Business leaders in Montgomery are feeling strongly optimistic about growth in the third quarter 2021 Alabama Business Confidence Index (ABCI) survey. Montgomery had the highest metro ABCI with a strongly confident 70.6 this quarter, up 9.6 points from Q2 2021. Montgomery’s ABCI has been moderately or strongly positive since it registered at a neutral 51.0 in Q3 2020, as the country was first navigating the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, more than a year later, panelists are expressing strongly confident expectations for improved conditions for all six of the component indexes, with three of the six registering above 73 for the Q3 2021 survey.
Montgomery Attractions Appear in Multiple National Publications
Montgomery had high visibility among potential travelers recently, highlighting everything from the city’s robust dining scene to the under-construction Montgomery Whitewater center. These headlines are part of the Chamber’s public relations strategy to elevate Montgomery’s profile as a must-visit destination and bolster the tourism economy.
- Preserving the Past – USA Today Summer Travel Issue: The Legacy Museum and National Memorial to Peace and Justice and the Civil Rights Memorial and Museum were featured in this look at how museums around the country are telling the difficult truth of our nation’s history.
- Eat Like a Local in Montgomery, Alabama – Garden & Gun: Chef Eric Rivera of Vintage Year and Vintage Café recommends where to dine in Alabama’s booming capital in this piece penned by local writer Jennifer Kornegay.
- Writers’ Homes You Can Visit – House Beautiful: The Scott & Zelda Fitzgerald Museum graces the pages of this venerable home décor and design periodical along with the Hemingway House, and the Anne Frank House, among others.
- The Best Places to Learn to Whitewater Kayak - Outside Magazine: News of the groundbreaking of the world class Montgomery Whitewater opens this kayaking guide, and its inclusion is evidence of the growing popularity of what will soon be a signature Montgomery sport.
Governor Ivey Signs Legislation that will Boost Tech and Innovation Growth for Montgomery
On July 29, Governor Kay Ivey welcomed the Alabama Innovation Commission (AIC) to the Alabama State Capitol to celebrate the signing of legislation that will elevate entrepreneurship and drive innovation in the state. House Bills 192, 540 and 609, championed by the AIC, Representative Bill Poole and Senator Greg Reed and supported by Montgomery’s local delegation, create incentives and matching grant opportunities for entrepreneurs and startups to locate and grow in Alabama.
Montgomery’s tech and innovation community is represented on the AIC by Charisse Stokes, Executive Director of the Chamber’s TechMGM Initiative. “Montgomery’s efforts to cultivate and grow the tech and innovation community will be directly enhanced by this legislation, particularly companies that seek to do business with our DoD partners at Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base, BESPIN and the Montgomery TechLab,” said Stokes. “This kind of collaboration with our partners in State government makes Montgomery a highly competitive destination for companies and individuals looking to start-up, scale or relocate for growth and success.”
Col. (Ret) Lori Rasmussen Joins Chamber as Director of Military and External Affairs
The Chamber has named Col. (Ret) Lori Rasmussen as Director of Military and External Affairs. Rasmussen most recently served as the Air National Guard Advisor to the Commander and President of Air University and brings a wide range of skills and experience from her 25-year Air Force career. At the Chamber, Rasmussen will work directly with the area’s military partners to help ensure the retention and growth of military missions.
Chamber CEO featured on Business Alabama Podcast
Business Alabama recently featured Chamber CEO Anna Buckalew on its new podcast where she spoke about a variety of topics ranging from embracing Montgomery’s past to touting the city’s future—specifically, its economic future. “There’s so much to talk about in terms of momentum in Montgomery,” she said. “And it’s in areas that people haven’t often thought of Montgomery, particularly in tech and innovation. We’re starting to gain a lot of traction with the rest of the world recognizing that Montgomery, Alabama, has its own very unique blend of opportunities and amenities.” Buckalew also discussed Montgomery capitalizing on its river, and she shared her favorite podcasts and TV series. Listen to the entire podcast at businessalabama.com.
Chamber’s TechMGM Opens Entrepreneurial Learning and Innovation Lab
On August 30, the Chamber opened the doors to a new state-of-the-art innovation facility called The Lab on Dexter on historic Dexter Avenue downtown. The Lab provides a collaborative learning environment for entrepreneurs to create a sustainable social and tech innovation ecosystem on one of America’s most historically significant streets and features small business suites and co-working spaces for lease, collaboration and tech and entrepreneurial training space. The Chamber’s TechMGM initiative partnered with the City of Montgomery, Montgomery County, Alabama Power and the Montgomery TechLab to develop a long-lasting tech and innovation culture and is using the Lab as a key piece of the strategy to establish Montgomery’s position as a center of innovation, entrepreneurship and excellence for our nation’s defense. A weeklong celebration focused on developing underrepresented talent and companies followed the grand opening.