New and expanding: At 25, Infomedia moves downtown, adds employees

Birmingham-based full-service web company Infomedia Inc. has moved its headquarters downtown.

The company, which supports over 600 websites and turns 25 this year, marked its quarter-century with a move last month from Vestavia Hills to 2717 Third Avenue South in Birmingham’s design district near Pepper Place. Infomedia is also adding four jobs this year in areas ranging from web developer to videographer to strategist.

Additionally, Infomedia has moved its spinoff marketing company, Uptick Marketing, which it acquired in 2014, into the same space as its parent company, consolidating 26 employees into the new 5,000-square-foot space.

New law will allow companies to better utilize Birmingham’s IDB

Governor Kay Ivey recently signed into law legislation that will encourage economic and industrial development within the region and will result in the creation of jobs.

HB 396, sponsored by Representative Rod Scott of the Jefferson County delegation, allows Birmingham’s Industrial Development Board (IDB) to charge a small administrative fee to companies applying for tax abatements – on a rolling scale and determined by capital investment of the project.

Small business lifeblood of Birmingham’s economy, Dolphin says

Tené Dolphin’s daily focus is making Birmingham a small business-centered city.

Dolphin, the deputy director for business diversity and opportunity at the City of Birmingham, spoke last week at the Birmingham Business Alliance (BBA)’s Birmingham Regional Enterprise Council (BREC), comprised of mostly small business owners, about the ongoing work the City is doing to back small businesses.

Tech companies could get boost with Alabama Incentives Modernization Act

Legislation that will aid in the recruitment of tech companies to urban areas in Alabama has been signed into law by Governor Kay Ivey.

HB 540, also known as the Alabama Incentives Modernization Act (AIMA), was strongly supported by the Birmingham Business Alliance (BBA). The legislation was introduced by Representative Bill Poole (R-Tuscaloosa) and is an update of the Alabama Jobs Act and the Growing Alabama Act Income Tax Credit, both of which were set to expire soon.

Best practices: Central Six AlabamaWorks! launches IT apprenticeship program with major national grant

As Birmingham’s need for information technology (IT) talent grows, Central Six AlabamaWorks! is launching the first officially registered consortium-style software development apprenticeship program in the state this week, thanks to $150,000 in funding from the Harry and Jeannette Weinberg Foundation. Central Six is a provider of workforce services for the Birmingham region.

May 30 BREC to focus on Birmingham’s small business efforts

Birmingham’s thirst and energy to develop and support small businesses is what drew Tené Dolphin to the city after 30 years in Washington, D.C.

But there is still work to be done, she said.

Dolphin, the deputy director for business diversity and opportunity at the City of Birmingham, will speak to the Birmingham Regional Enterprise Council (BREC), comprised of mostly small business owners, at 11:30 a.m. on May 30 at the Birmingham Business Alliance (BBA) about the ongoing work her office is doing to back small businesses.

Numerous bills in Legislature could affect state's quality of life

If you know Birmingham, you know it’s a first-rate place to live, work and play.  At the Birmingham Business Alliance (BBA), our chief goal is to enhance the quality of life for all citizens of the Birmingham seven-county region, and that includes doing so through the public policy arena. Here are some bills that the BBA is watching that pertain to quality of life and, if enacted, will enhance our economic development and talent attraction efforts.

New and expanding: Performance Architectural moving headquarters downtown by end of year, adding 30 jobs

Pelham-based Performance Architectural said it plans to move its headquarters to Birmingham’s Avondale neighborhood by the end of 2019.

The exterior façade manufacturer and material supplier leased a total of 83,000 square feet of space at the former Continental Gin Co. headquarters in Avondale, now owned by Ram Tool Construction Supply Co. Performance Architectural is currently using the downtown space for its manufacturing facility and its Pelham location for its headquarters, but by the end of the year all of the company’s operations will be downtown, said CEO Shaun Jourdan, who said the company has outgrown its current space and had more building inventory in Avondale.

BBA economic development priority legislation signed into law by Governor Ivey

The Birmingham Business Alliance (BBA) and the Alabama economic development community scored a win last Friday when Governor Kay Ivey signed HB 289 into law as Act 2019-52, permanently exempting individuals acting as economic development professionals from lobbyists’ requirements unless (or until) they seek incentives through state legislative action. Proponents of the bill have long argued that classifying such professionals as lobbyists would result in disclosures that could place the state's economic development opportunities at risk.

McLeod Software Opens new HQ in Hoover

McLeod Software opened its national headquarters in Hoover Tuesday, an investment of approximately $21 million dollars.

The transportation and logistics software company’s headquarters is located in Meadow Brook Corporate Park and houses its 388 current Alabama employees, with room for growth.

McLeod projects employment in Hoover to grow to 700 by 2022. The company is the largest employer of software developers in the Birmingham-Hoover metro area.

Innovation and technology: Conserv cofounders bring tech to art ecosystem

Austin Senseman and Nathan McMinn, cofounders of Birmingham tech startup Conserv, have ambitious goals for their business.

In five years, they’d like Conserv, which sells sensors and software to preservationists to monitor and manage objects, to be worth $100 million and be the default for conservation professionals at museums, galleries, libraries and the like.

Best practices: MBUSI hopes to secure highly skilled workforce with new certificate program

Mercedes-Benz U.S. International (MBUSI) is continuing its role as an innovator in the workforce development space.

Already home to a two-part apprenticeship program, this fall MBUSI, in partnership with Lawson State Community College, will launch the new Mercedes Tech Certificate Program as MBUSI continually looks to find ways to fill its workforce pipeline. Lawson State, with campuses in Birmingham and Bessemer, is the most recent community college MBUSI has partnered with.

Birmingham’s Incysus receives FDA clearance, is expanding team

It has been a busy month for Birmingham-based Incysus, which announced recently it received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to test its brain cancer therapy in humans.

This announcement came after the company’s presentation at the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting, where the company’s cofounder and chief scientific officer Dr. Lawrence Lamb presented new data on the company’s drug-resistant immunotherapy research that showed its brain cancer therapy works in animals.