What you need to know about Florida today
Economic uncertainty and access to capital continue to rank as major obstacles preventing small business growth, according to the latest Florida Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index Survey. While a steady 31 percent of respondents plan to hire employees during the next six months, those hiring plans will stop if Congress does not extend 2001 to 2003 tax cuts and prevent the nation from going over the fiscal cliff. Read more from the South Florida Business Journal and the Florida Chamber of Commerce.
The eligible weeks of unemployment insurance benefits will shrink to 19 from 23 next year. September’s unemployment rate of 8.7 percent released Friday sealed the deal. And worker advocates say the state has put other changes to the system in place that stymie eligible unemployed people from getting benefits. [Source: Palm Beach Post]
In a report released Tuesday, RealtyTrac said 65 percent of local housing markets nationwide are “worse off than four years ago,’’ according to an analysis of five key metrics. The Irvine, Calif.-based data firm, in a report dubbed “Election 2012 Housing Health Check,” looked at average home prices, unemployment, foreclosure inventory, foreclosure starts, and what percentage of sales were distressed in more than 900 counties. [Source: Miami Herald]
This deal is a head scratcher. A Florida agency that exists to find more jobs for this state is instead paying a business elsewhere to market and research Florida – instead of giving the job to folks who live and work here, presumably "know" Florida well and certainly could use the work. Read Robert Trigaux's full column at the Tampa Bay Times.
Community banks in central Florida remain in recovery mode as the real estate market and economy strengthen slowly. Bank newcomers with little or no bad debt are thriving, however. Lake County-based First Green Bank, launched a little over three years ago when the credit crunch was peaking, is profitable and expanding. Full story...
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Legoland Florida has benefited other businesses
Hot air balloons, steak-eating challenges and bigger sales. Fifty-three weeks into the Legoland Florida era, many Winter Haven businesses say they are seeing 15 percent to 20 percent gains in their sales this year.
› Critics condemn closing of Citizens' internal watchdog
Critics of state-run Citizens Property Insurance came down hard against the organization Monday for axing its internal watchdog office at the same time the company was under investigation for lavish corporate spending.
› Orlando's gay bar owners paved the way for acceptance
In the '70s, the first gay bars provided more than booze, music and companionship. They served as community centers, social sanctuaries, civic clubs and incubators for the gay groups and institutions that would emerge and evolve over time.
› Plan for St. Petersburg Pier has a new pitchman
Let the yelling begin! Anthony Sullivan, former business partner of the late Billy Mays, the screaming pitchman for the likes of Kaboom! and OxiClean, has thrown himself into what until now has been an uneven quarrel about St. Petersburg's Pier.
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