| Birmingham -- Birmingham is big business and small. But whatever the size of the operation, the marketplace is connected by people who have to grapple with numbers and projections and spin. We try and slice through the psychobabble that can be business news with a weekly discussion of who's up and who's down, why the market reacts a certain way or what a business closing or opening means to you.
| 2014-04-14 -- Few were surprised when Energen announced the company was selling its subsidiary Alagasco. Reports had been flying for months that Energen was looking for a buyer for the utility. Now that a St. Louis firm is picking up Alagasco for $1.6 billion, weâll look at what the sale means for Birmingham. That's in this week's Magic City Marketplace.
| 2014-03-31 -- Law firms around Birmingham have been kind of playing a game of crack the whip in recent years with economic pressures flinging them around. Now that two firms have gone under it's a game of musical chairs to see where everyone will end up. We talk about the state of the legal field around Birmingham in this week's Magic City Marketplace.
| 2014-03-24 -- Last year, Alabama-based political action committees took in more than $6 million from business interests and that was just at the state level. I'âs the type of thing that bothers government transparency types, but the reality is many groups jump into politics by opening their checkbooks. And for Alabama businesses, their contributions to PACs are up. We talk about that in this week's Magic City Marketplace.
| 2014-03-17 -- The last few years have been pretty good for home buyers with interest rates low and housing prices down from their pre-recession highs. But as the economy sputters along there's the question of when the market will tip from buyers to sellers. That's where we start this week's Magic City Marketplace.
| 2014-03-10 -- Birmingham economic development leaders would like to grow the region's burgeoning tech sector. While the city has many ingredients for success, there is concern about one factor in particular â a talent shortage. We hear details about that in this morning's Magic City Marketplace.
| 2014-03-03 -- It's convention wisdom that education is the key to a better job and better economy. But when it comes to that relationship there are some who say Birmingham is not scoring at the top of the class. We explain in this week's Magic City Marketplace.
| 2014-02-24 -- This winter's snow storms around Alabama left motorists stranded, forced kids to spend the night at school and disrupted life for many. Retailers say the weather affected them negatively and now home builders say the snow wasn't good for them either. We hear more details in this morning's Magic City Marketplace.
| 2014-02-17 -- Historically low interest rates coming out the recession helped fuel a rise in mortgage refinancing which propped up banks and mortgage companies. But that activity is cooling off. We hear about why in this week's Magic City Marketplace.
| 2014-02-10 -- We've heard plenty in recent years about more and more people living in downtown Birmingham. While more apartment units are on the way, there's still that lingering question -- when will retail show up. We talk about that in this week's Magic City Marketplace.
| 2014-02-03 -- Alabama has had a weekend to recover from the snowpocalypse, snowmageddon or whatever you want to call it. While the snow caused headaches for families and schools, businesses too had to cope with the chaos. We start with that in this weekâs Magic City Marketplace.
| 2014-01-27 -- Cites often use incentives to attract businesses or keep businesses from leaving town. But within metro areas millions of dollars are sometimes spent to lure a business just a few miles across a city line. It's a tactic some say is counterproductive. We talk about it in this week's Magic City Marketplace.
| 2014-01-20 -- Medicaid spending has been putting more and more pressure on state coffers as medical costs rise and enrollment jumps. But Alabama is in the midst of a Medicaid overhaul that officials hope will make for better outcomes for patients while saving money. We hear more details in this week's Magic City Marketplace.
| 2014-01-13 -- At the start of 2014, a new economic and business "scorecard" of cities in the southeast in the Birmingham Business Journal gives a comprehensive picture of where the Magic City stands compared to its peers in the region. Cindy Crawford, Editor of the Birmingham Business Journal, joins WBHM's Scott Hanley for a conversation about what the metrics mean.
| 2014-01-06 -- With 2014 just underway it's a good time to look ahead at what's expected to happen in the business world around Alabama. That's how we'll kick off a new year of Magic City Marketplace with Birmingham Business Journal editor Cindy Crawford.
