A new report from Google states that the company had a sizable impact on Alabama amid the pandemic.
In its annual Economic Impact report, the tech giant said it helped bring $1.17 billion of economic activity to "17,700 businesses, nonprofits, publishers, creators and developers" in 2020.
It also said that used the Google Ad Grants program to provide $3.41 million in free advertising to nonprofits in the state.
Red Land Cotton Co-Founder Anna Brakefield said the pandemic hit their small business hard and made it difficult for her and their 25 employees.
She said being able to use some of Google's tools to position themselves in search results has been a big boost.
"The way that we positioned ourselves in searches, we were coming up a lot when people were searching for American-made brands and brands that were working in the textile space, in particular," Brakefield said. "So, we saw traffic really increase and therefore sales really increased as well."
Google firmly planted its flag in 2018 when it broke ground on its $600 million data center in Jackson County. There isn't a firm date of when the data center will open, but Site Operations Manager Scott Ingram told WAAY 31 that it is proud to join Google Fiber, which came to Huntsville in 2016, in establishing a more prominent presence in the state.
"Google’s ongoing commitment to the state of Alabama continues as we move closer to the completion of our Jackson County data center construction project. We continue to provide businesses – like Red Land Cotton and other local entrepreneurs – the tools to thrive in a digital economy. And we will continue to engage with and support the community, both now and for years to come," Ingram said in a statement.
In October 2020, Google also launched its Grow with Google Digital Coach program in Birmingham. It also brought its Google Career Certificates to community colleges like Wallace State Community College.
In 2019, the Tennessee Valley Authority partnered with Google to purchase the output of new solar farms in Alabama and Tennessee that have the ability to produce about 150 megawatts of power.