Information for the city of Birmingham
Birmingham is the largest city in Alabama. The city is the county seat of Jefferson County. The city's population was 212,237 according to the 2010 United States Census. The Birmingham Hoover Metropolitan Statistical Area had a population of about 1,128,047 according to the 2010 Census, which is approximately one quarter of Alabama's population.Birmingham was founded in 1871, during the post Civil War Reconstruction period, through the merger of three pre existing farm towns, notably, former Elyton. It grew from there, annexing many more of its smaller neighbors, into an industrial and railroad transportation center with a focus on mining, the iron and steel industry, and railroading.
Birmingham was named for Birmingham, England, United Kingdom; one of the UK's major industrial cities. Many, if not most, of the original settlers who founded Birmingham were of English ancestry. In one writer's view, the city was planned as a place where cheap, non unionized, and African American labor from rural Alabama could be employed in the city's steel mills and blast furnaces, giving it a competitive advantage over industrial cities in the Midwest and Northeast.From its founding through the end of the 1960s, Birmingham was a primary industrial center of the South. The pace of Birmingham's growth during the period from 1881 through 1920 earned its nicknames The Magic City and The Pittsburgh of the South. Much like Pittsburgh, Birmingham's major industries were iron and steel production, plus a major component of the railroading industry, where rails and railroad cars were both manufactured in Birmingham. In the field of railroading, the two primary hubs of railroading in the Deep South were nearby Atlanta and Birmingham, beginning in the 1860s and continuing through to the present day. The economy diversified during the later half of the twentieth century. Though the manufacturing industry maintains a strong presence in Birmingham, other businesses and industries such as banking, telecommunications, transportation, electrical power transmission, medical care, college education, and insurance have risen in stature. Mining in the Birmingham area is no longer a major industry with the exception of coal mining.
Birmingham ranks as one of the most important business centers in the Southeastern United States and is also one of the largest banking centers in the United States. In addition, the Birmingham area serves as headquarters to one Fortune 500 company: Regions Financial, along with five other Fortune 1000 companies.In higher education, Birmingham has been the location of the University of Alabama School of Medicine (formerly the Medical College of Alabama) and the University of Alabama School of Dentistry since 1947. Since that time it has also obtained a campus of the University of Alabama, University of Alabama at Birmingham (founded circa 1969), one of three main campuses of the University of Alabama System. It is also home of the private Birmingham Southern College. Between these two universities and Sam University, the Birmingham area has major colleges of medicine, dentistry, optometry, pharmacy, law, engineering, and nursing. Birmingham is home to three of the state's five law schools: Cumberland School of Law, Birmingham School of Law, and Miles Law School. Birmingham is also the headquarters of the Conference, one of the major U.S. collegiate athletic conferencesFrom Birmingham's early days onward, the steel industry has always played a crucial role in the local economy.
Though the steel industry no longer has the same prominence it once held in Birmingham, steel production and processing continue to play a key role in the economy. Steel products manufacturers . In recent years, local steel companies have announced about $100 million worth of investment in expansions and new plants in and around the city. Vulcan Company, a major provider of crushed stone, sand, and gravel used in construction, is also based in Birmingham.In the 1970s and 1980s, Birmingham's economy was transformed by investments in bio technology and medical research at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and its adjacent hospital. The UAB Hospital is a Level I trauma center providing health care and breakthrough medical research. UAB is now the area's largest employer and the second largest in Alabama with a workforce of about 18,750 as of 2011.
As of 2009, the finance & banking sector in Birmingham employed 1,870 financial managers, 1,530 loan officers, 680 securities commodities and financial services sales agents, 380 financial analysts, 310 financial examiners, 220 credit analysts, and 130 loan counselors. City Center in downtownThe telephone company that is now owned by ., which was formerly and before that , which had its headquarters in Birmingham, has a major nexus in Birmingham, supported by a skyscraper downtown as well as several large operational center buildings and a data center.The insurance companieshave their headquarters in Birmingham, and these employ a large number of people in Greater Birmingham.Birmingham is also a powerhouse of construction and engineering companies,each with more than $500 million in sales per year, are located in Birmingham. The Birmingham metropolitan area has consistently been rated as one of America's best places to work and earn a living based on the area's competitive salary rates and relatively low living expenses. One study published in 2006 by Salary.com determined that Birmingham was second in the nation for building personal net worth, based on local salary rates, living expenses, and unemployment rates.A 2006 study by web site bizjournals.com calculated Birmingham's ""combined personal income"" (the sum of all money earned by all residents of an area in a year) at $48.1 billion.Birmingham's sales tax, which also applies fully to groceries, stands at 10 percent and is the highest tax rate of the nation's 100 largest cities.Although Jefferson County's bankruptcy filing was the largest government bankruptcy in United States history, Birmingham remains solvent
Information for the state of Alabama
The state has invested in aerospace, education, health care, banking, and various heavy industries, including automobile manufacturing, mineral extraction, steel production and fabrication. By 2006, crop and animal production in Alabama was valued at $1.5 billion. In contrast to the primarily agricultural economy of the previous century, this was only about 1% of the state's gross domestic product. The number of private farms has declined at a steady rate since the 1960s, as land has been sold to developers, timber companies, and large farming conglomerates.
