Thursday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
There’s economic optimism for 2014 …but not a lot
Analysts point to a relatively strong finish to 2013 as a sign that positive momentum will continue into 2014. But temper expectations, they warn, that this year will restore the region to pre-2007 prosperity. More at the Miami Herald.
Last-minute gifts big for charities
As the days counted down to 2014, many decide to write checks or make donations for those last-minute tax write-offs. For charities, the end-of-year "busy season" can be a boon. "We always experience an uptick, really with the entire month," said Karen Phillips, Goodwill Industries of North Florida chief administrative officer. More at the Jacksonville Daily Record.
Florida population growth begets environmental challenges
Florida’s population didn’t overtake New York when the U.S. Census Bureau released estimates this week, but it will eventually and when it does there are environmental concerns that come with it. Water and land conservationists say as Florida grows, it becomes more important to protect quality land for conservation and to keep a watchful eye on development. More at the Jacksonville Business Journal.
Consortium threatens to stop Panama Canal expansion
A Spanish-led consortium threatened on New Year's day to halt a massive, $5.3 billion expansion of the Panama Canal. Spanish builder Sacyr, leader of the Grupo Unidos por el Canal consortium, said work will stop unless the canal pays $1.6 billion in cost overruns for work on the 50 mile waterway. More at the South Florida Business Journal and AFP.
Column: Handle your employees with care
No matter what size or type of business you own, your success depends largely on the people who comprise your team. The decisions you make in all phases of the employment cycle — recruiting, hiring, training, retaining, evaluating, and promoting, laying off or firing — are critical. More at the Miami Herald.
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