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Friday's Daily Pulse

Opportunities for small business as Florida grows

Florida’s economy and demographics are changing and small businesses are in line to benefit from the shifts. The state’s population continues to grow and is projected to pass New York in the next two to three years. At the same time, the cost of living in Florida is rising. Read more from the Tampa Bay Business Journal and see also:

» Florida's small business jobs up 0.4 percent
» Small business owners within different industries cite problems finding good help

DNC Roundup

» Will Charlie Crist draw independent voters to Obama?
» Florida matters in 2012 presidential election — a lot
» After convention, Obama heads for Florida, West Palm Beach
» Video of Crist's speech
» Final day of DNC through Florida eyes

Florida high court to weigh $1 billion state pension case

The Amendments
Florida's Constitution
Your guide to learning more about the Florida's 2012 proposed amendments that will be on the ballot in November.

Amendment 1 - Health Insurance Mandates
Amendment 2 - Veterans Tax Relief
Amendment 3 - Budget-Taxes
Amendment 4 - Property Tax Breaks
Amendment 5 - Judicial Reform
Amendment 6 - Abortion Restrictions
Amendment 8 - Religious Funding
Amendment 9 - Surviving Spouses Tax Relief
Amendment 10- Small Business Tax Break
Amendment 11 - Senior Homestead Tax Exemption
Amendment 12 - Student Representation

The Florida Supreme Court is to hear arguments on whether Republican-backed changes to the state’s public-employee pension system, touted as a way to save more than $1 billion a year, violate workers’ constitutional rights. [Source: Bloomberg Businessweek]

List of hot 'encore jobs' for those seeking change

A list of some "encore jobs" — those with community or social value — that are anticipated to have high need or demand in coming years for workers looking to make career shifts in their 50s or 60s, according to "The Encore Career Handbook" See the full list from the Associated Press.

Private insurers considering 150,000 Citizens policies

Four private insurers have been approved to take over 150,000 policies from state-run Citizens Property Insurance Corp., regulators said Thursday. Citizens customers will be notified Oct. 1 if their policies have been selected. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]


› Cruise industry contributed $6.7B to Florida economy
Florida’s cruise industry in 2011 contributed $6.7 billion to the state economy and created 130,950 jobs that generated $5.76 billion, according to a study released by the Cruise Lines International Association.
» Related: Florida still top state for cruise activity — by a landslide

› Gainesville gives -- but is it enough?
While giving in Gainesville is great, the need is even greater. The North Central Florida Business Report talked to organizations that work to provide a host of social services, help nonprofits become more effective and provide ways for people to leave a legacy that benefits the community.

› After cutbacks, Tampa International Airport set to add positions
Here's a sign of Tampa International Airport's improving bottom line: The airport plans to start hiring after years of cutting back its workforce.

› Workers sue Darden Restaurants over wages
Orlando-based Darden Restaurants underpaid servers at Olive Garden, Red Lobster, LongHorn Steakhouse and Capital Grille restaurants across the country, according to allegations in a federal lawsuit filed in Miami on Thursday.

Go to page 2 for more stories ...

› Lawsuit threatens annual Florida Classic Clusters dog show in Hernando
For the past 14 years, Hernando County has played host to what is considered the largest accredited dog show in Florida. However, the future of the Florida Classic Clusters Winter Dog Show is in doubt because of a brewing legal rift between the principals of the four shareholder kennel clubs that own and operate the facility.

› Hub for veterans being sought at UF
Santa Fe College student Adam Duggan served five years in the U.S. Army, receiving a Purple Heart after being injured by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan. When he arrives at UF, he'll find a growing student population of veterans but just a tiny office where they can speak with officials about benefits.

› Legoland announces 'Star Wars' expansion
Legoland Florida says it will expand to add an interactive "Star Wars"-themed area in November. Star Wars Miniland will include Lego scenes from six-movie series of films as well as the animated "Clone Wars" television series.

› Riff over Tampa Bay trauma centers drags on in court
A fight between hospitals that could shape one high-profile aspect of medical care — trauma centers — reached the state's second highest court Thursday.