Top Headlines: Companies vying for prison contract, Businesses shift to PPE production

Two companies remain in governor’s opaque prison-building process
The list of companies vying for the state’s $900 million contract to build three large prisons is down to two. Gov. Kay Ivey this week announced a two-week extension of the deadline for submitting responses to the state’s request for proposals. In that announcement, two companies were listed: Alabama Prison Transformation Partners and CoreCivic. In November, four developer teams qualified to receive the request for proposals. First, GEO Group, a private prison company based in Florida, dropped out of the proposal process. Now, New Jersey-based Corvias is out. – WBRC

Alabama businesses shifting production to help with PPE shortage
The HomTex guarantee is, “Quality that lasts and comfort that enhances life.” After 33 years, the family-owned textile manufacturer in Cullman County is now creating a product they hope can save lives. “It became quite evident that we had the ability to produce a product people needed,” said Jeremy Wootten, President and CFO, HomTex. “We had to totally reorient the way we cut, the way we sew, the way we pack… We re-figured our facility here and went into production Monday.” They’ve gone from luxury linens to filtered face masks. – WBRC

Perhaps not surprisingly, liquor sales up 22 percent with pandemic
The coronavirus pandemic has led to Americans buying more booze. Market research company Nielsen said U.S. alcohol sales were up 22% during the last week of March compared to the same time in 2019. What are people buying? Within the spirits category, Nielsen says premixed, ready-to-drink cocktails and Tequila are seeing the largest sales growth compared to this time last year. – AL NewsNet

Alabama among top states where people now need loans
A new survey shows Alabama among the nation’s leading states where people need loans due to the economic toll from the coronavirus pandemic. WalletHub, which offers credit and financial information, ranked Alabama fourth among states where people need loans the most because of COVID-19 measures. –

Trucking company finds way to clean trucks so they keep rolling
Every day, hundreds of truck drivers climb into their cabs and prepare for the long haul across the country. They’re now some of the most essential workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 outbreak, carrying masks, ventilators, and stocks of food to places like hospitals and grocery stores. – AL NewsNet

- Sponsor -

First lawsuits related to COVID-19 hit system in Alabama
Earlier this week, two Alabama businesses sued their insurers for refusing to pay losses related to COVID-19. The first lawsuit, Wagner Shoes v. Auto-Owners Insurance Co., No. 7:20-cv-465 (N.D. Ala. Apr. 6, 2020), was brought by a shoe store in Tuscaloosa. The second suit, Ollie Irene v. Farmers Insurance Exchange, No. 01-CV-2020-901319 (Jefferson County Cir. Court April 7, 2020), was filed by nationally recognized Mountain Brook restaurant, Ollie Irene. – JDSupra

Tom Pollman of Pollman’s Bake Shop dies
Pollman’s Bake Shop in Mobile shared the news of Tom Pollman’s death via Facebook Thursday morning. The post reads that Tom was taken to a hospital late Wednesday night with a heart condition and doctors were not able to save him. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the post says they will not have a funeral or a service any time soon but will send out an update for all of his friends and family. Pollman’s is an iconic bakery on the Gulf Coast. – WKRG

The latest Alabama business news delivered to your inbox