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Birmingham Business Alliance hosts inaugural economic development summit – ‘prepared for opportunities’

The Birmingham Business Alliance held their inaugural Regional Economic Development Summit at the Historic Greyhound Bus Station last week in downtown Birmingham.

The keynote speaker at the Summit was Alabama Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield. Canfield, who is retiring at the end of the year, reflected on the economic growth that catalyzed in the state during his 12 years at the helm of the Alabama Department of Commerce.

Jesslan Wilson, Director of Economic Development at the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham, made a presentation on how communities can get prepared for economic development opportunities.

RELATED: Canfield to step down after 12 years of service, $70 billion in investment for Alabama

Alan Truitt and Bart Turner, Partners at Kazmarek Mowrey Cloud Laseter LLP, gave an update on HB378, the recent brownfield development legislation passed by the Alabama Legislature in June. They emphasized the importance of repurposing underutilized properties to revitalize communities in Jefferson County.

From his vantage as Dean of Economic Development at Jefferson State Community College, Guin Robinson moderated a panel discussion around land and property development — exploring the challenges and opportunities faced by developers. Othell Phillips (JCEIDA), David Fleming (REV Birmingham) and Robert Simon (Corporate Realty) all participated in the panel, discussing strategies to attract investments and drive development in the area.

Jim Searcy is the Executive Director of the Economic Development Association of Alabama (EDAA). Searcy led a panel on incentives. Trey Hill (Bradley), Mike Mouron (Capstone Companies) and Alex Patrick (Birmingham Business Alliance) offered their insights in a discussion that emphasized the importance of well-structured incentive packages to attract businesses and foster growth for the long run.

Bryan Holt, Principal at Southpace Properties, moderated a panel on retail development. The panelists included Robbie Cather (The Stewart/Perry Company), Jamey Flegal (Noon Real Estate) and Kevin Jennings (Noon Real Estate). They shared their insights into the evolving retail landscape in the Southeast.

RELATED: Ammons named Birmingham Business Alliance CEO

Karla Khodanian, BBA’s Chief Communications Officer, delivered the closing remarks, thanking all the people and organizations who made the inaugural event a success.

“We are grateful to all the attendees, speakers, sponsors and supporters who contributed to the success of this event, marking it as a significant step forward in our mission to foster collaboration across the Greater Birmingham Region. We’d also like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to all the speakers who generously shared their expertise and perspectives throughout the day.”

The event was sponsored by BIG Communications, Brasfield & Gorrie, the Jefferson County Economic and Industrial Development Authority (EIDA), Maynard Nexsen, Markstein, Spire, The Barber Companies, BioCryst, Bradley, The University of Alabama, and Mike Mouron.

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