By Megan Crouch
Thank you, Gov. Kay Ivey, President Pro-tem Sen. Greg Reed, and Rep. Bill Poole. There is no more competitive endeavor than economic development. The competition for projects that will create well-paying jobs in all Alabama communities has never been more fierce. Fortunately, we have all the ingredients to be successful. Alabama is enhancing its transportation infrastructure, constantly striving to develop a workforce with skills necessary to succeed in a new economy and maintaining a business climate appealing to a broad spectrum of industrial and business sectors.
A critical component of the economic development process is the prudent use of economic development incentives to compete for those projects necessary for Alabama to continue to grow. The Alabama Jobs Act and the Growing Alabama Tax Credit are the foundation of the state’s economic development efforts, and without these tools, Alabama would be at a distinct disadvantage. The new Jobs act offers a 3% jobs credit on payroll of qualifying new jobs for Alabama residents. However, this jobs credit is increased to 4% for African American and women-owned enterprises as well as small businesses in low-income communities. The additional 1% increase is also available to companies locating in all of Alabama’s rural counties as well as “jumpstart counties”. Jumpstart counties are those that have a demonstrated a population decline over the past five years.
These programs would not be available without the efforts of Ivey and Alabama Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield who recognize the importance of fiscally responsible sustainable incentives to maintain Alabama’s economic momentum. Outstanding legislative leadership was demonstrated by President Pro-tem, Greg Reed, who sponsored the legislation in the Senate, and Representative Bill Poole, who sponsored the legislation in the House.
These incentives will provide a catalyst for efforts to attract high-quality sustainable jobs to all regions of the state. Both rural and urban communities will benefit and the infrastructure that will result from the Growing Alabama Tax Credit will ensure economic success in every region of the state, and that investment will pay benefits for decades to come
The Economic Development Association of Alabama represents Alabama’s economic development professionals. Our members work tirelessly to secure new industries and their associated jobs to the state and support our existing industries in their efforts to increase their investment and expand their workforce. Having the support of the state’s political leadership is a valuable asset and they deeply appreciate the continued support of their efforts.
The pursuit of economic development that positively impacts all of Alabama is a goal that can unite all Alabamians and the efforts of Ivey, Secretary Canfield, Reed and Poole should be commended as we move the sate forward. The future for Alabama’s economy is indeed bright thanks to their efforts.
Megan Crouch is the 2021 President of the Economic Development Association of Alabama