Top Headlines: Mazda-Toyota plant developments, Bham BizHub now available

Production plan switches to SUVs at new auto plant
Mazda and Toyota broke ground on their joint-venture plant in Alabama last November. At the time, it was believed that the plant would initially produce the current-generation Toyota Corolla, eventually growing to include an as-yet unnamed Mazda crossover. Now, those plans have changed. Toyota announced on Wednesday that it will replace the Corolla’s spot in its new Alabama JV with a “new, yet-to-be announced SUV.” The automaker offered no additional details about the SUV or where it would land in the automaker’s lineup. – CNET

Ivey says model switch will delay opening of car plant
The opening of the Toyota side of a new Mazda-Toyota plant in Huntsville will be delayed by Toyota’s decision to change the vehicle built there, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said Wednesday. But the ultimate impact will be good, Ivey said, because of what Toyota will now be building. Toyota said Wednesday it will build a new entry-level SUV at the plant. “It’s so new they ain’t got a name for it yet,” Ivey told the Huntsville-Madison County Chamber of Commerce at a luncheon. –

Entrepreneurial tool Bham BizHub now available
A new tool for Birmingham’s rising start-up culture and entrepreneurial community is now available. The Bham BizHub is a project of the Birmingham Business Alliance, Alabama Capital Network and UAB. The website, now in beta testing, was developed to help entrepreneurs and small business owners find their way to assistance through local resources. –

Alabama ranks 37th in Top States for Business poll
To rank CNBC’s 2019 America’s Top States for Business, we put all 50 states through a rigorous test and graded them based on more than 60 measures of competitiveness in 10 broad categories. Each category is weighted according to how frequently states use them as a selling point in economic development marketing materials. That way, our study ranks the states based on the attributes they use to sell themselves. – CNBC

New downtown grocery may be a tipping point in Mobile’s transformation
To members of Mobile’s Greer family, a new downtown grocery market represents the passing of the torch as members of its fifth generation put their stamp on the family business. To some significant onlookers, it represents a tipping point in the transformation of the city’s resurrected downtown. –

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Daleville rehires Wiregrass Economic Development Corp.
An Alabama city has entered into a new contract with an economic development recruitment team. Daleville city leaders recently approved the contract with Wiregrass Economic Development Corporation. The city and the group will map out the economic needs of the area. Mayor Jayme Stayton says he felt like he wasn’t seeing enough growth in the city. Wiregrass was a previous developer for the city and Stayton decided to rehire them. – AP

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