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Thursday's Afternoon Update

Consumer spending posts biggest rise in five months

U.S. consumer spending got off to a fairly firm start in the third quarter, rising by the most in five months and offering hope economic growth would pick up this quarter. The Commerce Department said consumer spending increased 0.4 percent in July after a flat reading in June. Last month's rise in consumption, which accounts for 70 percent of U.S. economic activity, was in line with economists' expectations. More at Reuters.


Florida Trend Exclusive
RNC Update

Florida Trend's Amy Keller shares updates and photos from this morning's breakfast with the Florida delegation at the RNC. Speakers included New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former UN Ambassador John Bolton and others.  Full story...


Florida enters fresh vs. frozen food fight in Congress

Space Business

Changing Space

Floridian
Florida Trend Exclusive
With cutbacks at the Kennedy Space Center and the retirement of the shuttle fleet, the Florida Space Institute has returned from KSC to its original home in Orlando and the University of Central Florida. University officials say the move allows the research and education consortium, founded by UCF in the 1990s, to strengthen its ties to the campus community and better pave the way into the commercialization of space.

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The fresh-versus-frozen lobbying tussle centers on a tiny but popular federal program – known as the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program -- that provides free extra snacks to schools in low-income neighborhoods. But it raises a larger nutritional debate as well as a clash between economic interests. More at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.


South Florida economy hoping for a fall pickup

South Florida’s economy needs to shake off its summer slump. After strong growth to start the year, hiring remains stalled throughout the region. More at the Miami Herald.


Five social media marketing mistakes

Building your company’s social media presence takes time and effort, and it starts with a solid strategy that includes goals and measurements. However, even the best strategy can be undermined by common mistakes that you may not even realize you are making. Here are five of them at Florida Today.

Business Profile
Lawnmower Man

Ray StampsRay Stamps has been there at the corner of Old Kings Road in Northwest Jacksonville for 40 years. He used to fix cars and trucks, not to mention building a few race cars on the side. But about 15 years ago, he went from big engines to small ones. Now he sticks with lawnmowers, and he’s got piles of old parts inside and out to show for it.


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Read and interview with Stamps from the Florida Times-Union