| 2013-12-23 -- As this year draws to a close, we're taking a look at the top business stories to watch in 2014. From prominent CEO retirements to new development near Railroad Park, we talk about it in this week's Magic City Marketplace.
| 2013-12-16 -- Alabama craft brewers have seen their sales and production rise over the last few years, following in the footsteps of many small-time brewers across the county. While momentum seems to be on their side, there is the question of if it can last? We talk about it in this week's Magic City Marketplace.
| 2013-12-09 -- Alabama is one of several states vying for production of Boeing's next generation aircraft, the 777X. Governor Robert Bentley would like to see that work, and the reported $10 billion installation, come to the Huntsville area. Cindy Crawford, Editor of the Birmingham Business Journal, brings us the odds on Boeing in Alabama and more business news in this week's Magic City Marketplace.
| 2013-11-25 -- Changes in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act in Washington will not have much impact in Alabama, as Blue Cross will not partake in the extension offer for current health insurance plans. Those stories and more in this week's Magic City Marketplace.
| 2013-11-18 -- Birmingham is gaining a reputation as a foodie town with a steady stream of unique and trendy restaurants opening in recent years. But newcomers might not realize it wasn't always the case. We hear about the proliferation of Birmingham's food scene and its economic impact in this afternoon's Magic City Marketplace.
| 2013-11-11 -- Company CEOs often attract attention for their eye-popping salaries. While the numbers might not be quite as high in the nonprofit world, leaders of some large charities do take home some decent sized paychecks -- paychecks that in Birmingham are rising. We hear more details in this week's Magic City Marketplace.
| 2013-11-04 -- With the holidays approaching and all the food and treats they bring it's easy to pack on the pounds this time of year. That means some will probably be looking to hit the gym or dust off that gym membership. The fitness market is a vibrant one and it's changing as boutique gyms are flexing their muscles. We hear more about that in this week's Magic City Marketplace.
| 2013-10-21 -- The Obama administration is working to fix technical glitches that popped up after the roll out earlier this month of the new health exchanges under the Affordable Care Act. Uninsured Alabamians can shop for health insurance on the exchanges. But for those hoping for coverage under an expansion of Medicaid, that's still not on the horizon. We talk about the debate in this week's Magic City Marketplace.
| 2013-10-14 -- Payday lenders are often criticized for preying on the poor, trapping them under high interest and fees that balloon their debt. Alabama has the second highest concentration of payday lenders in the country according to the Center for Responsible Lending. So the state is taking new steps to regulate these businesses. But the industry is fighting back. We hear more in this week's Magic City Marketplace.
| 2013-10-07 -- Between research funding and student aid, a lot of federal dollars flow through UAB. And even though the government shutdown is almost a week old, officials at the university aren't too concerned. We'll look at why in this week's Magic City Marketplace.
| 2013-09-30 -- Starting Tuesday, Alabamians will be able to shop for health insurance on the new health exchanges. It's a key part of the Affordable Care Act and one that would potentially extend coverage to hundreds of thousands of residents without insurance. We talk about the exchange and look at Birmingham's food truck scene in this weekâs Magic City Marketplace.
| 2013-09-23 -- UAB is still about a month away from firing up its new cyclotron -- the centerpiece of a 30-million dollar renovation of the university's Comprehensive Cancer Center. But UAB officials and others are already calling the machine a game changer. We hear more about that in this week's Magic City Marketplace.
| 2013-09-16 -- Birmingham hasn't seen an initial public offering for eight years. But one company has announced plans to move in that direction. There's also an indication we could see more of that kind of activity. We hear about that in this week's Magic City Marketplace.
| 2013-09-09 -- A revival of downtown Birmingham does seem to be gaining more momentum as a couple of new high profile deals have been announced in the last few weeks. And while plenty of attention has been given to the effect of a new baseball stadium in the city center, there's more to it. We talk about that in this week's Magic City Marketplace.
