New interest rates, clean air awards + more North Alabama business news

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In local business news, Huntsville recognized the companies that keep the city’s air fresh. (Lacey Spear/Hville Blast)

Local corporations were recognized this month by the City of Huntsville for their efforts to minimize air pollution in the area. Huntsville’s Air Pollution Control Board has given out its Air Pollution Control Achievement Awards since 1997, and the 2023 winners were announced this past week.

In other local business news, median home prices in North Alabama metros increased this past month significantly.

This month’s North Alabama business news roundup also includes insights on federal interest rates from industry experts, thanks to our friends at the University of North Alabama’s Sanders College of Business & Technology.

How interest rates may change in 2024

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UNA professor Dr. Jason Imbrogno gives his insight into federal interest rates in the coming months. (University of North Alabama)

A resounding question in the last year has been whether or not the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates.

This hot business news topic has economists speculating what will happen this coming year, with most assuming rates will lower by the end of 2024.

Professor Dr. Jason Imbrogno from the University of North Alabama’s Sanders College of Business & Technology said he is “90 percent certain” rates will lower, but not before a possible raise.

“Despite what seemingly every business or economics publication is saying or implying, rates are still accommodative by both historical comparisons and normal monetary policy ‘rules,’ like the Taylor rule.” 

Dr. Jason Imbrogno, UNA Sanders College of Business & Technology

Effects on Alabama businesses

Dr. Imbrogno said interest rate fluctuation this year could have an adverse effect on certain businesses here Alabama.

“Businesses that can only operate in 0-interest-rate environments will fail, but they should fail. All we’ve done for 25 years is prop up businesses that shouldn’t exist by handing them free money.”

Dr. Jason Imbrogno, UNA Sanders College of Business & Technology

Imbrogno added that businesses whose standard operations require renewable loans to function on a month-to-month basis aren’t viable.

As well, he said any business with a good product and a solid revenue stream will be fine — and perhaps even better than before rates changed.

Huntsville’s Air Pollution Control Awards

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Huntsville announced its Air Pollution Control Awards this month. (City of HUntsville)

During the 2023 Air Pollution Control Achievement Awards ceremony on Feb. 26, Mayor Tommy Battle and Huntsville’s Department of Natural Resources recognized three companies for their exemplary work in setting a high bar in pollution control and prevention:

  • Sanmina Corporation
  • Vulcan Materials
  • Wiregrass Construction Company

Only those institutional and commercial facilities that go beyond regulatory requirements for reducing and controlling air pollutant emissions are eligible.

Housing market news in North Alabama

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The housing market in Florence is among the most affordable. (Audrey Johnson/Hville Blast)

Also in business news this month, some of the cities in North Alabama saw increases in their median home prices in January, but many areas also saw an increase in number of days homes are staying on the market.

Housing numbers in North Alabama metros for January 2024

HuntsvilleMedian home price: $317,000Median days on the market: 48
MadisonMedian home price: $405,000Median days on the market: 52
AthensMedian home price: $324,500Median days on the market: 60
DecaturMedian home price: $247,500Median days on the market: 64
Florence/Muscle ShoalsMedian home price: $230,800Median days on the market: 23
GuntersvilleMedian Home price: $510,000Median days on the market: 60

Look for our monthly North Alabama business news roundup this time next month, brought to you by the University of North Alabama Sanders College of Business & Technology.

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North Alabama - Sanders College of Business and Technology
Michael Seale
Michael Seale
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