Montgomery Business Journal

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March 2015

AIRPORT FIGURES SIZZLE

Passenger totals at the Montgomery Regional Airport finished an incredible year with another incredible month. Last December’s enplanements – passengers leaving from Montgomery – were up 8.3 percent over December 2013. Total passengers for Dec. 2014 was 6.2 percent more than the same period in 2013.

For the year, enplanements increased 4.3 percent vs. 2013 and the number of total passengers gained 4.7 percent over 2013.

In another positive sign, total air carrier operations were up a whopping 20.6 percent in Dec. 2014 vs.
Dec. 2013 and 9.2 percent for year.

CONSTRUCTED CONTRACT AWARDED

Russell Construction of Alabama was awarded a contract to build a 44,000-square-foot facility for PowerSouth Energy Cooperative in Andalusia, it was reported by the Montgomery Advertiser. The contract is for $18.2 million.

NEW TAX INCENTIVE TOOLKIT

Details are still being worked on the state’s new incentive package, but it is being redesigned to be more competitive with other states. The Accelerate Alabama Jobs Incentive Package is a series of six bills.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley’s proposals to the state Legislature will include tax credits for creating jobs and capital investment, according to The Associated Press. Another likely proposal will be tax credits for new industries in rural counties.

NEW ALLEY TENANT

Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches has announced plans to open at The Alley in downtown Montgomery. The sandwich shop will be at the former site of The Deli at Alley Station and Bistro B.

The restaurant, which also has a location on Carter Hill Road, plans on staying open late on the weekends. Jimmy John’s offers delivery service and catering.

MARRIOTT IN PRATTVILLE RANKED FOURTH

Four of the top five Marriott or Renaissance hotels for golf satisfaction were located on the Robert Trent Jones Trail. The Marriott in Prattville at Capitol Hill was ranked fourth.

The top sites were Renaissance Ross Bridge Golf Resort & Spa (No. 1); Auburn/Opelika Marriott Hotel and Conference Center at Grand National (No. 2) and Grand Hotel Marriott Resort in Point Clear (No. 5).

“From making reservations to greeting guests to making sure bunkers and greens are pristine, our team goes above and beyond to make our visitors happy,” John Cannon, president of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, said in a statement. “We want our hotel guests and others to have a great experience when playing our courses.”

MAYORAL RACE

On the same day that former U.S. Rep. Artur Davis announced he was running for mayor of Montgomery via YouTube, incumbent Mayor Todd Strange answered that he was seeking re-election during his annual State of the City address.

Before Strange spoke, Montgomery County Commission Chairman Elton N. Dean Sr. gave his State of the County address. He said twice “if it’s not broke don’t fix it.” He also said the following: “I hope that my partner will announce to us that he will give us four more years of his service.”

Strange began his address with “talk about pressure.” He asked, “How do you walk away from what’s been started?”

On February 16, Montgomery County Commission Vice Chairman Dan Harris announced he is running for mayor.

The mayoral race is Aug. 25.

FEEDING THE HUNGRY

The state’s agriculture and forestry sectors sponsored a food drive during Gov. Robert Bentley’s inauguration.

“Agriculture is Alabama’s No. 1 industry, generating $70.4 billion in economic impact and providing almost 600,000 jobs,” Alabama Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries John McMillan said in a statement. “Unfortunately, some Alabamians don’t get to experience that bounty as often as they should. We’re happy to partner with the Montgomery Area Food Bank to help reduce hunger in our state.”

One out of three children and nearly 20 percent of the adults in the food bank’s area live in poverty. The Montgomery Area Food Bank provides 20 million pounds of food yearly to 35 counties.

The following companies sponsored the food drive: Alabama Ag Credit, Alabama Agribusiness Council, Alabama Cattlemen’s Association, Alabama Farm Credit, Alabama Farmers Cooperative, Alabama Farmers Federation, Alabama Forestry Association, Alabama Grocers Association, Alabama Nursery and Landscape Association, Alabama Poultry and Egg Association, First South Farm Credit and the Department of Agriculture and Industries.

SALES STILL GROWING

Hyundai has forecast 2015 worldwide sales will increase 1.8 percent to nearly 5.1 million vehicles. If you add sister company Kia, which is part of the Hyundai Motor Group, the Korean automaker expects sales will grow 2.5 percent this year. A Hyundai official did acknowledge concerns about losing market share.

Growth should pick up next year when a new factory in China will begin manufacturing vehicles. The Hyundai Motor Group also announced a four-year, $73.6 billion investment plan for additional manufacturing plants, research and a new headquarters.

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