| 2013-09-02 -- With college football season underway many people will now spend Saturdays in stadiums, in front of TVs or glued to their phones to see how their favorite teams are doing. While college football is practically religion in Alabama, it's also a business. For this Labor Day, it's a football edition of Magic City Marketplace.
| 2013-08-26 -- Birmingham may be a hub for healthcare, but the city will also be home to two vacant hospitals in just a few years. Carraway Hospital closed five years ago and has yet to be redeveloped. Trinity Medical Center will relocate in 2016, creating another large, empty property. We talk about prospects for those sites in this week's Magic City Marketplace.
| 2013-08-19 -- Itâs perhaps one of the more unique buildings in Birminghamâs skyline. And after years on the market the 20-story Thomas Jefferson Tower finally has a buyer. We talk about whatâs expected to happen with the property in this week's Magic City Marketplace.
| 2013-08-12 -- It can be fun to see how much the boss makes or it may provoke a little envy. For Birminghamâs top executives they saw their compensation rise in 2012 -- up about a fifth over the previous year. We take a look through those numbers in this week's Magic City Marketplace.
| 2013-07-15 -- Employers have a bit of a reprieve now that the federal government has delayed a portion of the Affordable Care Act. Even though the mandate requiring certain businesses to provide health insurance wonât take effect until 2015, dealing with the healthcare law still brings numerous questions. Weâll try to answer some of them in this week's Magic City Marketplace.
| 2013-07-01 -- The number of public companies in Birmingham has fallen by more than half in the last 15 years. The city could lose another this year if the sale of Colonial Properties to a Memphis firm goes through. Itâs not exactly a positive trend for the area economy, but some observers say all is not lost. We take a closer look in this weekâs Magic City Marketplace.
| 2013-06-24 -- Jefferson County officials crowed when they announced a potential plan to end the countyâs bankruptcy earlier this month. But a report in The Wall Street Journal suggests it may not be such a great deal. We talk about that in this weekâs Magic City Marketplace.
| 2013-06-17 -- Thereâs no question the housing market is bouncing back from the depths of the recession. Thatâs certainly true in Birmingham. But that fuels a new concern. Are we in another housing bubble? We talk about that in this week's Magic City Marketplace.
| 2013-06-10 -- Birmingham has seen its list of Fortune 500 companies shrink over the last decade. Now the city's list of public companies is shrinking too. A Memphis firm is merging with Birmingham-based Colonial Properties effectively moving that companyâs operation to Tennessee. We talk about what that means in this week's Magic City Marketplace.
| 2013-06-03 -- The Regions Bank of today is a far better place than the Regions Bank of just a few years ago. In 2010 the company was still swimming in bad loans, it had $3.5 billion in federal bailout funds and it faced takeover speculation. The man who led that turnaround is CEO Grayson Hall. We talk about him in this week's Magic City Marketplace.
| 2013-05-27 -- After years of a legal back-and-forth, Trinity Medical Center now has the go-ahead to move from Birminghamâs eastside to an unfinished hospital along Highway 280. The building used to be owned by HealthSouth. Thatâs because the Alabama Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal from competing hospitals earlier this month. We talk about whatâs next in this weekâs Magic City Marketplace.
| 2013-05-27 -- After years of back-and-forth Trinity Medical Center now has the go-ahead to move from Birmingham's east side to an unfinished hospital along Highway 280 in a building that used to be owned by HealthSouth. That's because the Alabama Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal from competing hospitals earlier this month. We talk about what's next in this week's Magic City Marketplace.
| 2013-05-20 -- The last couple of years have been rough for the Riverchase Galleria in Hoover. Vacancies were up. One of the mallâs owners went into bankruptcy. But now officials at Alabamaâs largest indoor shopping center say things are looking up. We hear why in todayâs Magic City Marketplace.
