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The Florida-Colombia Connection

Bogota Colombia
Downtown Bogotá, Colombia
Go to full story: The Florida-Colombia Connection.

Stability, economic growth and a new trade agreement are creating stronger Florida-Colombia trade links. Read our report on the Florida-Colombia connection and more:

» Faces of Florida-Colombia Trade
» Florida-Colombia Trade By-the-Numbers
» Reporter's Notebook: Doing Business in Colombia

» Gov. Rick Scott headed to Colombia with huge delegation to promote Florida business

Fiscal cliff poses hazards for Florida

For Florida, falling off the "fiscal cliff" would wipe out more than 130,000 jobs, stifle consumer spending and raise taxes for just about everyone who pays them. That sounds like a recipe for disaster — because it is. Read more form the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and the Naples Daily News.

More American workers to pick their insurance

For some American workers, picking the right health insurance is becoming more like hunting for the perfect business suit: It takes some shopping around to find a good fit and avoid sticker shock. In a major shift in employer-sponsored health insurance coverage, companies are giving employees a fixed amount of money and allowing them to choose their own coverage based on their individual needs. [Source: Florida Today]

Doing good helps the bottom line

Cause marketing is defined as the wide variety of commercial activities that align a company or brand with a cause to generate business and societal benefits. Studies show that more consumers would recommend a brand that supports a good cause over one that doesn’t. [Source: Fort Myers News-Press]

Small businesses face a big struggle for loans

Banks have lots of money available to loan, but many small businesses are struggling to meet the stricter government requirements for getting that money. Consumer demand is low. So many commercial loan applicants don’t make enough in sales to meet the requirement of having two years of records that show their business is stable and profitable. [Source: Florida Today]


› Knight Foundation announces $23 million for arts in South Florida
The Knight Foundation extends Knight Arts Challenge and is giving another $23 million to the arts in South Florida, bringing the organization’s total to $86 million in six years.

› Florida lags in racehorse doping regulations
Antiquated state laws, lenient penalties and a system that tolerates repeat offenders and sometimes leaves violators unpunished for years have caused Florida to fall behind in policing an industry that has come under pressure from U.S. congressional leaders to tighten rules on drugs and medications used on horses.

› The business behind the artist
While Art Basel has helped transform Miami’s reputation from beach-and-party scene to arts destination, the region’s gallery identity is still coming into its own.

› Ports set cruising records
Broward's Port Everglades hosted a whopping 3.68 million passengers, and the Port of Palm Beach 341,000, on multi-day voyages in the year ending Sept. 30. That kept the Fort Lauderdale seaport as the No. 2 cruise port in the world, trailing only Miami, and kept the smaller Palm Beach port on the cruise map.

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› Disney World adds to the magic with New Fantasyland
The opening of the $425 million New Fantasy­land marks the largest expansion in the park's 41-year history. It nearly doubles the size of Fantasyland from 11 to 20 acres, making it the Magic Kingdom's largest section.

› Boat Show may block Miami’s 2016 Super Bowl bid
The NFL wants South Florida to bid on a Super Bowl held the same weekend as the Miami boat show. Miami-Dade’s tourism director calls that ‘impossible.’

› Stressed workers paint brighter picture with hobby
No one had to paint Barbara Hughes a picture. Stressed as piano wire by her job, withdrawing deeper into her own shell, overcome by anomie – Hughes knew she needed help. "I was close to a breaking point where I would quit my job and do something drastic." She found relief by painting her own picture.

› Feds deny disaster aid to South Florida
The federal government has refused Gov. Rick Scott's request for $67.2 million in disaster aid to help South Florida recover from Hurricane Sandy's historic beating, which eroded beaches and damaged coastal structures.