Occupations outside of agriculture were widespread by 2008. Employment in that year was 121,800 in management occupations; 71,750 in business and financial operations; 36,790 in computer-related and mathematical occupation; 44,200 in architecture and engineering; 12,410 in life, physical, and social sciences; 32,260 in community and social services; 12,770 in legal occupations; 116,250 in education, training, and library services; 27,840 in art, design and media occupations; 121,110 in healthcare; 44,750 in fire fighting, law enforcement, and security; 154,040 in food preparation and serving; 76,650 in building and grounds cleaning and maintenance; 53,230 in personal care and services; 244,510 in sales; 338,760 in office and administration support; 20,510 in farming, fishing, and forestry; 120,155 in construction and mining, gas, and oil extraction; 106,280 in installation, maintenance, and repair; 224,110 in production; and 167,160 in transportation and material moving.
You no longer have to waste time in collecting on invoices.
Factoring Companies Al
The majority of factoring companies purchase invoices and advance cash within 24 hours, although the terms and nature of factoring can differ between industries and different financial service providers. -Factoring Companies Al
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Important Points to Remember When Choosing Your Factoring Company
Now that you’ve decided that factoring would be a solid business decision for your company, the next step is to find the perfect factoring company for you. Once you start looking you’ll discover that there are many factoring companies (or ‘factors’) in the marketplace, and this is the perfect situation for you as a potential factoring client.
But it can also be confusing, because now you have to find the right factoring company to suit your business’s needs. To assist you in making the right decision we’ve listed below the main issues that should be considered when choosing a factoring company.
Factoring Fees and Terms
Before making your final decision and entering into a factoring agreement, check out the fees applicable and the terms of the contract. Both of these can vary a lot, depending on the factoring company and the industry it's serving. When you start your research you’ll discover that some factoring companies charge a flat fee: this fee is, in effect, a certain percentage of the total value of the customer invoices you sell to them; whilst others have additional charges to cover the general costs of doing business – such as, money transfers, shipping, collateral, and so on.
Ensure that the factoring company you’re considering working with is transparent and upfront with you about its fee structure. In addition, you may want to consider a long term contract with your factoring company if it includes flexible rates or a price break. If you’re receiving competitive offers from other factoring companies or you have increased factoring volume, you’ll discover that many factoring companies will be prepared to adjust their rates. A one year contract is the industry standard for most factoring agreements. Generally, unless you give your factor a 60 or 90 day notice, your factoring contract will automatically renew.
What’s the Difference between Recourse and Non Recourse Factoring?
It’s important that you understand the difference between recourse and non recourse factoring prior to choosing your factoring company, because you need to know what the best fit would be for your company and your customers. So, with non recourse factoring, all of the credit risks for the collection of the invoice belong to the factoring company; while recourse factoring means that, with you being the client, you’ll ultimately be responsible if the factoring company is unable to collect payment on your customers’ invoices.
There are benefits to recourse factoring, and perhaps the main benefit is that it’s less expensive than non recourse factoring. If you have a recourse agreement and the customer defaults on payment, it doesn’t automatically mean that you’ll be asked to settle the debt out of pocket. Generally, what happens is that the factor will hold back a portion of either future cash advances or payments being held in reserve, with the money being placed in an escrow account awaiting settlement of the debt.
Our suggestion is that you find a factoring company that offers both recourse and non recourse factoring, because not all of your customers will be good candidates for recourse factoring. An experienced factoring company working with a strong credit team can also behelpful in ensuring you’re working with good customers: this will relieve some of the pressure of being stuck with bad debt.
Experience and Capital: The Two PreRequisites
Your company should be looking for a factoring company with experience in your industry, including the capital structure to fund your business as it continues to grow. Once you start researching factoring companies you’ll discover that there are a lot to choose from; however, many of these are recent start ups with limited experience. Prior to signing any factoring agreement, do your research and look into the history and background of the factoring company concerned, especially its ability to provide financial services in your area of expertise.
The idea with factoring is that, as your company grows, the funding of your customer invoices will grow with you.Research the factoring company’s client base and their capital structure. What’s a typical account size? What’s the factoring volume of their largest client? Is the factoring company limited to how many debtors it can handle? In general, factoring companies that have been serving your industry for many years will usually be able to offer your business the best deal.
