Tag Archives: BBA

Birmingham’s misfortune (and how we’re overcoming it)

Rickwood Field--the oldest baseball park in America
Rickwood Field–the oldest baseball park in America

Each year from 2002 to 2008 approximately 100 business and political leaders from Birmingham traveled to cities across the U.S.

The Birmingham Regional Chamber of Commerce BIG trips were designed to discover ideas that were successful in other cities that could be implemented here in Birmingham.

Much was learned, but every year we came home and lamented Birmingham’s stroke of misfortune.

Continue reading Birmingham’s misfortune (and how we’re overcoming it)

Birmingham punished for being in Alabama

Metropolitan Birmingham
Metropolitan Birmingham (Wikipedia)

One of the greatest obstacles to metropolitan Birmingham’s growth is too many competing governments, but that’s not the only deterrent.

Being located in Alabama is also an obstacle.

The Birmingham Business Alliance (BBA) publishes a report that compares key economic figures of metropolitan Birmingham to eleven peer cities.

In my opinion, the most important of these key metrics is job growth.  And metropolitan Birmingham has no more jobs than they had before the recession. Continue reading Birmingham punished for being in Alabama

This number will scare the bejeebies out of you

Birmingham job growthDo you have bejeebies?

If you do, your bejeebies will be obliterated when you see the one  depressing statistic that best describes the economic health of metropolitan Birmingham.

Please note we’re not talking about just the City of Birmingham or Jefferson County.  We’re talking about the Birmingham Hoover Metropolitan area—defined by our seven counties: Bibb, Blount, Chilton, Jefferson, St. Clair, Shelby, and Walker.

So the folks in our suburbs are impacted by this number just as much as our local residents.

What is that statistic?

Continue reading This number will scare the bejeebies out of you

What would Birmingham look like without UAB–Anniston?

UAB To compare Birmingham with no UAB to Anniston is an unfair exaggeration and I apologize to the good citizens of Anniston.  I could have selected any mid-sized city, but I Googled “cities in Alabama” and Anniston came to the top alphabetically.

Visualize Birmingham without UAB.  Exit the Red Mountain Expressway at University Avenue (without UAB–it would be 8th Avenue South) and drive west.

What would we see in place of the 86 square blocks occupied by UAB? Continue reading What would Birmingham look like without UAB–Anniston?

Birmingham’s 50 most influential execs—maybe not?

David SherOn August 30, 2013, The Birmingham Business Journal (BBJ) published a list of Birmingham’s 50 most influential executives.  (Click here to see BBJ list of 50 most influential executives)

The BBJ tried to answer the question, “Who holds the power in the Birmingham business community?”

The list includes the absolute top corporate and political leaders including Birmingham Mayor William Bell and Jefferson County Commission President, David Carrington;  Jay Grinney, President and CEO of HealthSouth, and Grayson Hall, Chairman, President, and CEO of Regions Financial Corporation.  Continue reading Birmingham’s 50 most influential execs—maybe not?

Birmingham powerless again

View of I-20/59 built at ground level
View of I-20/59 built at ground level

Let’s talk about the Alabama Department of Transportation’s controversial plan for expanding and reconfiguring Interstate 20/59 through downtown Birmingham.

My understanding is the plan calls for limited access to our downtown and for the continuation of 20/59 to cut through the heart of our city.

This controversy is a case study on why our metro area is powerless
Continue reading Birmingham powerless again

A challenge for the Birmingham Business Alliance

Johnny Johns, Immediate past Chairman of BBA

Let’s take one incredibly hard issue and prove we can solve it

Giant headline front page,–The Birmingham News February 28, 2012,  “Let’s take one incredibly hard issue and prove we can solve it.”

The article then quotes Johnny Johns, the then  Chairman of the Birmingham Business Alliance (BBA)…

 “Johnny Johns, the Protective Life Corp. Chairman, president and CEO, gave a call of arms of sorts when he said this to 28 political, business and civic leaders who had gathered at The Birmingham News to discuss how to tackle metro Birmingham’s most pressing problems.”

“…So we all stand off and we talk, talk, talk… Continue reading A challenge for the Birmingham Business Alliance

Go home and get your act together!

Senator's Shelby and Sessions are always telling Birmingham to speak with one voice

Our BBA (Chamber of Commerce) takes a trip to Washington every year to visit our Alabama Senators and Congressmen and to lobby for legislation and money.

The BBA prepares a priority agenda and typically a small group of business leaders, politicians, and staff fly to DC to make their request. Continue reading Go home and get your act together!

Convoluted government brings us to our knees

St. Louis and Birmingham surprisingly have a lot in common

 

The year was 2002.  Dave Adkisson, the then Birmingham Chamber of Commerce President, and I were in St. Louis jogging early one morning when we struck up a conversation with a local runner.

He asked where we were from and why we were visiting St. Louis.  We told him we were with a group of about 100 business leaders and politicians from Birmingham who had come to St. Louis to learn about his city’s successes.

His response was one of disbelief.  “Why in the world would anyone think there was anything good to learn about St. Louis?” Continue reading Convoluted government brings us to our knees

How can we have UAB and suck?

 

UAB has an annual  economic impact of  $4.6 billion

When our Chamber of Commerce (BBA) visited Charlotte in 2004, we were greeted by the President of the University of North Carolina Charlotte.

Charlotte’s a city on fire, but the first words out the President’s mouth were, “We don’t have anything like UAB.”

Can you believe a great city like Charlotte is jealous of us? Continue reading How can we have UAB and suck?