Montgomery Business Journal

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Summer 2016


The top-ranked high school in Alabama is the Montgomery Public Schools’ Loveless Academic Magnet Program High (LAMP), according to U.S. News and World Report. The school district also could boast about having the state’s No. 2 high school – Booker T. Washington Magnet High.

A third school – Brewbaker Technology Magnet High School – was ranked 13th in the state, which means that one-third of Montgomery Public Schools’ high schools were ranked among the top 15 best high schools in Alabama.

A total of 110 Alabama schools were on the list. U.S. News and World Report considered nearly 29,000 high schools. LAMP was ranked 34th nationally.


Travelers to Montgomery County last year spent a combined $777 million, or about $2.1 million a day, according to a report conducted for the Alabama Tourism Department.

The travelers – 25-plus million – spent $12.6 billion in the state last year – a 7.7 percent increase from 2014.

“The dollars spent on tourism creates jobs, it grows local economies and generates needed tax revenues,” State Tourism Director Lee Sentell said in a statement. “Travel spending in Alabama has increased by 86 percent over the previous 13 years.”

Think about this: Without those travel-related dollars, each household would pay an additional $424 in taxes, according to Keivan Deravi, dean of the Auburn University at Montgomery College of Public Policy & Justice and an economics professor, who compiled the report.


Montgomery County ranked third for the most new and future jobs announced in 2015, according to the state’s Commerce Department. Limestone County was tops last year with 2,618 new and future jobs, with Jefferson County second at 2,464 jobs. Montgomery County was third at 1,268 new and future jobs announced in 2015.

The overall total for Alabama was 19,262 jobs and capital investment of $7.1 billion, which doubled the 2014 total.


The third annual Raycom Media Camellia Bowl will be 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17 at Cramton Bowl in Montgomery. Yes, the Camellia Bowl is already in its third year.

The game, which drew 20,000-plus fans last year, features teams from the Mid-American Conference and Sun Belt Conference. It will be televised on ESPN.

“We are excited to announce that we will again be kicking off on the opening weekend of bowl season,” Raycom Media Camellia Bowl Executive Director Johnny Williams said in a statement. “We received a lot of positive feedback from both local and visiting fans regarding last year’s game date and time so we are happy to secure the same television slot.”


Montgomery’s population gained 536 people from July 1, 2014 to July 1, 2015, according to estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The state’s metro areas gained 14,754 during that time span for a 0.4 percent increase while the non-metro areas had a population decline of 0.2 percent (2,186 people). The largest metro gains were Huntsville (4,028 people) and Daphne-Fairhope-Foley (3,996).

“What these numbers tell us is that more people are moving in than moving out in half of the state’s metro areas,” Viktoria Riiman, a socioeconomic analyst for The University of Alabama Culverhouse College of Commerce’s Center for Business and Economic Research, said in a statement. “We also see that births outnumber deaths in most metro areas.”


The group that bought the Bishop-Parker furniture store in downtown Montgomery plans to build a four-story hotel on that property. The 80,000-square-foot building was purchased by Ascent Hospitality from Georgia. Terms of the deal were not announced.

Bishop-Parker will relocate its warehouse. The purchase will not affect the company’s store on East South Boulevard.


Jim Wilson & Associates agreed to match funds up to $20,000 a year for five years for both Park Crossing High School and James W. Wilson Elementary School, which is located at the company’s New Park development. Both schools have already received $20,000.


There are 20-plus incubators and accelerators in the state and now those facilities are profiled on Just click the incubators tab and you’ll learn about the Montgomery Chamber Business Resource Center, which has an incubator at 600 S. Court St.

Incubators and accelerators not only help companies get started, but also nurture them during the critical early developmental stages.


The Capitol Inn is expected to be demolished and the owner is asking a reported $1.4 million for the property in the Cottage Hill area. Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange told the Montgomery Advertiser there is an interested buyer.


About 150 acres were scheduled to be auctioned off of Harness Hill Road, including an equestrian center, offices and living quarters.

The property will be sold in eight parcels. One of the parcels is 6.4 acres with a house and another is 39 acres with woods and pasture. A 27-acre parcel includes offices, the equestrian center, living quarters and suites.

“We might have one bidder purchase the entire 151 acres, but it wouldn’t surprise me if we had as many as eight buyers because the parcels offer very different possibilities,” Jack Granger, president of Granger, Thagard Auctions, said in a statement.

There are adjacent subdivisions to the property along Vaughn and Bell roads.


The City of Montgomery hopes to cut its energy bill and save thousands of dollars in an agreement with Cenergistic. Actually the city has already saved $50,000 during the first six months of the start-up period at such facilities as City Hall, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery Zoo, library branches and Riverwalk Stadium.

Combined energy costs at those facilities were about $3 million a year and the energy conservation program is projected to save $2.9 million in five years while cutting energy costs by more than 20 percent.

There are no up-front costs for the city as Cenergistic implements its energy-saving program and receives half of the savings from the city.

“At the end of the day, this program will eliminate waste and continue building on our objectives of being excellent stewards of taxpayer resources and protecting our environment,” Strange said in a statement. “It just makes good business sense to find new ways to optimize and improve our energy use.”


ServisFirst Bancshares Inc. is joining some very select company as one of only 18 banking institutions out of almost 400 considered for the list of KBW Bank Honor Roll of superior performers.

To qualify for the honor list, banks with $500-plus million in total assets must meet the following requirements:

No annual loss reported in net income per share before extraordinary items over the past 10 years.

2015 annual reported net income per share before extraordinary items equal to or greater than peak net income per share over the past 10 years.

Consecutive increases in net income per share before extraordinary items since 2009.


If you go inside the Barnes & Noble bookstore at Troy University’s Montgomery campus you will find Starbucks. That’s right – Starbucks is being served in downtown Montgomery. The hours are 7:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday; and 7 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

There is a separate entrance for Starbucks.


The largest law firm in the state – by number of attorneys – has shortened its name from Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP to Bradley. Bradley has an office at the RSA Dexter Avenue Building. The firm has eight offices and 500 attorneys.


The Alabama Power Foundation has awarded $10,000 grants to 21 pre-K programs across the state, including Montgomery Public Schools’ McKee Pre-K Center.

“Early-childhood education lays the foundation for lifelong learning and success,” Myla Calhoun, vice president of charitable giving for Alabama Power, said in a statement. “Children who have access to high-quality pre-K programs are better prepared for elementary school, high school and, ultimately, the workforce. This is an investment in our state’s future that we can’t afford to overlook.”


Baptist Medical Center East received the prestigious 2016 Women’s Choice Award as one of America’s Best Hospitals for Obstetrics. The award criteria included female patient satisfaction, clinical excellence and what women say they want from a hospital.

“Considering that women account for and ultimately make 90 or more percent of the health care decisions for their family, being a hospital of choice women trust is commendable,” Baptist Medical Center East CEO Jeff Rains said in a statement. “Being treated with the proper level of care impacts health, well-being and healing.”

The 400-plus award winners ranked above the national average for patient safety.


The Southeast Alabama Gas District gave $13,000 to Wiregrass Economic Development Corp., a week after donating $19,000-plus to Enterprise City Schools for a computer learning lab for teachers.

The money for the Wiregrass Economic Development Corp. will assist in recruiting businesses and industries to the area.

“At the end of the day, it’s all about jobs,” Wiley Lott, director of external affairs and economic development for SEAGD, said in a statement. 

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