| 2013-05-13 -- As the housing market tries to recover from the recession, one obstacle has been access to credit for first time home buyers. Not surprisingly, lenders are skittish and are denying home purchase applications at a bit higher rate around Birmingham compared to the pre-recession boom. But the denial rate varies widely depending on exactly where you live. We hear more in this week's Magic City Marketplace.
| 2013-04-15 -- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama may be the state's largest private health insurer, but that doesn't mean the company is exempt from financial issues. The insurer's profit dropped by more than half in 2012. We talk about why in this week's Magic City Marketplace.
| 2013-04-08 -- With college tuition costs rising and stubbornly high unemployment educators and the business community are increasingly looking to technical training in high school. Such career education is designed to give students a leg-up in the job market. It's also supposed help keep them in school. We hear details in today's Magic City Marketplace.
| 2013-04-01 -- You might not be aware of it, but thereâs been a boardroom battle recently over one of Birminghamâs largest public companies. Walter Energy has been dealing with an upstart investor attempting a board coup. This investor also wants to sell the company. But now Walter Energy is fighting back. We hear about that in this weekâs Magic City Marketplace.
| 2013-03-18 -- Maybe you're a recent college graduate looking for a job. Or perhaps you were let go. Or just looking for a career reset. In any case it might be helpful to know which sectors are poised for the most job growth. The Birmingham Business Journal crunched the numbers and we have the results in this week's Magic City Marketplace.
| 2013-03-11 -- It's generally understood that a crash in the housing market help usher in the great recession. But now five years later, home lending around Birmingham still hasn't returned to pre-recession levels. We hear more in this week's Magic City Marketplace.
| 2013-03-04 -- Alabama is considered one of the least competitive health insurance markets in the country. And while a number of provisions from the Affordable Care Act kick in next year, most observers donât feel thatâll make much difference. We hear why in this week's Magic City Marketplace.
| 2013-02-25 -- As Congress and President Obama argue over sequestration, the across the board spending cuts scheduled to kick in March first, many business are concerned about their bottom lines should those cuts happen. One Birmingham area company that would be affected is HealthSouth. We talk more about that in this week's Magic City Marketplace.
| 2013-02-18 -- One of the keys to turning up the economy is businesses being able to borrow money to grow. Alabamaâs largest financial institution is launching a new program targeting companies looking to expand. We have details in this weekâs Magic City Marketplace.
| 2013-02-11 -- The new Westin hotel opens this week in downtown Birmingham. Itâs the anchor of an entertainment district at the BJCC set to open this fall. And according to one official there, the new venture is reviving talk of that ever elusive domed stadium. We discuss it in this morningâs Magic City Marketplace.
| 2013-02-04 -- With the new Birmingham Baronâs baseball stadium going in, many expected this year would bring a boost to Birminghamâs city center. And along with Railroad Park and more people living downtown, real estate investors are biting. We hear about it in this morningâs Magic City Marketplace.
| 2013-01-28 -- When a company announces itâs coming to Alabama or a business plans a major expansion, there are often incentives involved. Economic development officials say theyâre essential to attract companies to Alabama. But one state lawmaker wants to cap how much is spend on these incentives. We talk about that in this week's Magic City Marketplace.
| 2013-01-21 -- Birminghamâs 14 public companies saw their stock prices collectively rise only slightly last year. However it seems to be not so much a case of hard times for everybody as much as really hard times for just a few. We have details in this week's Magic City Marketplace.
| 2013-01-14 -- The new Birmingham Barons' ball park has been expected to spur new development around it. With Regions Field still three months away from opening, the list of planned projects is growing quickly. We hear the latest additions to the list in this week's Magic City Marketplace.
| 2013-01-07 -- The last several years have brought uncertainty and frustration as the economy continues to crawl out of the great recession. So with 2013 now underway, itâs a chance to look ahead at what this year may bring for businesses around Alabama. We have that forecast in this week's Magic City Marketplace.
