Top Headlines: Coronavirus shutdown effects, UA removes Confederate plaques

Tax data continues to show effect of coronavirus shutdown
The Alabama Retail Association says that sales tax revenue in the first four months of 2020 is actually slightly ahead of where it was a year ago, even with the coronavirus pandemic bringing a halt to large portions of retail activity. The association said that through April, with recent state collections through sales tax and Internet sales, revenue was actually up by a sliver, .21 percent. –

Greg Barker new head of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama
Greg Barker has been named president of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama. Most recently Alabama Power executive vice president of Customer Services, Barker is a veteran leader in economic development with more than 35 years of experience leading recruitment, expansion and innovation efforts in the Southeast. – AL NewsCenter

University of Alabama removes Confederate plaques from campus
The University of Alabama System’s Board of Trustees has approved the removal of three plaques honoring Confederates from prominent locations on the Quad and main library of the University of Alabama campus in Tuscaloosa. The system also said it has appointed a group of trustees to review and study the names of buildings on all UA System campuses to determine whether they should be renamed. – AL Political Reporter

Mobile County establishes fund for small businesses affected by COVID-19
Mobile County, on Monday, became the latest government entity to establish a fund assisting small businesses, and the first county to do so in Alabama. Relief programs have been set up by city governments in Mobile, Montgomery and Tuscaloosa. Mobile County’s commitment is $500,000 and is coming from a budget dedicated for industrial development authority funding. –

Hot dog franchise expanding into Birmingham area
A fast food franchise founded in Atlanta is expanding to two locations in Alabama later this summer. Franchise owner Charles Wright plans to open the Original Hot Dog Factory in Center Point and Anniston, in July and August, respectively. –

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