Wednesday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
Fifteen Florida-based companies appear on the 2013 Fortune 500 list of the nation's biggest public companies by revenues. The largest Florida company, ranked 74th, is World Fuel Services in Miami. Florida will soon gain a new Fortune 500 company with Tuesday's announced headquarters relocation of car rental giant Hertz. More from the Tampa Bay Times and see the full Fortune 500.
Gov. Rick Scott shakes the hand of Mark P. Frissora, CEO of Hertz Holdings. This move will bring 700 jobs to Florida.
Everyone was beaming at the love fest that was the formal announcement of Hertz’s global headquarters moving to Southwest Florida. “Florida is the center of the U.S. if not the worldwide travel industry,” said Hertz CEO Mark Frissora. [Source: Fort Myers News-Press]
The broad outlines of Orlando’s economy are now well-defined. One strong arm, of course, is the area’s tourism industry, a global powerhouse with the nation’s biggest hotel market and second-largest convention center. Orlando’s other arm, still developing but increasingly muscular, is an amalgam of health care, education, research and high-tech simulation and manufacturing, including a military component. See the full business portrait.
Orlando skyline Go to business portrait.
The Coca-Cola Co. says it is spending $2 billion to support the planting of 25,000 acres of new orange groves in Florida, a move officials are lauding as a major investment in the Sunshine State’s citrus industry. More from the AP, the Wall Street Journal and the Orlando Sentinel.
» Florida Legislature OKs citrus greening funds
Attorney General Pam Bondi is turning to Florida businesses to expand her “zero tolerance” campaign to crack down on human trafficking in the state, which has seen an increase of teen runaways, the homeless and immigrants as prime victims. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› University of Florida introduces supercomputer
The University of Florida has unveiled what officials are calling the state's most advanced supercomputer — a machine that can do as many as 150 trillion calculations per second. University officials said the Dell machine, called the HiPerGator, will help researchers do their jobs much more quickly, including finding life-saving drugs and making long-term weather forecasts.
› Rowing park seeks corporate sponsors
Although $30 million in local and state taxes have gone toward the ongoing construction of the rowing regatta facility at Nathan Benderson Park, the management of the county-owned sports venue expects it to become self-supporting once it is fully operational.
› At sea, reborn Carnival Sunshine still a work in progress
Some passengers on the newly renovated (and renamed) Carnival Sunshine are complaining that the vessel is not quite shipshape. Parts of the 3,006-passenger ship, previously called the Carnival Destiny, are “still undergoing final finishing work which has been hampered by inclement weather,” according to a spokeswoman.
› Disney parks' profit soars 73 percent
Profits soared across the Walt Disney Co.'s vacation businesses during the first three months of 2013, surging 73 percent on the strength of new investments in cruise ships and theme-park attractions in Florida and California
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