Top Headlines: Ivey: ‘I will not shut down businesses,’ Blue Cross Blue Shield is the state’s largest health insurance provider

Ivey: ‘I will not shut down businesses’
Gov. Kay Ivey tweeted on Wednesday that she will not shut down businesses in Alabama amid a continued breakout of COVID-19. The governor’s tweet came after the Business Council of Alabama announced its Keep Alabama Open initiative. – Twitter

More than 70,000 Alabama companies received PPP loans
In Alabama, 70,331 companies have received Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, including 52 in the $5-$10 million range and 256 in the $2-$5 million range, according to a list released by the Small Business Administration.  – ABC 33/40

America’s Thrift Stores location in Opelika will be among region’s largest
A new America’s Thrift Stores location in Opelika will be one of the largest in the Southeast. The 32,000-square-foot facility is celebrating its grand-opening weekend through Sunday. America’s Thrift Stores is headquartered in Birmingham and has 22 stores. – Opelika Observer

And the largest health insurance provider in Alabama is …
It’s no surprise, but Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama is the state’s largest medical insurance provider. That’s according to a list from ValuePenguin, which listed the top provider in each state. – Becker’s ASC Review

Encompass buys land for Florida hospital
Birmingham-based Encompass Health purchased 8 acres for a new rehabilitation hospital in the Southside Quarter area of Jacksonville, Florida. The company – which had said it would be opening a 50-bed hospital in the area – paid $5.2 million for the property. – Jacksonville Daily Record

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Carnival cancels more Mobile cruises
Carnival Cruise Lines on Wednesday extended its suspension of cruises from Mobile through February. Cruises around the country were suspended, with some ports’ embarkations canceled through January and others, including Mobile and New Orleans, canceled through February. – Carnival

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