| 2012-12-31 -- Regions Bank had a pretty positive 2012, but it seems the Birmingham-based company will spend some of the next year dealing with a federal probe. At issue is an allegation the bank improperly classified bad loans during the financial crisis. We hear details in today's Magic City Marketplace.
| 2012-12-24 -- Political leaders in Washington continue the hash through a plan to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff, which is a package of tax increases and spending cuts set to take effect at the end of the year. Among those nervously watching the debate are researchers in Birmingham. We talk about why in this week's Magic City Marketplace.
| 2012-12-17 -- Birmingham's Woodlawn neighborhood has been slowly rebounding in recent years and now a multi-million dollar residential community is planned for the area. If the development is successful, it could help stabilize a once vibrant neighborhood. We have more in today's Magic City Marketplace.
| 2012-12-10 -- Trinity Medical Centerâs move from Birminghamâs eastside to the U.S. 280 corridor seems more likely after Trinity won a legal victory last month. And if Trinityâs project does go forward much more development is expected than just a hospital. We talk about it in this weekâs Magic City Marketplace.
| 2012-12-03 -- While residents, businesses and lawyers along the Gulf Coast are still working through the legal fallout from the 2010 BP oil spill, many Birmingham businesses could qualify too for settlement dollars. We hear how in today's Magic City Marketplace.
| 2012-11-19 -- Birmingham weathered the recession better than many other governments due in part to a decision to double business license fees and increase sales tax one percent. Years later, little of that money has been spent as originally intended. We hear more from the Birmingham Business Journal's Cindy Crawford.
| 2012-11-11 -- As Jefferson County's bankruptcy enters year two, we're beginning to see how customers' sewer rates could change. We have details in today's Magic City Marketplace.
| 2012-11-05 -- The Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport may have the word "international" in its title, but you can't fly directly oversees from the city. But a $200 million dollar expansion now underway opens the possibility of nonstop direct international flights. Birmingham Business Journal editor Cindy Crawford explains in this week's Magic City Marketplace.
| 2012-10-29 -- Developers have been eying property around the new Birmingham Baron's baseball park. But some developers say growth there is slow because properties are overpriced. We hear more in today's Magic City Marketplace.
| 2012-10-08 -- Governor Robert Bentley made headlines last week when he announced he wouldn't implement part of President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act. But the governor has actually delayed additional portions of the law. We hear details in today's Magic City Marketplace.
| 2012-10-01 -- State regulators have given the go ahead for two Birmingham hospitals to build freestanding emergency rooms. But how the projects will proceed is unclear. That's because plans call for two nearly identical facilities to be built across from each other in Hoover. We have details in today's Magic City Marketplace.
| 2012-09-24 -- BBVA Compass is one of the area's largest private employers and a bank which can point to some positive movement through the recession. The company's CEO spoke recently to the Birmingham Business Journal and we hear about that conversation in today's Magic City Marketplace.
| 2012-09-17 -- The issue of freestanding emergency rooms in Alabama has been mired in confusion, but a pair of Birmingham area hospitals are forcing the issue before state regulators this week. We find some clarity in today's Magic City Marketplace.
| 2012-09-10 -- As construction on the new baseball park moves along in downtown Birmingham, developers are eyeing the area for new projects. We hear what might be on the way in today's Magic City Marketplace.
| 2012-09-03 -- Milo's Famous Tea is practically iconic in Birmingham, but the restaurants of the same name are moving to drop the drink from their menus. We have details in today's Magic City Marketplace.
| 2012-08-27 -- Many people outside of the healthcare industry probably haven't heard of the certificate of need process. However, the certificate of need board has a powerful hand in what hospitals can and can't do. Some say too much power. We hear more in today's Magic City Marketplace.
| 2012-08-13 -- A recent ruling blocking Trinity Medical Center from moving to the U.S 280 corridor could set a bad precedent according to some industry observers. We hear more in today's Magic City Marketplace.
