Gov. Ivey announces “Game Plan” package aimed at creating jobs

Published 9:04 am Tuesday, April 4, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

At an event in Montgomery on Monday, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey announced her new “Game Plan,” a proposed package of four economic development bills aimed at strengthening the state’s competitiveness for job-creating projects.

In 2022, companies made $10.1 billion in capital investments in Alabama, which is a new annual record. The Game Plan, which includes four bills that are outlined as “plays,” is vital to ensuring Alabama’s economic stability amid an uncertain future, according to Ivey.

“The Game Plan will position Alabama for a new era of vigorous growth, allowing us to continue our record-breaking economic development success, while providing new levels of support for the state’s innovation economy,” Ivey said. “This package will benefit all Alabamians, those living in both urban centers and rural areas, and ensure our citizens are ready for high-paying careers.”

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

This economic package, or “Game Plan,” is being introduced during the Alabama Legislature’s current session. The first bill, or “Play 1,” is called the Enhancing Alabama’s Economic Progress Act. This bill renews the Alabama Jobs Act and the Growing Alabama program – which were both set to expire in July – and extends those programs through 2028, while also “adding strategic enhancements to increase their effectiveness.”

The bill will see the incentives cap increased by $25 million annually to $375 million and makes renewable energy projects eligible under the Jobs Act. It also increases funding for site development to $35 million to encourage development of new shovel-ready sites amid a shortage.

Play 2 is called the Site Evaluation and Economic Development Strategy Act, or SEEDS Act. The SEEDS Act allows the State Industrial Development Authority (SIDA) to facilitate the development of industry-ready sites through grants. It also expands SIDA’s role in the preparation of industrial sites to accelerate their creation.

Play 3 is the Innovation and Small Business Act. This bill establishes the Alabama Small Business Credit, which creates $25 million in tax credits for tech businesses and other innovate businesses in Alabama. It increases accessibility to the SBIR/STTR grant program as a way to encourage out-of-state companies to move to Alabama, as well.

Play 4 is the Transparency in Incentives Act. This bill amends the Jobs Act to require the Alabama Department of Commerce (ADOC) to publish certain incentives project information to its public website. For each incentivized project, ADOC will publish the name of the company, the estimated capital investment, the number of jobs being created, an estimated hourly wage and the estimated value of the incentives and the project’s location. Additionally, ADOC will disclose the value of any cash incentive extended to a project and will publish the projected 10-20 year return on incentives to the state. Aggregated performance data on all incentivized projects will also be made available.

“The Game Plan represents the state’s next-generation strategic economic development framework, designed to future-proof Alabama’s economy and provide a blueprint for growth that lifts families and communities across the state,” ADOC Secretary Greg Canfield said. “It will keep us competitive for high-impact projects as our neighboring states are aggressively escalating their economic development efforts.”