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Friday's Daily Pulse

Florida small business owners weigh in on the economy

Florida small business owners are unlike the majority of the country who are implementing a “wait and see” approach in terms of growth. Fifty-four percent of Florida business owners have a positive outlook on the economy and 82 percent (compared to 69 percent nationally) are planning to grow their business over the next six months. [Source: Miami Herald]

Halloween sales are scarily good this year

Retailers expect shoppers to generate $8 billion in sales for Halloween, a 16 percent jump from 2011. The spending surge comes as the holiday grows in popularity and as Americans feel more comfortable about opening their wallets in the slowly improving economy, the National Retail Federation said. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

Regulators approve 100,000 more Citizens policies for potential takeout by private insurers

Regulators on Thursday said they approved 100,000 more Citizens policies for potential takeout by private insurers in December, pushing past 300,000 the number eligible to leave the state-run insurer in coming months without controversial incentives the Citizens board was expected to discuss. [Source: Palm Beach Post]

Florida Trend Exclusive
Guiding principles

Elected to office at age 23, Andrew Gillum says he felt unprepared at times for what lay ahead. To help young elected officials adapt, Gillum in 2005 decided to form a group that could “develop a curriculum to help support us as we grow as elected officials.” Full story...

Attorney General Bondi, lawmakers haggle over millions in foreclosure cash

Florida is ranked No. 1 in the nation for the number of homes in foreclosures and the number of people on the verge of losing their homes. But the Sunshine State is last in the nation when it comes to using the billions of dollars in available housing aid from a national mortgage settlement, according to a report released Thursday. [Source: Times/Herald]


› Florida Hospital whistleblower case widens to ERs
A whistleblower case alleging that Florida Hospital and six affiliates knowingly overbilled Medicare "tens of millions of dollars" in radiology services has widened to include the hospitals' emergency departments, according to an amended complaint filed this month.

› Jacksonville port gains shipping line to Latin America
Jacksonville’s port has gained another shipping line specializing in automobile cargo, bolstering the port’s recovery the past year in shipping vehicles.

› Miami-Dade ordinance would require sick leave for employees
A proposed Dade ordinance would allow all employees to earn paid sick time, a benefit 45 percent of local workers and 88 percent of restaurant workers currently do not get.

› Gov. Rick Scott 'gets to work' in FDLE crime lab
Thursday's visit to he Florida Department of Law Enforcement crime lab at the Orlando Regional Operations Center marked Scott's 14th stop in his "Let's Get to Work" campaign, which allows him to spend a day walking in the shoes of various professionals from different backgrounds. In the past he has visited schools, state parks and restaurants.

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› YouFit partners with Silver Sneakers for seniors
Youfit Health Clubs, based in Coconut Creek, is teaming up with Silver Sneakers, the popular exercise program for seniors to offer free memberships. Seniors sign up through their healhplans such as Humana, AARP and AvMed, and work with a specially trained program advisor to develop an exercise program.
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› Business owner solicits other non-scientology business owners
When supporting a business, do you care about the owner's religious beliefs or political affiliations? One Clearwater business believes that matters.

› Stretch Wrap to relocate to Fort Lauderdale, create 200 jobs
Stretch Wrap Packaging Industries, a manufacturer of plastic stretch wrap for the logistics industry, is relocating its manufacturing plant from Suriname, South America, to Fort Lauderdale and plans to add 200 jobs, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance said Thursday.

› Jabil COO to become CEO
Jabil Circuit Inc. is promoting its chief operating officer, Mark Mondello, to CEO, and its current chief executive is set to become chairman. CEO Timothy Main, who has led the electric parts maker for 12 years, will step down in March as Mondello takes over.