Additional Factoring Services
There are many more benefits to factoring than simply increasing your company’s cash flow. Because the factoring company will be handling the collection of your customer’s invoices, your company will be saving time and resources. A good factoring company will also be able to evaluate companies in your industry and provide credit information. In short, your factor will ensure that you experience excellent customer service. You’ll be matched with your own representative who’ll be able to address any questions or concerns you may have about your factoring account.
So, when researching factoring companies, look for a factor who not only offers additional products but provides a high level of customer service that will help your business grow by assisting you in making smart business decisions.
You no longer have to waste time in collecting on invoices.
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The Advantages of Trucking Factoring for Trucking Companies
Around the country, many owners of small trucking companies are running into the same problems when trying to expand their business. While the trucking business can be quite lucrative, it can take many weeks or even months to finally get paid on hauling invoices. This puts trucking companies in a real bind by having to play catch-up while trying to pay bills and salaries of their drivers.
We caught up with Jason Kind, an owner of a small trucking business that he created just a few years ago. Like many trucking owners, Jason was trying to expand his company to meet the needs of his clients, but was running into money issues that were holding him back. We asked him about his situation, the challenges he faced and how Trucking factoring played a real role in helping his company to expand without being burdened by paying back high interest loans.
Jason, it’s good to have you with us.
Jason Kind: “Thanks, I appreciate being here.”
Tell me a little about your trucking company and how it got started.
JK: “I had been driving trucks for years when in 2011 I decided to start my own trucking business. I went through the loan process, purchased a couple of trucks and got started. At first, it was really exciting because I had made a few connections as a driver and I picked up some early business. It seemed like everything was starting to snowball as I was getting requests from other businesses, but I was running into a cash problem.”
It seems rather strange that being successful was causing you to be short on cash?
JK: “I know. You see in the trucking business we charge invoices which means that it could take weeks or even months before the cash would roll in. A typical invoice takes anywhere from 45 to 60 days before the payment comes through. Here I was getting offers from other businesses and I didn’t have the cash on hand to buy trucks and hire drivers.”
So, what did you do?
JK: I’ll admit I was at my wit’s end because I thought by the time I had the cash to expand that the interest would dry up first. I didn’t want to take out another loan because I would just be putting off that debt until later and I had nothing to sell or any additional way to make more money. It was around that time when I heard from one of my friends in the trucking business about Trucking factoring.”
What exactly is Trucking factoring?
JK: “Well, Trucking factoring is a way for trucking companies like mine to get paid quickly for the loads we are hauling. Instead of having to wait weeks or even months sometimes to get paid for hauling, Trucking factoring lets us get money right away for the work that we’ve done.”
How does Trucking factoring work?
JK: “Well, there are companies out there who are willing to purchase the invoices that trucking companies like mine get when we perform a job. I managed to find a good, reputable company that actually purchases the invoices we get after performing a job along with other bills that we charge in our business. In return, they pay us cash that I not only use to cover my payroll, fuel costs and expenses, but I was able to put back enough money to purchase another truck a lot more quickly than if I had simply waited for the invoices to be paid.”
It seems like you stumbled on a pretty good deal when it comes to Trucking factoring. Are there any other benefits that you’ve enjoyed by using this service?
JK: You bet, because the invoices act as the means to pay the company. It is not a loan where I have to pay back any money. The Trucking factoring company simply takes a very small percentage off each invoice or bill as their fee and I get the rest in cash right away. It’s really worked out for me because not only was I able to get the cash needed to expand my business I was able to pay off my original loan a lot more quickly as well.
In fact, I was able to leap onto new business offers more quickly because the Trucking factoring allowed me to start purchasing new trucks and hire drivers months before I could even consider doing that simply waiting on the invoices.
This Trucking factoring sounds almost too good to be true, surely there must be a catch somewhere?
JK: I’ll admit, I was a little skeptical at first, but it’s all pretty straightforward. The Trucking factoring company I use didn’t even charge me a sign up fee nor did they sign me to any long term contract. I just took a few minutes with them to set everything up and when I turn in an invoice, they pay me cash right on the spot.
You said you didn’t have to sign any long term contracts. Are there a minimum number of invoices or amounts that you have to turn in each month?
JK: Actually, no. When I first started with them I was turning in practically all of my invoices so I could generate some cash up front. Now, when I need some cash to pay off bills or make quick purchases, I go to the company with my invoices. Some months I’ve turned in quite a few invoices, other months not so much.
It really sounds like you found a great deal in Trucking factoring?
JK: You bet. I have even used their fuel advances and discount cards to help me save money which really helped out in the first year of my business. I’ve had other trucking owners call me up and ask me how I was able to expand my company as fast as I did. I tell them all the same thing, if you have invoices, then Trucking factoring is the way to get fast cash without having to take out loans or put yourself in a deeper hole.