| 2012-07-30 -- One of Birmingham's oldest skyscrapers appears on its way to becoming a new downtown hotel. We have details in today's Magic City Marketplace.
| 2012-07-23 -- A luxury motorcycle maker is relocating to Birmingham's Lakeview district. We've got details in today's Magic City Marketplace.
| 2012-07-16 -- Students have been racking up debt to pay for college, but Alabama public universities are seeing their debts rise as well. We explain why in today's Magic City Marketplace.
| 2012-07-02 -- While many businesses have struggled through the recession and recovery. That's not the case for gun retailer. We hear about why in this week's Magic City Marketplace.
| 2012-06-25 -- A ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court on President Obama's healthcare law could come this week. But the country's largest health insurer says it'll keep key provisions of the law regardless of how the court rules. We hear what that may mean for Alabama in this week's Magic City Marketplace.
| 2012-06-18 -- A recent study suggests Jefferson County pulls in a similar amount of revenue relative to other large Alabama counties -- even without an occupational tax. We have details in today's Magic City Marketplace.
| 2012-06-11 -- With the Birmingham News cutting back to publishing three days a week this fall, advertisers are looking for new outlets to reach their audiences. We hear more from the Birmingham Business Journal's Cindy Crawford.
| 2012-06-04 -- Alabama Medicaid rolls could swell if the U.S. Supreme Court does not strike down the federal healthcare law. We hear what that might mean for the state in this week's Magic City Marketplace.
| 2012-05-21 -- A Montgomery-based frozen roll maker is moving its operation to the Birmingham area. We hear about that in today's Magic City Marketplace.
| 2012-05-14 -- A new wave of development is underway in Birmingham's Five Points South neighborhood. We hear about it from the Birmingham Business Journal's Cindy Crawford in this week's Magic City Marketplace.
| 2012-05-07 -- The foreclosures piling up on banks' balance sheets are putting attention on Alabama's little used right of redemption law. We hear about that in today's Magic City Marketplace.
| 2012-04-30 -- The business community has been trying to rebuild after last year's killer tornados which ripped through Alabama. The Birmingham Business Journal's Cindy Crawford has a one-year anniversary update in this week's Magic City Marketplace.
| 2012-04-16 -- After years of waning influence, there's a new wind in Birmingham's banking industry. We hear about that in this week's Magic City Marketplace from the Birmingham Business Journal's Cindy Crawford.
| 2012-04-09 -- A giant of Birmingham business and a new upstart are fighting over a proposed rehabilitation hospital in Shelby County. We hear details from the Birmingham Business Journal's Cindy Crawford in Magic City Marketplace.
| 2012-04-02 -- Developers eye properties around Birmingham's new downtown baseball stadium, two new housing developments are on the way and companies spent less on lobbying last year.
| 2012-03-19 -- New data suggests the hospital industry in bouncing back from the recession in a big way. The nine major hospitals in the Birmingham metro area netted more than $154 million during fiscal year 2010. Thatâs more than seven times the amount they netted the previous year.
| 2012-03-05 -- A Birmingham construction company jumps into the lucrative health care sector and there may be a lot more graduates to fill Alabama's tech jobs.
| 2012-02-27 -- A new analysis shows that despite banking mergers and acquisitions, Birmingham is still among the top 10 largest banking centers in the country.
| 2012-02-13 -- A high profile music venue changes its name, a downtown office tower is for sale and an update of venture capital investment in Alabama
| 2012-02-06 -- A bill to block non-user sewer fees, more homes bought with cash and a poor yer for Birmingham's publicly traded companies.
| 2012-01-30 -- The business effects of January's tornado, government and business headaches from Alabama's immigration law and the state's new economic development plan
| 2012-01-23 -- Regions sells its brokerage unit, Sterne Agee gets into banking and a look at county health inspections
| 2012-01-09 -- The Birmingham Business Alliance considers forming a PAC, Regions sells bad loans and a positive jobs survey
| 2012-01-02 -- An economic preview of 2012