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Shinhwa Group will open Auburn operation with $42 million investment

Brandon Moseley

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Tuesday, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey (R) announced that the Shinhwa Group is opening manufacturing operation in Auburn.

“Shinhwa’s decision to invest $42 million and create 95 jobs in Auburn is great news for Alabama,” Governor Ivey said. “Alabama has become an important player in a changing automotive industry, and Shinhwa’s plans to open its first U.S. plant in Auburn is proof of our success.”

Alabama is home to an expanding automotive cluster that produces around 1 million vehicles a year and provides an estimated 40,000 direct jobs at companies within the sector.

“The Shinhwa Group has become a leader in the aluminum die casting industry because of our willingness to overcome technical challenges,” said Kwi-Hyun Lee, CEO of the Shinhwa Group in South Korea. “We are proud to call Auburn our new home and to serve our customers in the U.S.A.”

Initially, Shinhwa will produce drive shafts for Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama in Montgomery and Kia Motor Manufacturing Georgia, just across the state line in West Point. Shinhwa plans to expand its production in Auburn in the future to provide parts for other car manufacturers.

“We will start our U.S. project by introducing a highly automated machining process to be followed in the near future with our die casting lines,” said U.S. Auto Corp. President Duk Keun Oh. “We are grateful for our collaboration with Seohan in Auburn and see great opportunities for our growth in North America.”

Shinhwa was founded in Changwon, South Korea, in 1995. U.S. Auto Corp is their newly founded American subsidiary.

“In the past few months, Auburn has had two major automotive supplier announcements,” economic developer Nicole Jones told the Alabama Political Reporter. “Shinhwa is a leader in the research and development of cutting-edge technologies that serve the automotive industry. The company started in Korea in 1995 and has begun construction on its newest facility in Auburn Technology Park West, set to open in 2020. Shinhwa’s decision to choose the state of Alabama to establish a presence in the US is an important component of the automotive supply chain and a testament to the creation of an environment conducive for business.”

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State Senator Tom Whatley (R-Auburn) said on social media, “Pretty #AUsome ! The policies of growth that we put in place starting nine years ago are still reaping news jobs! New automobile parts maker to open $42M plant in #Auburn.”

State Representative Joe Lovvorn (R-Auburn) said simply, “More jobs in Auburn, Alabama.”

“Shinhwa is a welcome addition to Alabama’s network of high-caliber auto suppliers,” Alabama Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield said. “I’m confident that Shinhwa will realize major benefits from the technical talents of Alabama’s workforce and the state’s business-friendly environment. Working together, I know we can build a solid future.”

The company has begun construction of its new facility in the Auburn Technology Park West, and Phase 1 of the project is expected to be completed in summer 2020.

“Companies like Shinhwa are assets to our community, ensuring that our larger region benefits from the high-tech manufacturing happening here in Auburn,” said Auburn Mayor Ron Anders. “We are grateful for the confidence that the company’s leadership has in Auburn and look forward to the significant economic impact this project will have for our city.”

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Economy

Business Council of Alabama Small Business Exchange on APT tonight

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The Business Council of Alabama (BCA) will present the Small Business Exchange on Alabama Public Television (APT) tonight, Thursday, April 9. This event is designed to help small businesses applying for federal stimulus funding under the new CARES Act.

In partnership with APT, BCA will bring together experts in business, banking, accounting, and law to answer phone calls from Alabama business owners and employers as they grapple with the impact of the coronavirus on the state’s economy. New federal loans are now available for small businesses, but funding is limited in some cases and quick action is required.

The Small Business Exchange program airs tonight on APT from 7-8 p.m. BCA experts will be available to answer questions from 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. tonight. In addition, experts will be available for consultation from 9.a.m. to noon tomorrow, Friday, April 10.


To ask a question or consult with our BCA experts during these times, the phone number is 1-833-BCA4BIZ (1-833-222-4249).

 

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Economy

Manufacture Alabama launches “Ask the Experts” webinar

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Ask the Experts: Employment Law Questions Related to the COVID-19 Pandemic is a new webinar being offered by Manufacture Alabama.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to develop, disrupting the lives of everyone around our state, country, and the globe, employers are left with many questions and Manufacture Alabama wants to answer them.

Manufacture Alabama is the only trade association in the state dedicated exclusively to the competitive, legislative, regulatory, and operational interests and needs of manufacturers and their partner industries and businesses.

Manufacture Alabama has enlisted some of the top labor and employment attorneys in Alabama to bring you the first installment of a web series, ‘Ask the Experts.’ In the first installment, their experts will be answering your questions about implementing the new CARES Act Leave guidelines, and best practices for what to do if you have an employee test positive for COVID-19.

