When the pandemic caused business shutdowns and put the brakes on what was an Alabama economy in high gear, the state’s economic development community’s focus went from recruiting jobs to working to save them.

Alabama’s unemployment rate in March 2020 was 2.6%. That shot up to 13.2% in April 2020. In June 2021, it was 3.3%.

“There is no doubt 2020 was a doozy of a year,” Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey told economic developers at the Economic Development Association of Alabama 2021 Summer Conference. “Folks, we’re well on our way to the red-hot economy Alabama was enjoying prior to the pandemic.”

What we learned about Alabama economic development during the pandemic from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

Many economic development entities in the state focused on helping local businesses apply for and receive pandemic assistance. Most went to online support services and used online meeting tools to stay connected.

But while the…

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