Alabama's Black Belt region has recently been allocated $250,000 dollars by a financial organization to aid small businesses. Trufund Financial Services is a certified community development institution with offices in Birmingham, New York and Louisiana. It provides small businesses with credit and capital. The website for more information is www.trufund.org
The jury is still out on the health risks involved with electronic cigarettes, but their popularity is unquestioned. Diane Beeson is the Director of Statewide Tobacco Control for the Alabama Department of Public Health. She said e-cigarette sales are expected to reach one billion dollars this year. While the Alabama Department of Public Health doesn't have an official position on the product, she said many in the medical community have concerns. Beeson said policy-makers are already banning the product from public places, just to be on the safe side. Beeson said the FDA plans on publishing proposed regulations for electronic cigarettes in October.
The state agriculture commissioner says Alabama's farmers are in line to have the same six percent growth in income that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has forecast for farmers nationwide this year. Commissioner John McMillan said Alabama's largest farm product, poultry, is nine percent ahead of 2012 levels.