The attorneys will also be covering questions whether they are questions related to OSHA standards, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act or the impact of the CARES Act, or anything else labor or employment-related.

Manufacture Alabama also wants to hear stories of the changes manufacturers have experienced in the workplace as a result of the pandemic, and how businesses have changed day to day operations.

Send your questions and responses regarding these topics to [email protected] and stay tuned.

The webinar will be published Tuesday, April 14.

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Ainsworth unveils website for small businesses seeking information during pandemic

Brandon Moseley

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Alabama Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth unveiled a new web page Monday designed to provide small business owners with a one-stop information hub during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis and forced economic shutdown.

The website is www.atlasalabama.gov.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is already providing small business owners with unprecedented challenges and frustrations, so they should not have to struggle to find the information necessary to survive in the current economic climate,” Ainsworth said. “As new small business programs are announced and revised health orders go into effect, the website will be updated in order to provide the most timely and accurate information possible.”

The website was created by the Alabama Small Business Commission, which Ainsworth chairs. The site provides information related to Small Business Administration loans and assistance, unemployment claims, tax relief programs, and other timely initiatives.

The website is intended to help small businesses remain in compliance with COVID-19 guidelines and protocols. The website also provides links to every state, county, and municipal health order currently being enforced in Alabama.

The Legislature placed the Alabama Small Business Commission under the authority of the Lieutenant Governor’s Office in 2019.

The 22-member commission is tasked with formulating “policies encouraging innovation of small businesses in the state” and advising the Department of Commerce in promoting small businesses within Alabama.

On March 12, the rapidly spreading coronavirus strain, SARS-CoV-2, led President Donald J. Trump (R) to order a forced economic shutdown on March 12. Those original orders have subsequently been strengthened by Gov. Kay Ivey (R), culminating in a statewide shelter in place order on Friday.

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Realizing that with most of their businesses shut down through at least April 30, Congress passed and the President signed the CARES Act, which provides low interest loans to hundreds of thousands of struggling small businesses. If the businesses use the money to make payroll and to pay other business overhead costs the loans will be forgiven.

Currently, there are 2,113 Alabamians with confirmed cases of COVID-19. 64 Alabamians have died and 271 are currently in the hospital. 20 Alabamians have recovered from their illness and been cleared by their doctors. The global pandemic has infected more than 1,441,589 people globally and killed 82,933, including 7,380 people just on Tuesday (1,970 of them were Americans). Gov. Ivey’s shelter in place order is in effect through April 30, but that is likely to be extended.

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Businesses applying for aid can receive proof of existence from secretary of state’s office

Brandon Moseley

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Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill said Monday that federal resources have been made available to support businesses during the coronavirus pandemic to assist with tax relief, employee protection and benefits, loans and grants, and many other challenges that business owners may encounter during the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

Merrill’s office explained that in order to be eligible for this federal aid, some corporations and businesses may be required to prove their existence as part of their application. Certificates of Existence can be obtained through visiting the Alabama Secretary of State’s website.

Business owners can apply online to receive their Certificate of Existence electronically for immediate processing. The non-subscriber fee is $28 and will allow a user to download their copy for up to 15 days.

If you are completing the request for a Certificate of Existence by paper, you may access the application here.

The form must be typed and will not be accepted via email.

Once completed, mail the application, along with the $25 filing fee, to:

Secretary of State’s Business Services Division
P.O. Box 5616,
Montgomery, Alabama 36103

Those who apply online will not receive a mailed copy. Rather, a copy can be downloaded online and then printed out.

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Certificates of Existence are only available for businesses who have previously filed for formation with the Secretary of State’s Office. If you have not yet filed, you are still able to do so through the Secretary of State’s website

This documentation may also be required to process loan applications by lending institutions, banks, credit unions, farm credit, or public accountants.

For questions or more information, contact the Secretary of State’s Business Services Division at (334) 242-7221 or (334) 242-5324.

Thousands of Alabama businesses have been forced to close by orders from the state as well as local health departments. Many businessmen and women are having to make the difficult decision on whether or not to continue to make payroll. The aid under the CARES Act is a lifeline to businesses that the federal government is offering during this unprecedented period of economic crisis.

The forced economic shutdown was deemed necessary by state and federal government authorities in consultation with public health experts in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus strain, SARS-CoV-2, that causes COVID-19. The COVID-19 global pandemic has already killed 12,857 Americans and 82,993 people globally. 1,050,077 people around the globe are still struggling through active cases of the illness, including 395,981 Americans.

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