Twenty years ago, Birmingham companies were a mainstay on Wall Street.
There were huge retailers like Parisian, large banks and promising biotech firms. Capital from investors around the world was flowing into the Magic City, which had 28 publicly traded companies in 1995 and many more initial public offerings on the way.
After 2000, it suddenly stopped.
Many companies would fold. Several would be sold. Others simply moved away to bigger markets with larger workforces and more nonstop flights - taking jobs, prestige and millions of dollars in business for local professional service firms with them.
"The public company decline in Birmingham hurt the economy and the city's image. Birmingham lost a lot of money," said Jennings Marshall, chair of the economics department at Samford University.
The exodus of Birmingham's public companies hasn't stopped. But, for the first time in a decade, Birmingham companies are bullish about IPOs.
After having no IPOs since 2005, Birmingham has had two in the past 10 months. And several more could be on the way as more companies weigh the merits
It's a development that could spawn a new era for Birmingham on Wall Street, infuse millions of dollars of capital into the local economy and ultimately boost Birmingham's profile in the corporate world.