Thursday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
State Supreme Court rejects massive expansion of slot machines
In an major defeat for counties that wanted to authorize slot machines by referendum, the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously ruled that Florida counties can't allow slot machines at pari-mutuel race tracks or jai-alai frontons by virtue of local votes. Counties need to get state constitutional or legislative approval. The decision is far-reaching because voters in Brevard, Gadsden, Hamilton, Lee, Palm Beach and Washington counties approved slot machine referendums. See the ruling from the state Supreme Court, here. Also read more at the AP and the Miami Herald
South Florida is No. 1 in the U.S. for new startup activity
Step aside, Austin, Texas. Startup activity is bigger in Miami. So says the Kauffman Foundation’s 2017 Index of Startup Activity, which measures new business creation. The report found that among the 25 “large” states in the U.S., the state of Florida ranked 3 in "Startup Activity," 19 in "Main Street Entrepreneurship," and 24 in "Growth Entrepreneurship." See the full white paper, here. Specific stats for Florida are here. Also read more at the Miami Herald and the South Florida Business Journal.
Another Tampa bank snapped up in $32 million deal
Seacoast Banking Corporation of Florida has signed an agreement to buy NorthStar Banking Corp., the holding company for NorthStar Bank. The cash-and-stock deal is valued at about $32.1 million. Full news release is here.
Florida's military, veterans getting more protection against scammers
Service members, military veterans and their families are often targeted by scammers, and now Florida's Attorney General is doing something new to help protect all of them. More from WJXT.
Jacksonville’s old buildings boost economy, but face revitalization barriers
A recent study of Jacksonville’s urban landscape shows how much the city relies on its architectural heritage to power its economy. The National Trust for Historic Preservation found areas with high concentrations of older, smaller buildings contain more small business jobs and more start-ups. More from the Florida Times-Union.
Around the State
A chance meeting between former HAECO executive Paul Cocker and Bay County Economic Development Alliance President Becca Hardin will result in 170 skilled jobs for Bay County. Hardin, a neighbor of Cocker, was invited him to accompany Bay County's economic development delegation to the International Paris Air Show, as a consultant. At the show, Cocker set up a meeting between EDA officials and the CEO of GKN North America.
Florida's non-profit sector
The Florida non-profit sector workforce has grown 40 percent over the past decade, and non-profits now employ more than 530,000 people, or 6 percent of the state’s workforce. Florida has also seen an 80 percent increase in the number of non-profit organizations to 83,000 and a similar increase in payroll to $26 billion annually.
» Read more at Florida Trend.
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