Congressional inaction on the fiscal cliff, with its looming year-end tax increases and automatic budget cuts, would cost Florida governments millions of dollars in federal aid and could rock the state’s still-fragile economy. But even a deal to avoid it could hurt, Florida economists and lawmakers fear. [Source: Palm Beach Post]
As STEM has become an education buzzword in recent years, a steady stream of research has emerged that challenges the notion of STEM as an economic elixir. In some STEM careers, the employment picture is downright lousy. [Source: Miami Herald]
The international art fair, arguably one of the best in the world, featured 257 galleries from 31 countries. Galleries presented artists from the 20th and 21st century. The fair spanned four days and featured art on many levels: high-end art for sale, public performance pieces, artist talks, art films and outdoor sculptures. And of course, in true South Beach style, there were parties galore. Read full story and see photo gallery.
As Miami-Dade’s volume of international trade increases dramatically, owners and users of warehouses are grabbing space. Cargo volume at the PortMiami seaport increased by 6.8% during 2011. Rising in tandem, industrial rental rates had increased 12% to $4.73 a square foot by the third quarter as vacancies dropped to 8.3% compared to a year earlier. Full story...
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Topic: Florida-Colombia Trade Links
Even as Florida's unemployment rate has slowly fallen from historic highs, underemployment remains a millstone hampering recovery. For the third quarter of this year, Florida's unemployment rate averaged 8.9 percent, while the government's broadest measure of underemployment stood at 16.4 percent. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› The Sarasota legacy of Charles Ringling, the other Ringling brother [Sarasota Herald-Tribune]
John Ringling is known today for being the public face of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, "the Greatest Show on Earth," and the namesake of world-renowned art museum and art school, to list but a few. But lesser-known Charles Ringling left an equally impressive mark on Sarasota.
› Foreclosure cases moving like mud [Palm Beach Post]
Florida’s foreclosure courts have made almost no progress in clearing an overwhelming backlog of cases from their dockets despite a $4 million stipend awarded by lawmakers this year. As of Oct. 31, there were 377,272 pending foreclosures in Florida’s 20 circuit courts, a net reduction of just 435 cases since the money became available in July.
› Events showcase Miami’s growth as tech center [Miami Herald]
TekFight and DemoDay, both kickoff events for Innovate MIA week, showcase tech startup ventures in traditional and innovative ways.
› HuB grand opening full of surprises [Sarasota Herald-Tribune]
The title “business incubator” is a loose one, and the main criteria for people who want to pay some rent (or maybe no rent) and hang out there and work on their projects is that they be engaged in something innovative, something having to do with technology. And be willing to help others and share.
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› Back in the fast lane: AutoNation expanding again [Miami Herald]
Despite an agonizingly slow economic recovery, the country’s largest auto retailer, Fort Lauderdale-based AutoNation, is thriving again as demand for vehicles expands.
› Thousands in Southwest Florida try business ownership [Fort Myers News-Press]
Josh Esser started his business after losing his job. “I’m not getting rich, but the bills are paid,” he said. Esser is among thousands of Lee and Collier counties’ residents who started a business during a recession that was killing many other companies.
› Column: Are we a nation and state of incentives gone wild? [Tampa Bay Times]
Do we suffer from incentive fever? Are we getting to the point where no business will expand or relocate without an obligatory and often inflated handout of taxpayer money?
› Execs charged meals, limos to South Florida blood bank [Orlando Sentinel]
Top managers at South Florida's main blood bank charged meals with co-workers that featured alcohol and cost nearly $1,000, and one executive took limousine rides worth almost $1,400, according to expense-report receipts obtained by the Orlando Sentinel.