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November 2020 Group Watch: News & Views from the State House

Fall weather is finally here in Alabama, and along with that pleasant development comes other good “climate” news: national recognition praising Alabama’s business-friendly environment, plus a bevy of positive economic development wins for the state.
  • Golden Boy Foods Expanding AL Manufacturing Operations: Golden Boy Foods plans to invest more than $13 million in an expansion project at its production facility in Troy, creating 67 full-time jobs. To expand peanut butter production, Golden Boy will modify its existing Alabama manufacturing facility and occupy a 170,000 square-foot building being constructed by the City of Troy’s Industrial Development Board and leased on a long-term basis to the company. The growth will essentially double the company’s industrial footprint in Pike County, where it has operated since 2011. Golden Boy Foods is one of the largest manufacturers of private label and contracted manufactured nut butter in North America.
  • Alabama Business Climate High in “Site Selection” Rankings: The state’s business climate ranked near the top of the states in a comprehensive analysis released by “Site Selection,” a national publication that focuses on economic development. In the magazine’s 2020 analysis, Alabama ranked No. 7, tied with Arizona, and up two spots from the previous year. Georgia and North Carolina share the top spot, followed by Ohio, Texas and South Carolina. Ranking behind Alabama in the Top 10 were Kentucky and Tennessee. Workforce skills were the most important criteria to site selectors for the fifth consecutive year, with workforce development programs at No.2. Transportation infrastructure, ease of permitting and regulatory procedures, and state and local taxes complete the top five topics considered.
  • Lowe’s Plans $61 Million Distribution Hub: Lowe’s Home Improvement announced plans to construct a 1.2-million-square-foot distribution facility in Jefferson County, creating 150 jobs as part of a $61 million project. According to the Birmingham Business Alliance, the facility will be located in Bessemer on 98 acres of property currently owned by U.S. Steel. North Carolina-based Lowe’s will contract with developer Clayco to construct and lease back the facility, which will house bulk items for distribution like refrigerators and water heaters and will provide stock space for 112 stores throughout the Southeastern region. The bulk distribution facility will allow Lowe’s to provide quicker deliveries to customers across Alabama and the Southeast and will allow for next-day deliveries for a larger range of products housed within the facility.
  • Amazon Expands AL Footprint In Metro Birmingham: Amazon Logistics announced plans to open two new delivery stations in the Birmingham metro area, creating hundreds of jobs and speeding up deliveries for the internet retailer’s customers in the region. One of the delivery stations will be located at Birmingham’s long vacant Century Plaza Mall, and the other station will open at Lakeshore Parkway and Alabama 150 in Bessemer, where other significant distribution and logistics projects have recently landed. According to Amazon, the delivery stations will create hundreds of full and part-time jobs, paying at least $15 per hour, in addition to hundreds of driver opportunities for Amazon’s Delivery Service Partners and Amazon Flex drivers.

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