Monday's Afternoon Update
What You Need to Know About Florida Today
Florida Hospitality Making Progress with Spill ClaimsThe once-adversarial relationship between oil-spill czar Kenneth Feinberg and the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association has turned into a bit of a romance. Feinberg, whose job it is to oversee the compensation of those harmed financially by last year's BP PLC oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, appeared before the statewide trade group last week in Wesley Chapel to address concerns about the process and provide feedback on claims. Even those Florida hoteliers who said they attended so they could "raise Cain" treated Feinberg even-handedly. "Mr. Feinberg has been a good listener for our industry," said Keith Overton, a St. Petersburg Beach hotelier and outgoing chairman of the lodging-and-restaurant association. "I think it's only appropriate that we put the politics aside and we give him credit for doing some good things in recent weeks." Among those "good things" was the hiring of Floridians as liaisons in the claims process. Hoteliers had complained for months that they couldn't get answers when inquiring about claim denials. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]
Meet Sebastien Perioche, Founder and CEO of Eurocinema. He travels two or three times a year to automobile races in Monaco, Canada and the Middle East.
Boca's Levenger Store Closing Tuesday
The Levenger store at Town Center at Boca Raton, which sold "tools for serious readers" is closing its doors officially Tuesday, a store manager confirmed Monday.
The writing goods retailer and book publisher is offering a 60 percent discount off in-stock merchandise, according to an email notice sent to customers Monday. Levenger also has stores in Boston, Chicago and Washington, D.C., which remain open, store manager Michael Chambers said. .
After the Boca store closes, South Florida customers will still be able to shop at Levenger.com or via a catalog, Chambers said.
Headquartered in Delray Beach, Levenger was founded in 1987. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
Canada Seeks to Strengthen Ties with Florida
Nearly two decades after NAFTA was enacted, Canada has really embraced the free trade concept. It is engaged in free trade negotiations with nearly 50 countries, including India.
Negotiations on a free trade agreement with the European Union also are “very well advanced,” said Peter Van Loan, Canada’s minister of international trade.
The potential agreement with India is especially important for Canada because a joint Canada/India study concluded it could increase trade between the two nations by 50 percent and boost the Canadian economy by $6 billion to $15 billion annually.
In the Americas, Canada is in negotiations with the Dominican Republic, Caribbean Community, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador. It is in early discussions with the Mercosur countries on a free trade pact, but it is too soon to tell where they will lead. Carving out a leadership role in free trade in the Americas is a priority, Van Loan said.
He was in Florida recently to open the Canada Pavilion at the International Builders Show in Orlando, where about 70 Canadian companies presented their products, and to promote doing business with Canada. He also met with Gov. Rick Scott during the visit.
[Source: Miami Herald]
Baby Boomers Start Turning 65 in 2011
The baby boomers, the generation that started in 1946 with the end of World War II and ended in 1964 with the birth control pill, are hitting retirement age. There are 77 million boomers — more than a quarter of the U.S. population. On Jan. 1, boomers began turning 65. Between 7,000 and 10,000 of them will celebrate that birthday each day for the next 18 years. 4,600,000 boomers call Florida home, the fourth most in the nation. It's also the home of the woman widely recognized as the first boomer, Kathleen Casey-Kirschling, born Jan. 1, 1946. She lives in Vero Beach. Read a by-the-numbers look at this generation from the St. Petersburg Times.
Osteryoung: Start Your Business Expansion on a Sound Footing
The normal way to expand your business, especially in retail, is to expand the number of physical locations. If you are making money at one location, then adding another location normally increases the total profits of the company. However, this is not always the case. We've been assisting a small auto repair business that had been in business for about 3 years. However, for this entire time period, the business has never been profitable for numerous reasons, including an absentee owner, not marketing very well, and not having any real processes in place to manage the company.
Additionally, with these losses the cash-flow of the business was very sparse, forcing the owner to watch every cent, to defer paying many creditors, and put all of his savings into the business.
The owner thought that the only way that he could make it financially was by finding a new location and working at it full time. He figured it would subsidize the older shop that was losing so much money. He was able to get the new location without any down payment and was able to finance the small inventory he needed to keep on hand. [Continue reading Osteryoung's Small Biz Advice from Florida Trend.]
Women's Entrepreneurship Symposium