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Wednesday's Daily Pulse

Florida one of the best states for business tax climate

Florida remained in the fifth spot for the best state business tax climate, according to the Tax Foundation’s 2013 State Business Tax Climate Index. The Sunshine State’s ranking is based on a individual ranking for its corporate income, individual income, sales, unemployment insurance and property taxes, which are analyzed on more than 100 variables in a state’s tax rate. Read more at the South Florida Business Journal and see the full report from the Tax Foundation.

State seeks to double enrollment in charter schools

Florida education leaders want to double the number of children enrolled in charter schools in the next six years, while also expanding other school-choice options for students. The State Board adopted a new strategic plan Tuesday that envisions about 17 percent of one-time public school students attending either charters or using taxpayer-funded vouchers to attend private schools by the 2017-18 school year. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

Help wanted: Retailers hiring for holidays

Like a lot of things in this tepid recovery, holiday hiring by retailers is expected to be up — just not to where it was before the start of the Great Recession. The boost comes as retailers, often rosy in their early predictions for the coming season, expect sales to rise as much as 4 percent. [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]

Raul G. Valdes-Fauli
Raul G. Valdes-Fauli joined Professional Bank after two decades with larger banks. [Photo: Daniel Portnoy]

Florida Trend Exclusive
Windows of Opportunity

Miami-Dade is one of the largest deposit markets in the nation, and the county’s community banks have been attractive acquisition targets for larger banks over the years, including international banks. Full story...

Small biz owners optimistic about future

Small business owners may be pessimistic about the economy and their own companies right now, but they're getting optimistic about the future. A survey released Tuesday by the National Federation of Independent Business shows that owners became more pessimistic during September as employment and sales remained weak. [Source: AP]


› Scott, lawmakers may consider state dollars for drug database
With the state's fledgling prescription drug database struggling to find funding to ensure its future, Gov. Rick Scott said Tuesday he would consider a change in the law that would allow state money to flow to the database.

› Board of Education seeking budget increases
The State Board of Education voted Tuesday to seek a $643 million, or 4.4 percent, spending increase next year for Florida's public schools and colleges.
» Related: Cost of equipping Florida students with iPads? $441 million

› Employees in state attorney's office misused database
Two employees in the State Attorney's Office misused a government database to access private information about law professor John Torraco, a candidate for state attorney.

› Orlando: It's not just for kids
As the home of Mickey Mouse and Harry Potter, there's no doubt that Orlando is tops when it comes to family vacations. But when it comes to U.S. tourists, only 28 percent of travel parties to the Orlando area are families with children, according to the visitors' bureau.

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› Miami Heat in China: Players scale new heights
As the Miami Heat begins its weeklong trip throughout China, it’s about more than exhibitions with the Los Angeles Clippers, it’s also about growing the sport, the NBA and, of course, expanding the brand and business of the NBA champions.

› Jeb Bush says Romney would 'unleash' entrepreneurs
Former Gov. Jeb Bush, campaigning for Mitt Romney Tuesday, said a Romney administration would "unleash the animal spirits of the country" with his plans to deregulate business and simplify taxes.

› Development debate: Who will set the agenda for building future Boca?
The plan to transform the city's last open parcel into a hive of commercial and residential activity has been put on hold indefinitely, but the debate over how Boca Raton should grow looks to be heating up.

› Companies preyed on struggling homeowners, FTC suits allege
The Federal Trade Commission said Tuesday it filed lawsuits in Florida and two other states against a series of companies, accusing them of preying on homeowners facing foreclosure.