By Joseph M. Morgan
MONTGOMERY, Ala.— Alabama Sen. Phil Williams was recently awarded the prestigious Business Champion Award from the Business Council of Alabama (BCA) and the Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama. The Business Champion Award recognizes legislators for their support of policies that better Alabama’s business climate and the lives of employees, families, and citizens.
Williams, a Republican who represents portions of DeKalb, Cherokee, Etowah, and Chambers Counties, received the honor in recognition of his commitment to improving Alabama’s economic development and industrial recruitment.
“It is an honor to be named a Business Champion by the Business Council of Alabama and the Chamber of Commerce Association,” Williams said. “I will continue to work hard to recruit new jobs to Alabama, while also staying focused on giving strong support to our existing businesses, all the way from Goodyear to the local, family-owned small businesses that are the backbone of our economy in northeast Alabama.”
Williams has sponsored or co-sponsored numerous bills in the Alabama Senate to create jobs, recruit industry, encourage business expansion, and promote and protect small businesses in Northeast Alabama and throughout the state.
BCA President and CEO William J. Canary presented the award to Williams at Back Forty Beer Company in Gadsden.
“Senator Williams has been unrelenting in his commitment to providing a positive environment for job creation,” Canary said. “In carrying two critical job-creation bills, the Alabama Jobs Act and the Alabama Reinvestment and Abatements Act, in the Senate, he helped ensure that Alabama will stay current in its recruitment and retention of jobs for large and small businesses.”
The Alabama Jobs Act, described as the most significant overhaul of Alabama economic development since Mercedes-Benz came to Alabama, provides tax credits to qualifying projects by the Governor upon the recommendation of the Department of Commerce. The first is a jobs credit in the amount of up to 3 percent of the previous year’s annual wages of eligible employees. The second is a capital investment credit in the amount of up to 1.5 percent of qualified annual capital investment. Each credit is available for up to the first 10 years of a project.
The second bill for which Canary commended Williams for ushering through the Senate, the Alabama Reinvestment and Abatements Act, promotes capital investment and job growth by expanding the list of projects that qualify for sales, property and mortgage recording tax abatements and enhancing the incentives. Williams is a staunch supporter of working to reduce the tax burdens placed on businesses and industry , create jobs in the business sector and create economic growth
Joining Canary for the presentation were Jeremy Arthur, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama, Jason Wilson, owner of Back Forty Beer Company and BCA board member, and other members of the BCA Regional Advisory Committee 8.