Behind the Scenes: Economic Development

How does the Birmingham Business Alliance (BBA) help grow the Birmingham region through innovation, technology and business development?

The BBA takes a leadership role in building business growth by implementing an aggressive program for economic development for the seven-county region, which includes Bibb, Blount, Chilton, Jefferson, St. Clair, Shelby and Walker counties. The BBA builds a strategy around “target clusters” making them applicable to elements of the economic development process, including business retention and expansion, workforce development, infrastructure improvements and more. The target clusters are in areas where Birmingham is the strongest and where there is the most potential for growth: automotive; finance and insurance services; information technology and analytical instruments; life sciences; machinery manufacturing; metal manufacturing; aerospace; and chemicals.

Through alliances and partnerships, the BBA is also growing Birmingham’s international presence and generating employment growth, foreign investment and commerce in the Birmingham region through corporate development and trade. Our international programs seek to promote economic growth in the Birmingham region by encouraging and assisting local businesses to expand into international markets.

Innovation and technology thrive in the Birmingham region. The regional innovation ecosystem is supported by major assets such as the University of Alabama at Birmingham, which ranks 10th among public universities in funding from the National Institutes of Health, Southern Research, with seven FDA-approved oncology drugs on the market, and Innovation Depot, the largest and most successful business technology incubator in the Southeast.

Economic development is a process that takes great vision, teamwork and follow-through by many community leaders. As the lead economic development organization for the region, the BBA is making that happen.


Through the work of the BBA, its investors, allies and partner organizations, the Birmingham region has become a hub of creativity, ingenuity and imagination, highlighted by the entrepreneurial spirit, technological advances, innovative startups and new products emerging from our vibrant business community on a daily basis.

“It’s an exciting time to live in Birmingham. Our city center is vibrant and opportunities for growth and prosperity are expanding,” said Craft O’Neal Chairman & CEO of O’Neal Industries. “Our Birmingham Business Alliance is playing a key role in this success. Through its economic development work and collaboration with city and community leaders on a myriad of issues, our region is growing.”

Click here to learn more about the work of the BBA.