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Top News Links: Wednesday, June 7

Ivey focusing on building economy, not re-election

When it comes to economic statistics, things couldn't be any rosier for new Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey as she continues mulling a possible run for the office in 2018. Unemployment is at its lowest level since before the recession nine years ago. The state is touting 2 million wage and salaried people employed, another first since 2008. – AL.com

Area Development gives Alabama a Silver Shovel

Area Development, an economic developed-focused publication, awarded Alabama a Silver Shovel for solid business recruitment and support in 2016, keeping alive a winning streak stretching back a decade. Area Development’s Gold and Silver Awards recognize the overall economic development effectiveness of state economic development efforts. Alabama has won one of the awards each year since 2006, when it won a Gold Shovel. – Made In Alabama

GATR Technologies aiming to double workforce in Huntsville

Cubic‘s mission solutions organization is working to expand its GATR Technologies satellite communications business with the construction of a 63,000-square-foot facility in Huntsville, ExecutiveBiz reported Thursday. The company said the future facility serves to consolidate GATR’s production, operations, engineering, business development and administrative units into one location even as it aims to double its workforce. – GovConWire

Hubbell Power to expand Leeds facilities

Hubbell Power Systems said it plans to expand its two facilities in Leeds in an effort to better accommodate customer demand. Hubbell manufactures a wide variety of transmission, distribution, substation, OEM and telecommunications products used by utilities and operates its Connectors and Switching and Fusing business units out of two facilities in Leeds. Hubbell has operated in Leeds since 1995 and employs nearly 400 people. – News release

Bryant Bank opens in Orange Beach

Bryant Bank has officially expanded its financial services into Orange Beach in Baldwin County. “It is an honor and a privilege to offer the bank’s unbeatable service to residents of the Pleasure Island community.  I invite residents to come by our Grand Opening Fish Fry on Tuesday, June 13 from 12 - 4 pm to learn more about how Bryant Bankers can help lead them to legendary results,” said Greg Strachan, Bryant Bank’s Baldwin County Market President. – News release

Ivey signs trio of pro-business bills into law

Governor Kay Ivey recently signed into law Senate Bill 316, House Bill 242 and House Bill 390. All three bills, improve Alabama’s business climate by reducing regulation and by making it easier for small businesses to operate in the state. Senate Bill 316 protects small businesses which are licensed in one municipality or county from being forced to buy a license in a second location just to make deliveries to that area. House Bill 242 clarifies the state’s workers’ compensation law and makes it easier for small businesses to comply with the law. House Bill 390 protects franchise parent companies from lawsuits initiated against the organization’s franchisees, thereby allowing for the expansion of franchise opportunities in Alabama. – ANN

New fiber-only network announced for Northwest Alabama

Tombigbee Communications, a subsidiary of Tombigbee Electric Cooperative, has announced the groundbreaking of freedom FIBER, a service which will provide ultra-high-performance fiber optic internet services across Northwest Alabama. The fiber-only network will promote connectivity and increase quality of life through affordable access to ultra-high-speed broadband internet and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services. – News release

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