Montgomery Business Journal

Slideshow image

January 2015

IN THE TOP 10

Alabama moved up two spots and now is again in the Top 10 of Site Selection magazine’s 2014 Top State Business Climate Rankings at No. 9. Alabama was No. 11 in 2013 and No. 6 in 2012.

Georgia was ranked No. 1 for the second year in a row. Nine of the top 10 states were in the South with the lone exception No. 5 Ohio.

BIG PLANS FOR KRESS BUILDING

The former Kress Building on Dexter Avenue will have additional floors, 30 residential units and 75,000 square feet of retail space that will include restaurants.

The building is being developed by ELSAJA Properties, which was formed by New York-based MarJam Supply, a building materials company.

STIFEL FINANCIAL ACQUIRES MERCHANT CAPITAL

Stifel Financial Corp. has acquired Montgomery-based Merchant Capital, a regional investment bank firm.

Merchant Capital’s senior leadership has agreed to remain with the new company. “For 27 years, we have dedicated ourselves to the public finance and affordable housing sectors of the economy,” Thomas Ashley Harris, chairman of Merchant Capital, said in a statement. “We are excited to partner with Stifel to continue providing our clients with an extraordinary level of service, experience and commitment to success.”

Stifel Chairman and CEO Ronald J. Kruszewski said in a statement: “This (Merchant Capital) is a high-quality team with a great reputation in the markets they serve.”

PHASE III UNDER WAY

A groundbreaking was held for Phase III of the Alabama Robotics Technology Park near Calhoun Community College in Tanner. Phase III is the $8 million, 50,000-plus square-foot Integration, Entrepreneurial and Paint/Dispense Training Center, which is designed by Montgomery-based Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood.

The Montgomery firm has designed the first two phases: a 60,000-square-foot Robotic Maintenance Training Center and the 43,000-square-foot Advanced Technology Research and Development Center. Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood also provided geotechnical and civil engineering and environmental services.

ATTORNEYS DESCEND ON MONTGOMERY

The law firm of Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C., was host to the eighth annual Legal Conference & Expo at the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa at the Convention Center.

The conference has grown from 400 attorneys in 2007 to 1,900-plus and now generates about a million dollars.

BEST IN THE SOUTHEAST

The Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce Convention & Visitor Bureau was awarded the Southeast Tourism Society’s Shining Example Award for Tourism Office of the Year for tourism offices with budgets more than $2 million.

The Chamber was honored for its work to raise visitor numbers and awareness of Montgomery as a tourism destination.

“This award acknowledges the hard work and worthwhile investment that the City of Montgomery and Montgomery Chamber of Commerce partnership has produced in the past year as visitor numbers and demand for hotel rooms in Montgomery continues to increase,” Mayor Todd Strange said in a statement.

Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia participate in the Southeast Tourism Society. The organization’s members include state travel offices, attractions, lodging properties, resorts, convention and visitor bureaus, chambers of commerce, travel media and other travel-related organizations.

RESHORING GAINS STRENGTH

The number of large manufacturing companies with annual sales of at least $1 billion saw a 20 percent increase in bringing jobs back to the U.S. from China, according to a survey by the Boston Consulting Group.

Sixteen percent of the survey respondents said their companies are already moving jobs back to the U.S. Two years ago, that number was seven percent. In a positive note for future reshoring, there was a 24 percent increase in the number of companies considering moving overseas production back to the U.S.

The top reasons cited for reshoring are better access to skill labor, reducing shipping costs, control over manufacturing, improved quality and yield as well as easier to conduct business, according to Agence France Presse.

CADDELL CONSTRUCTION BUILDING BARRACKS

Montgomery-based Caddell Construction has been awarded two contracts that total more than $100 million. The company has a $66 million contract to build a five-story barracks at Fort Gordon, Ga. The project is expected to be completed in November 2016.

Caddell Construction has also been awarded a $42 million contract for phase 5 of the Pacific Air Force Headquarters at Pearl Harbor, Hickam, Hawaii. It is a joint effort with Nan Inc. and is scheduled to be completed in 2017.

NEW HOME FOR LAMP

The Montgomery County School Board approved the purchase of the former JCPenney building at the old Montgomery Mall and will move Loveless Academic Magnet Program to that site.

Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange hopes that having the high school at the old mall will encourage development in the area. “I am convinced if we can turn the lights on in that part of our community where there has been an economic hole for so long, then it will spur other development up and down the bypass and even down Troy Highway,” Strange told Montgomery Advertiser.