Jason’s business continues to grow and Trucking factoring was a big reason why he was able to expand so rapidly. If your trucking business is short of needed cash with invoices that have yet to be paid, then you should consider Trucking factoring as a way to put money into your hands right away.
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How Factoring Saved A Staffing Agency
The Bellosa Temporary & Permanent Hiring Agency has been experiencing a major uptick in business since the unemployment crisis began. The unemployed and underemployed workers have been keeping the phones ringing. The staffing agency is also fielding a lot of calls from employers too, looking for just the right hire. Company President and Vice President, Laurie Bell and Ted Stevens, have not experienced a boom in business since they first opened the doors in 2009, during the recession. They had an idea then that this would be a profitable venture.
The mantra that Laurie and Ted live by is that there’s always going to be people searching for work and of course employers will always be on the lookout for good workers. This is especially true in healthcare staffing, the industry they specialize in. This seemed to be a safe bet for them as they embarked on this venture, but with any small business, the only way to keep the doors open is to keep pressing forward and out perform the competition.
In a relatively short period of time Laurie and Ted had built a nice sized business, they were able to hit the ground running with some brilliant marketing programs and a number of contracts from insiders. They grew rapidly, the timing couldn’t have been better and they were very lucky in this aspect. By the fall of 2011 Laurie and Ted had weathered some ups and downs but they did have some solid clients like a few big insurance companies and a university hospital close by. These clients always paid their invoices on time. But they did start to notice a decrease in accounts receivables from some smaller clients such as rehab centers and private practices.
As winter approached they recalled previous winters and holiday seasons and realized that accounts receivables usually did slow down during this time. Laurie and Ted made the decision to delay their late payments until after the New Year. This plan didn’t really appeal to them as it’s no way to start a New Year, but they seemed to have no other options.
When New Year’s had come and gone they realized that their Accounts Receivables had gone from 30 days past due to 60 days past due. Before meeting with their accountant Scott, they’d decided something had to be done, but they didn’t know what.
Sitting in the conference room with Scott they listened as pulled all the figures up on his iPad saying,“Okay you two, I’ve been looking over the files you sent over and I can certainly see why you’re worried about your late A/Rs but there may be a way to fix this. Do either of you know what factoring is?” Scott inquired.
Laurie and Ted looked at each other quizzically, and then Laurie said “I think it rings a bell, but I’m not really sure. Can you explain it?”
Scott began laying out the details, “You are sitting on a pile of invoices that are past due. The more time that goes by without them being paid, the bigger the bind this puts your business in. It makes it very difficult for you to grow, much less hire anyone new. If you don’t have enough cash coming in . ”
Ted interrupted with, “Then it could make it difficult to take on any new business because we wouldn’t be able to hire the additional personnel we need and meet our weekly payroll. We need an inflow of cash and we really can’t wait. If we have to wait any longer on these invoices we’ll be in trouble.”
Scott jumped in saying, “And this is precisely why I wanted to discuss factoring with you. The factoring company will purchase the invoices you are sitting on that are up to 3 months late, which gives you the cash you need now.” He then showed him a chart on a piece of paper he placed in front of them.
Laurie began to carefully scrutinize it asking, “Is this the fee schedule?”
Scott answered, “Yes it’s all right there. The factoring company makes 1% to 3% of the total amount of each invoice they purchase.”
“That’s sounds like a good deal to me”, Ted said.
The three of them sat there and talked this over for a while and then Laurie and Ted made the decision to go forward realizing this was the best way to keep them afloat. They knew if they couldn’t accommodate all the new clients they were acquiring the competition would get them and they would go down, they could just not afford to turn any business away.
They now needed to fill out an application and submit it to the factoring company and they also needed to show them a few back invoices, undergo a credit check for their company. Credit checks would also need to be done on the companies owing the debts that the factoring company would be purchasing.
It didn’t take long for Bellosa’s credit to be approved and the creditors’ as well. Before long the factoring company purchased the overdue invoices and Laurie and Ted got the influx of cash they needed to cover things and allow them to continue growing their business.
The next time Laurie and Ted met with their accountant Scott, there were smiles all around.Scott said, “I’ve taken a look at your books so I know that factoring was the right solution for you.”
“It worked perfectly”, Laurie stated and went on to say, “The tiny amount we paid out for this influx of cash was certainly worth it.”
Ted chimed in with, “Without a doubt! Whatever the fees were we made back and more since we were now able to hire more personnel so we could take on more business. It worked out for us and for them I would say!”
“That’s what’s great about factoring!” Scott exclaimed with a look of satisfaction on his face.
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