There is a good reason why retailers think they might wring a little more money from recession-weary consumers this year — those buyers have more to spend. For the first time since the start of the Great Recession, every major metropolitan area in the country saw an increase in personal income last year, according to data released Monday by the government. More from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and the Miami Herald.
2013 is expected to be the calm before the storm when it comes to health insurance. Several provisions of the Affordable Care Act are due to take effect in 2014, so businesses are sticking with their existing plans for their employer-based coverage for next year, according to insurance representatives. [Source: Naples Daily News]
State regulators Monday approved allowing Florida Power & Light and Progress Energy Florida to collect nearly $300 million from customers next year to help upgrade decades-old nuclear plants and to take steps toward building new reactors. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]
Robert Gunn's prediction about firearm sales if President Barack Obama got a second term was as blunt as the collection of his snub-nose 38s beneath the glass counter for sale: If the president's popularity held, so would record high gun sales, the Ocala Armory gun shop salesman said. Gunn was right. [Source: Gainesville Sun]
The forms used by property insurers across the state to calculate insurance discounts for homeowners are seriously flawed and must be completely thrown out, an administrative judge has found in a potentially groundbreaking ruling. The decision could have far-reaching implications for homeowners across the state.[Source: Times/Herald]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Column: Confidence fades as Citizens Property antics become public [Tampa Bay Times]
Citizens Property Insurance was created in 2002 by the state to protect Floridians unable to find private insurance coverage. Now who will protect us from Citizens' bad behavior?
» Related: Claims put little dent in Citizens surplus
› Boca youngster's "Pezo Pal" is magazine's toy of the year [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
The family story is that William Georges was just 6 years old when he stuck his mother's MP3 player through a hole worn in his Teddy bear and said, "I just invented my first toy, Mom." Now, five years later, that brainstorm has produced what the young inventor and his parents call "Pezo Pals" — a Teddy bear for the 21st century that has won Creative Child magazine's Toy of the Year.
› Three companies bid to bring bike-sharing to Tampa [Tampa Bay Times]
Tampa's goal is to have 30 stations with 300 rentable bikes throughout downtown, Ybor City and surrounding neighborhoods in fall 2013. The program could be expanded to the West Shore business district and the University of South Florida area by fall 2015.
› Ma Barker auction a dud [Orlando Sentinel]
The Ma Barker hideout, site of the longest shootout in FBI history, drew more international publicity than solid offers when it was recently scheduled for auction, and it is now being listed for sale.
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› Hialeah emerges as hot spot for investors [Miami Herald]
Hialeah, a working-class suburb of 230,000 people that was devastated by South Florida’s foreclosure meltdown, has emerged as one of the top destinations for real estate investors scouring Miami-Dade County for distressed condo deals.
› Realty firm expands as market gets going [Sarasota Herald-Tribune]
Having operated in downtown Sarasota for just over two years, J Wood Realty has expanded southward with a new office in Osprey. And more growth could be in the offing.
› Palm Beach Gardens might join other communities to spur green energy [Palm Beach Post]
A plan to allow commercial property owners to pay for energy-saving improvements through their property tax bills is scheduled for consideration at the Dec. 6 city council meeting.
› As Sandy Steals Spring Break, Businesses Worry [Businessweek]
Many families in the Northeast who welcome a respite from the bleakness of mid-winter with vacations in Florida are having to change plans after Hurricane Sandy. Along with flooding, damaged homes, and further tragic consequences from Sandy, those families are discovering that their vacation plans are likely to be damaged, too.