketplace

Birmingham is gaining a reputation as a foodie town with a steady stream of unique and trendy restaurants opening in recent years. But newcomers might not realize it wasn't always the case. We hear about the proliferation of Birmingham's food scene and its economic impact in this afternoon's Magic City Marketplace.

Cindy Crawford: Magic City Marketplace

Company CEOs often attract attention for their eye-popping salaries. While the numbers might not be quite as high in the nonprofit world, leaders of some large charities do take home some decent sized paychecks -- paychecks that in Birmingham are rising. We hear more details in this week's Magic City Marketplace.

Cindy Crawford: Magic City Marketplace

With the holidays approaching and all the food and treats they bring it's easy to pack on the pounds this time of year. That means some will probably be looking to hit the gym or dust off that gym membership. The fitness market is a vibrant one and it's changing as boutique gyms are flexing their muscles. We hear more about that in this week's Magic City Marketplace.

Cindy Crawford: Magic City Marketplace

The Obama administration is working to fix technical glitches that popped up after the roll out earlier this month of the new health exchanges under the Affordable Care Act. Uninsured Alabamians can shop for health insurance on the exchanges. But for those hoping for coverage under an expansion of Medicaid, that's still not on the horizon. We talk about the debate in this week's Magic City Marketplace.

Cindy Crawford: Magic City Marketplace

Payday lenders are often criticized for preying on the poor, trapping them under high interest and fees that balloon their debt. Alabama has the second highest concentration of payday lenders in the country according to the Center for Responsible Lending. So the state is taking new steps to regulate these businesses. But the industry is fighting back. We hear more in this week's Magic City Marketplace.

Cindy Crawford: Magic City Marketplace

Between research funding and student aid, a lot of federal dollars flow through UAB. And even though the government shutdown is almost a week old, officials at the university aren't too concerned. We'll look at why in this week's Magic City Marketplace.

Cindy Crawford: Magic City Marketplace

Starting Tuesday, Alabamians will be able to shop for health insurance on the new health exchanges. It's a key part of the Affordable Care Act and one that would potentially extend coverage to hundreds of thousands of residents without insurance. We talk about the exchange and look at Birmingham's food truck scene in this week’s Magic City Marketplace.

Cindy Crawford: Magic City Marketplace

UAB is still about a month away from firing up its new cyclotron -- the centerpiece of a 30-million dollar renovation of the university's Comprehensive Cancer Center. But UAB officials and others are already calling the machine a game changer. We hear more about that in this week's Magic City Marketplace.

Cindy Crawford: Magic City Marketplace

Birmingham hasn't seen an initial public offering for eight years. But one company has announced plans to move in that direction. There's also an indication we could see more of that kind of activity. We hear about that in this week's Magic City Marketplace.

Cindy Crawford: Magic City Marketplace

A revival of downtown Birmingham does seem to be gaining more momentum as a couple of new high profile deals have been announced in the last few weeks. And while plenty of attention has been given to the effect of a new baseball stadium in the city center, there's more to it. We talk about that in this week's Magic City Marketplace.

Cindy Crawford: Magic City Marketplace

With college football season underway many people will now spend Saturdays in stadiums, in front of TVs or glued to their phones to see how their favorite teams are doing. While college football is practically religion in Alabama, it's also a business. For this Labor Day, it's a football edition of Magic City Marketplace.

Cindy Crawford: Magic City Marketplace

Birmingham may be a hub for healthcare, but the city will also be home to two vacant hospitals in just a few years. Carraway Hospital closed five years ago and has yet to be redeveloped. Trinity Medical Center will relocate in 2016, creating another large, empty property. We talk about prospects for those sites in this week's Magic City Marketplace.

Cindy Crawford: Magic City Marketplace

It’s perhaps one of the more unique buildings in Birmingham’s skyline. And after years on the market the 20-story Thomas Jefferson Tower finally has a buyer. We talk about what’s expected to happen with the property in this week's Magic City Marketplace.

What does Trinity’s move mean for Birmingham’s Eastside?

Construction crews will soon be scurrying about Trinity Medical Center’s new building on Highway 280, preparing for the hospital to move to that location in 2016. Work on the new hospital, recently named Grandview Medical Center, comes after a four-year legal battle. While Trinity officials say the move is long-overdue, some residents of the eastside Birmingham neighborhood the hospital is vacating worry what the change means for their community.

Cindy Crawford: Magic City Marketplace

It can be fun to see how much the boss makes or it may provoke a little envy. For Birmingham’s top executives they saw their compensation rise in 2012 -- up about a fifth over the previous year. We take a look through those numbers in this week's Magic City Marketplace.

Cindy Crawford: Magic City Marketplace

Employers have a bit of a reprieve now that the federal government has delayed a portion of the Affordable Care Act. Even though the mandate requiring certain businesses to provide health insurance won’t take effect until 2015, dealing with the healthcare law still brings numerous questions. We’ll try to answer some of them in this week's Magic City Marketplace.

Cindy Crawford: Magic City Marketplace

The number of public companies in Birmingham has fallen by more than half in the last 15 years. The city could lose another this year if the sale of Colonial Properties to a Memphis firm goes through. It’s not exactly a positive trend for the area economy, but some observers say all is not lost. We take a closer look in this week’s Magic City Marketplace.

Cindy Crawford: Magic City Marketplace

Jefferson County officials crowed when they announced a potential plan to end the county’s bankruptcy earlier this month. But a report in The Wall Street Journal suggests it may not be such a great deal. We talk about that in this week’s Magic City Marketplace.

Cindy Crawford: Magic City Marketplace

There’s no question the housing market is bouncing back from the depths of the recession. That’s certainly true in Birmingham. But that fuels a new concern. Are we in another housing bubble? We talk about that in this week's Magic City Marketplace.