By KATIE BOYD BRITT
Alabama has a proud history of fostering innovation and inspiring great ideas that have transformed how we live, work and do business. From the Saturn V rocket that took us to the moon to Shipt’s grocery delivery app that has now become a household name.
Through the leadership of Representative Bill Poole and Senator Greg Reed during this past session, the legislature passed the Alabama Incentives Modernization (AIM) Act, a transformative piece of legislation that primes Alabama for success by ensuring that entrepreneurs and technology-based companies have the tools they need to flourish in our state.
Simply put, the AIM Act is a game-changer.
It expands Alabama’s economic development efforts by investing in tech-based jobs and removing barriers for companies that want to grow in the state. It accomplishes this by focusing on rural development, tech job recruitment and opportunity zone enhancement.
Most importantly, it serves as a launching point for prioritizing the workforce of the next generation.
Huntsville’s success as an aerospace and biotech hub continues to generate entrepreneurial and tech growth in the North Alabama region. In Mobile, the Innovation PortAL serves as a launchpad for growing startups and connecting them to the resources and funding they need to succeed. Tuscaloosa’s state-of-the art incubator, The EDGE, supports West Alabama’s entrepreneurial community through professional development opportunities and local pitch competitions. And in Birmingham, we’ve seen smart, effective initiatives that have put Alabama on the map for growing companies, high-profile exits and emerging tech companies from San Francisco to Atlanta that are relocating their headquarters to Alabama.
With exciting momentum in all corners of our state, along with advancements in technology, infrastructure and workforce development, there’s never been a better time to connect all of these efforts at the state level so that we are all working together to move Alabama forward.
To accomplish this, we must ensure that the technology community has a seat at the table in policy and economic development discussions. Many states have already developed initiatives that have created vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystems and impressive startup ventures that are making an impact in local economies. As Alabama competes with other states in attracting businesses and other economic development opportunities, we have an incredible opportunity to invest in the future of our state by supporting our startup community.
This new way of approaching economic growth will take collaboration, forward-thinking ideas and shared creative resources from all of us to fuel cutting-edge ideas and change.
At the Business Council of Alabama, we are committed to creating a pro-business climate that gives our state a competitive edge to grow the global economy. By prioritizing the startup and technology sector, I’m confident that Alabama will continue its strong tradition of fostering innovation and becoming a premier destination for businesses of all shapes and sizes to call home.
Katie Boyd Britt is the president and CEO of the Business Council of Alabama.