FloridaTrend.com, the Website for Florida Business

Tuesday's Daily Pulse

Foreigners less of a factor in Florida's home sales

Foreign investors, most with cash in hand, paid about $70,000 more for houses in Florida than home buyers overall did this past year, though they constituted a smaller share of the state's resale market from mid-2011 through mid-2012 than they had the previous year, according to a new report by Florida Realtors. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

Florida Trend Exclusive
Isaac doesn't deter region's marketing venture for RNC

While Republican National Convention officials erred on the side of caution Monday by canceling scheduled events, local economic development officials marketing Tampa Bay proceeded with the first day of a “Front Row Tampa Bay,” a live web broadcast showcasing the region's business climate. Read full story from Florida Trend.

All week we'll be sharing a roundup of stories from the Republican National Convention in Tampa and its effects on Florida.

» Delegates come for politics but find the malls
» Some Louisiana delegates return home to brace for Isaac
» The storms, strippers and stereotypes
» Monday's RNC scenes
» Latinos will warm up to Romney, conservative Latino says
» As RNC engages, business leaders test two online ways to pitch this market
» Florida Republicans at RNC: Banished, but still revved up

Spiritual journeys

In troubled times, many people turn to their faith, which may explain why faith-based travel has been gaining momentum in recent years. More operators are entering the marketplace, and more participants are taking journeys to sites with religious significance. [Source: Miami Herald]

Florida Trend Exclusive
Florida Icon: Charles E. 'Chuck' Cobb Jr.

Chuck Cobb
Charles E. 'Chuck' Cobb Jr.
[Photo: Daniel Portnoy]

The Senior managing director/CEO of Cobb Partners tells us:

» I am a little bit of a frustrated professor. I’m very philosophical about business strategy, about government, about policy, about religion. I tend to out-think, out-analyze almost every problem there is. Sometimes maybe too analytical.

» Full story...

Building -- and packaging -- the future

Most people give little thought to the packaging that surrounds almost everything consumers buy: Soup in a pouch, a roll of foil or plastic wrap, motor oil in a resealable plastic jug with a built-in handle. But helping other manufacturers and food processors package their goods is how a number of companies in Florida now make a profit. [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]


› Independent cabbies bemoan lack of business
They hold occupational licenses from Orange County. But without permits from the city of Orlando, which requires them to lease cars from one of taxi companies contracted by the city, they can't pick up fares downtown or at the airport – though they can drop off customers.

› Airlines differ on Isaac rebooking policies
As Isaac sweeps the Gulf of Mexico, airlines with flights to and from the region this week are waiving their normal fees for passengers to rebook trips. So-called change fees can be as high as $150 on a domestic trip. While it's nice that airlines aren't charging you to rebook, the time you have to take your trip depends on your carrier.

› Med spas offering cosmetic procedures are on the rise
They are cashing in on the desire to turn back the clock. Across South Florida, medical spas are proliferating, offering nonsurgical — and sometimes even surgical — cosmetic procedures for women and men.

› Altavian gets 5-year contract from Army Corps
Gainesville company Altavian announced Monday that it had received a five-year contract from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to maintain and support its unmanned aircraft used for surveys and inspections in Florida and Puerto Rico.

Go to page 2 for more stories ...

› Feds to briefly open red snapper for limited sport and commercial seasons
Fishermen will get a few weekends next month to catch and keep red snapper. NOAA Fisheries today authorized an emergency action to temporarily open sport and commercial red snapper fishing in federal waters from Florida’s east coast to North Carolina.

› Scores of Floridians complaining of price gouging since Isaac
As of Monday afternoon, 160 Floridians have reported what they consider the excessive raising of prices on essentials such as gasoline, lumber, food and ice, said John Lucas, spokesman for the Florida Attorney General's Office. Most complaints involve unnecessary hiking of gas prices.

› BB&T to close branches in South Florida
BB&T, which bought the former BankAtlantic last month and is on target to lay off hundreds of staffers, said Monday it plans to close and consolidate 10 branches in Miami-Dade and Broward.

› Consumer advocate calls FPL staffing "excessive"
Florida Power & Light Co.'s rate hike request includes an increase in employee count that is "excessive," an expert for the Office of Public Counsel testified on Monday. Those additional payroll costs ultimately affect ratepayers, the Public Counsel contends.