Thursday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
State Fair salutes Florida agribusiness
From dairy goats to angus cattle, Florida’s agriculture industry is on display at the 2013 Florida State Fair, which kicks off today at the fairgrounds in Tampa. Florida agriculture contributes more than $100 billion to the state’s economy annually, according to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. More at the Gulf Coast Business Review.
National Retail Properties reports strong quarter
Orlando-based real estate investment trust National Retail Properties, Inc, reported fourth-quarter increases in revenues, profits and funds from operations Thursday. The company, which invests in shopping centers, generated $88.9 million in revenue compared with $73 million the previous year. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]
Bill would expand, regulate charter schools
Three Florida leaders offer tips for small businesses
Don’t start and run a small business alone. In the state of Florida, we’ve got 39 small-business development centers, 23 chapters of SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives.) We’ve got Procurement Technical Assistance Centers. If you want to do work with the state, federal or local government, they will connect you and let you know what opportunities exist across the board.
A House committee has approved a bill which would put rules in place for opening a charter school and warding off troubled charters. The bill allows charter schools to use empty school district facilities. Charter schools would have to pay for maintenance, or reimburse the district for maintenance. More at StateImpact Florida.
Analyst Lewis Goodkin celebrating 50 years in the housing industry
Lewis Goodkin, 77, celebrates his golden anniversary as a housing analyst this year. A pioneer in consumer research for homebuilders, he remains a go-to source for banks, Wall Street investment firms, the national media and others trying to determine which way the housing winds are blowing. More at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and see also:
Remodelers are busy again in Southwest Florida
Home remodeling projects across Southwest Florida are on the rise, spurred on by a thin supply of houses for sale and an overwhelming number of underwater mortgages that have made it difficult for some homeowners to move. The trend has put hundreds of subcontractors in Southwest Florida back to work. More at the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
The Florida Insurance Council is hoping to convince the Legislature this year to outlaw stranger-originated life insurance policies (STOLI) in Florida. The policies are purchased by investors who would profit from the death of the insured, rather than as a benefit for the policy owner's beneficiaries. In the video, Sam Miller, the council’s executive vice president, explains why the council is opposed to the insurance policies.
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