SLOW GROWTH

The state’s economy was projected to grow 1.5 percent last year and add 25,000 to 30,000 jobs.

The Center for Business and Economic Research in the University of Alabama’s Culverhouse College of Commerce wrote that the strongest job growth last year was in transportation equipment manufacturing, health care, leisure and hospitality and administrative support. The retail sector was expected to cut jobs.

Corporate tax receipts were up 4.2 percent; sales tax revenue increased 2.6 percent and overall tax revenues gained 1.3 percent or $117 million. The Education Trust Fund was up 2.1 percent in in the 2014 fiscal year, which is a gain of $120 million. The revenue in the General Fund was up 1.0 percent - $17.1 million.

HYUNDAI SONATA SPORT DECLARED WINNER

The Hyundai Sonata Sport, which is produced at the Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama plant in Montgomery, was declared the winner of the Cars.com/USA Today/MotorWeek Midsize Sedan Challenge.

The Sonata Sport emerged victorious over nine rivals: Subaru Legacy, Mazda6, Volkswagen Passat, Chevrolet Malibu, Ford Fusion, Chrysler 200, Honda Accord, Nissan Altima and Toyota Camry.

BAPTIST EAST EXPANDS

Baptist Medical Center East is adding a $5.5 million wing to expand its women’s services department, including 26 patient rooms and four-bed intensive care step-down unit. Construction was expected to begin in January and be completed by November.

“These rooms will be twice the size of our current postpartum rooms, providing much more room to our new families and their visitors,” Jeff Rains, CEO of Baptist Medical Center East, said in a statement. “They will be appointed with high-quality amenities for comfort of mom and baby.”

SERVISFIRST ACQUIRES BANK

ServisFirst Bank has acquired Metro Bancshares Inc. in a $41.2 million deal. The acquisition gives Birmingham-based ServisFirst three Metro Bank branches in the Atlanta area with a combined $223.5 million in assets and nearly $200 million in deposits.

“This will represent a strategic merger as an entry point into the Atlanta market,” Tom Broughton, president and CEO of ServisFirst Bank, said in a statement.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and the approval of shareholders.

NUMBERS FLY OFF THE CHARTS

Airport passenger totals at Montgomery Regional Airport have been climbing in spectacular fashion.

There have been hefty year-over-year increases for July (19 percent); August (14 percent); September (23 percent) and October (25). The October passenger totals led to the best month since June 2012 and the best October since 2005.

“The last few months are good news not only for Montgomery, but also for our partners,” said Chip Gentry, vice president of Air Service Development for the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce and Montgomery Regional Airport. “A double-digit increase in passenger traffic benefits our concessionaires, rental car agencies and our airline partners.”

Montgomery Regional Airport Executive Director Phil Perry said in a statement, “The continuous growth of Montgomery Regional Airport is a result of our commitment to raise awareness of the importance of using the airport. It is an essential component of economic development throughout the River Region.”

Related Links


Calendar of Events

Essential Elements of Every Small Business Website
Thu, 17 Aug 2017
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

BizTalk MGM Radio Broadcast
Mon, 21 Aug 2017
6:00 PM - 6:30 PM

Eggs & Issues with Congressman Martha Roby
Wed, 23 Aug 2017
7:30 AM - 8:30 AM

Creating an Effective Business Workflow
Thu, 24 Aug 2017
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Business After Hours
Thu, 24 Aug 2017
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

BizTalk MGM Radio Broadcast
Mon, 28 Aug 2017
6:00 PM - 6:30 PM

The Hidden Benefits of Going Green
Thu, 31 Aug 2017
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

BizTalk MGM Radio Broadcast
Mon, 04 Sep 2017
6:00 PM - 6:30 PM

Business 101: Start It Up
Tue, 05 Sep 2017
8:30 AM - 9:30 AM

BizTalk MGM Radio Broadcast
Mon, 11 Sep 2017
6:00 PM - 6:30 PM

Grand Opening-ASK Telemarketing
Tue, 12 Sep 2017
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

How to Create a One-Page Plan of Action to Grow Your Company
Tue, 12 Sep 2017
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

60 Minute Coffee
Wed, 13 Sep 2017
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

Business Credit & Financing Series
Wed, 13 Sep 2017
11:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Experience the Power of Mastermind
Thu, 14 Sep 2017
8:30 AM - 10:30 AM


    41 Commerce Street, P.O. Box 79, Montgomery, Alabama 36101   Tel: 334.834.5200   Fax: 334.265.4745   Sitemap