Alabama business roundup: Headlines from across state – 10/18/16 edition

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Who’s purchased the low-income housing tax credit portion of Sterling Financial? Where’s there a funding boost for tech startups in the Yellowhammer State? Which gourmet hot dog chain is eyeing the state for its newest location?

Answers to the these questions and more in today’s Alabama business roundup.

Alabama News Center: Funding wave boosts Birmingham tech startup scene

Entrepreneurs and innovators are getting noticed for their work in Birmingham, attracting millions of dollars in new investment for their technology-based startups.

Recent months have brought at least three major funding announcements involving local firms:

  • On-demand grocery delivery service Shipt announced during the summer that it had secured $20.1 million in Series A funding.
  • Fleetio raised $750,000 from private investors, the fleet management software firm said earlier this month.
  • Swell Fundraising, a software company that serves nonprofits, in August announced $500,000 in angel investor funding.

Meanwhile, Daxko, a veteran of Birmingham’s tech scene, recently announced that San Francisco-based private equity firm GI Partners has acquired a majority stake in the company that will further accelerate its growth. Daxko provides software for health and wellness organizations.

All the funding activity shows Birmingham has the right ingredients to fuel a thriving technology landscape and more growth is on the horizon, said Kathleen Hamrick, director of the UAB iLab at the downtown business incubator Innovation Depot.

“The components people need to live, work, play and collaborate are here, in Birmingham,” she said. “That said, it’s exciting, but not all that surprising that we’re now seeing increased support for startups — evidenced by activity such as that of the recent funding rounds seen with Fleetio, Swell Fundraising, Shipt and Daxko.”

Read more here. Regions Bank buys low-income housing tax credit portion of Sterling Financial

Regions Bank has purchased a portion of First Sterling Financial that manages low income-housing tax credits.

First Sterling, based in Great Neck, New York, was founded in 1979 and deals in syndication, asset and portfolio management of Affordable housing investments. Regions has acquired the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) corporate fund syndication and asset management businesses.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Regions has a long history of supporting affordable housing developments that benefit communities through direct investment in Low Income Housing Tax Credits,” John Turner, head of Regions’ Corporate Banking Group, said in a statement. “The addition of First Sterling’s industry-leading syndication and asset management capabilities will allow us to grow non-interest revenue and offer clients additional solutions to meet the affordable housing needs of more communities.”

Sterling has raised more than $1.9 billion in investor equity through both proprietary and multi-investor funds. It has been used to develop more than 700 properties in 45 states and Puerto Rico.

Birmingham Business Journal: Hot dog chain eyes expansion into Alabama

A fast-growing chain of gourmet hot dog restaurants is planning to add 300 stores over the next 12 years, and Alabama is one of the states on its radar.

Pasadena, Calif.-based Dog Haus has inked a deal with American Development Partners that will result in hundreds of new restaurants for the chain, which currently has 21 stores open in the Western U.S. The deal is valued at more than $500 million.

The company hasn’t disclosed which markets in Alabama it would target for franchises.

American Development Partners will aid in the development of new locations, and facilitate the acquisition of land and oversee construction of this deal’s over 300 new franchise locations.

Dog Haus specializes in gourmet hot dogs, sausage and burgers. Polaris to host grand opening this fall for new Alabama vehicle plant

Polaris will finally unveil its new Center of Manufacturing Excellence months after starting vehicle production in Huntsville-annexed Limestone County.

The Minnesota company will host a grand opening at 10 a.m. Nov. 1 on 7049 Greenbrier Parkway N.W. The location, which has a Madison address, spans 910,000 square feet on 505 acres and will serve at least 1,700 workers at full capacity.

The powersports leader announced it began making Polaris RANGER vehicles and Slingshots this summer at the plant, which handles assembly, chassis and body painting, welding, fabrication and injection molding. In addition to a multi-shift manufacturing hub, the campus has a research and development (R&D) center and distribution warehouse.

Polaris spokeswoman Marlys Knutson said the facility has about 450 workers.

AIDT, the state’s workforce development agency, is seeking welders, painters and assembly operators for the Polaris site. Some roles require applicants to complete AIDT pre-employment training to be considered.

The starting wages, which will increase after three and nine months of employment, are as follows:

  • Welders ($14.25)
  • Painters ($14.25)
  • Assembly Operators ($12.75)

Click here for more information.

A Polaris worker was taken to UAB Hospital a week ago for burn injuries he sustained while on the job in Huntsville. Polaris, which said it is investigating, has not released details about the cause of the incident.


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