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Alabama invests $30M in SEEDS Act to enhance 8,400 acres for economic growth

This ambitious initiative marks a new chapter in Alabama’s economic development.

Alabama Department of Commerce
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Governor Kay Ivey announced a significant leap forward in Alabama’s economic development strategy with the unveiling of a $30 million grant allocation under the Site Evaluation and Economic Development Strategy Act (SEEDS). This funding is a cornerstone of the Governor’s “Game Plan” and aims to accelerate the preparation of industry-ready sites across the state, responding to the competitive national landscape where states are aggressively expanding their site development programs.

The SEEDS initiative is dispersing $30.1 million in grants, which will be complemented by $38.4 million from local sources, targeting the enhancement of 29 industrial sites that span approximately 8,400 acres. Governor Ivey remarked, “SEEDS represents an important tool that will allow us to keep winning those economic development projects that trigger lasting impacts for Alabama citizens,” underscoring the program’s strategic significance.

Today, SIDA approved a series of grants, including 14 site assessment grants totaling $1.1 million for environmental and geo-tech surveys in communities like Ashland and Montgomery, and 15 development grants amounting to $29 million aimed at infrastructure, land purchase, and site grading in areas including Jasper and Mobile.

Ellen McNair, Secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce, highlighted the urgency of the initiative, saying, “We’ve been very successful in economic development during Governor Kay’s tenure — so successful, in fact, that we find ourselves with a shortage of fully developed sites.”

The SEEDS Act’s implementation, facilitated by the EDPA and GLS, signifies a proactive step toward enhancing Alabama’s industrial competitiveness. Cedric Colbert from GLS noted, “By enabling proactive site improvements that will minimize risk to future investment projects, these SEEDS Act grants will directly improve Alabama’s ability to compete for economic development projects on a national scale.”

State Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Reed and House Speaker Nathaniel Ledbetter echoed the sentiment that the SEEDS Act is vital for Alabama’s economic future. Reed emphasized, “Alabama is the best place in the country to develop and grow a business,” while Ledbetter pointed out the Act’s role in ensuring Alabama has the necessary tools to compete effectively on the national stage.

This ambitious initiative marks a new chapter in Alabama’s economic development, promising to fortify the state’s industrial infrastructure and enhance its allure to significant economic development projects, ensuring a prosperous future for communities across the state.

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Bill Britt is editor-in-chief at the Alabama Political Reporter and host of The Voice of Alabama Politics. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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