December 20, 2014

Monday's Afternoon Update

What you need to know about Florida today

| 12/23/2013

Consumer spending increases by most in five months

Consumer spending rose in November by the most in five months as Americans took advantage of store discounts during the year-end shopping season, giving the world’s largest economy a lift. More at Bloomberg News and the AP.


Fight over websites for lawyers in federal court

A prominent Florida law firm is challenging new state rules regulating attorneys’ advertisements on the web, saying the restrictions are a violation of free speech and are too vague. The firm challenged the rules, adopted by the Florida Supreme Court in January, after The Florida Bar decided that several of the firm’s web pages did not meet the “objectively verifiable” standard required for all advertisements. More at the Jacksonville Daily Record.


Spirits get a lift from South Florida’s new craft distilleries

Profile

John Land

john land
John Land, 93, was first elected mayor of Apopka in 1949. He lost an election in 1967 but returned to win in 1970 and has been re-elected continuously since. In 2001, the Legislature named Land, Florida’s longest-serving mayor, a State of Florida Treasure. He will announce this month if he will seek another term.

» Florida's longest-serving mayor

Craft distilleries, defined as producing fewer than 75,000 gallons of spirits a year, are now allowed to sell small quantities of their products directly to consumers. Previously, the state’s three-tier alcohol system required producers to sell only to wholesale distributors, which would then sell the products to retailers like bars and liquor stores. More at the Miami Herald.


Online won't save retailers' holiday

More Americans are deciding to shop online this holiday season instead of heading to crowded stores. But that alone won’t save what is turning out to be a ho-hum Christmas for department stores and clothing chains. More at the AP.


Selling boats worldwide, from Sarasota

One Sarasota company operates a national brokerage that completed its 1,000th boat sale of 2013 earlier this month, at an average price of $38,000. The business is fueled by Internet listings that fan out to 150 sites. More at the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

Out of the Box
Narrow houses hold broad appeal for cash-strapped buyers

narrow housesA new, narrower style of house is emerging in Orlando's suburbs as builders think small. Not far from developments of estate homes with sprawling lawns in the Windermere area are several communities with houses that are just 24 feet wide and side yards of about 4 feet.

» More from the Orlando Sentinel


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Benefits management trends in Florida
Benefits management trends in Florida

David Faulkenberry, president, FBMC Benefits Management, explains what benefits most employers want to offer staff and what impact the ACA has had on public sector clients so far.

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