FloridaTrend.com, the Website for Florida Business

Tuesday's Afternoon Update

Florida exports up 6 percent

Florida exports for the first six months of the year were 6 percent higher than the same period last year, according to the International Trade Administration. Exports increased from $31.1 billion to $33.1 billion. The destinations that saw the greatest increases were United Arab Emirates (up 82 percent), Switzerland (28 percent), Venezuela (22 percent), Peru (14 percent), and Panama (10 percent). Read more at the Florida Times-Union and the International Trade Administration.

Orlando VA hospital could open next year

Veterans in Central Florida may see their long-awaited VA Medical Center open for patients in 2013 after all — only one year later than planned, according to testimony delivered at a congressional field hearing in Orlando. More at the Orlando Sentinel.

Top-earning occupations for college graduates

Health Trends

Health insurance companies try retail approach

Can buying health insurance be like shopping for the latest electronics gadget? Florida Blue (formerly Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida) believes it can and, over the last five years, has invested millions building almost a dozen large, modern retail “shops” throughout the state.

» More from the Fort Myers News-Press and see Florida Blue Centers.

A college degree can make a large difference in students’ future salaries, especially if they choose a high-paying field. The average employed young person with a bachelor's degree earned 81 percent more per year in 2011 than counterparts with a high school diploma. Read more and see a list of the top jobs at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Publix testing digital coupon program

Publix shoppers in select markets are getting the chance to test a new digital coupon system. The free service allows customers to choose coupons from a Publix website and save them to an account. Shoppers then redeem the paperless coupons at checkout by entering their 10-digit phone number. More at the Lakeland Ledger.

Business travelers can expect lower-priced flights, higher hotel rates

Hotel rates are on the rise, while international flight costs and and rental car rates have declined, according to new business travel data from Travel Leaders Corporate. The Miami-based company released data on the latest air, car and hotel trends based on its clients’ second quarter bookings.. More at the South Florida Business Journal.

Out of the Box
Survive Anything

PhotoLooking for protection from zombies, or even the end of the world? Look no further. A new store on Siesta Drive in Sarasota has you covered. Two weeks ago, the Survive Anything store opened its doors. The owner, Mike Crea says he wants to make sure people are prepared for the worst. "It is important to be aware and to be knowledgeable if something does happen. So far, customers have loved the idea of the store," Crea says.

» Read more from WWSB and the Sarasota Herald-Tribune and see video below: