Small businesses are key in Florida's manufacturing and exporting, comprising 95.8 percent of the state's exporting firms and responsible for producing 67.1 percent of the state's total exports. According to Enterprise Florida, the U.S. Department of Commerce reports that, on average, companies that export grow 15 percent faster, pay 15 percent higher wages and are 12 percent more profitable compared to those that do not export. [Source: South Florida Business-Journal]
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"We believe we can handle international work very well from here." — George LeMieux, chairman, Gunster
Florida-born Holland & Knight has offices in four foreign countries. Greenberg Traurig has attorneys in six. Miami’s Diaz Reus [“Danger Zone,” August] built its reputation on being in every country where it sees opportunity. But expanding abroad doesn't necessarily mean opening an office overseas. Full story...
Despite great weather for exercising outside, Floridians are relatively unhealthy and many adults are couch potatoes. Florida ranked No. 34, unchanged from last year, in a state-by-state study of health. Despite the state’s healthy image of being an active place to play, that’s not the case for many residents. More from the South Florida Business Journal and the United Health Foundation.
Citizens Property Insurance Corp. to hire a full-time inspector general and submit to an ongoing third-party review of the policies it sells. Speaking to reporters following a state cabinet meeting, Scott said Floridians need to be reassured that past missteps do not repeat themselves at the agency. [Source: Palm Beach Post]
» Citizens needs a watchdog
November holiday hiring reached a record level, according to global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. Retailers added 465,500 seasonal workers during the month. That compares with 383,700 in November a year ago. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Technology is changing shopping in Southwest Florida [Sarasota Herald-Tribune]
Price comparisons between stores and online retailers used to be considered the death knell for brick-and-mortar stores competing against the likes of Amazon and eBay. Not so any more.
› Horse training track makes history [Ocala Star-Banner]
It took fewer than 12 seconds to make horse racing history Tuesday in Marion County. In that time, a horse named Call Me Easy Money covered the 220 yards of the first sanctioned quarter horse pari-mutuel race at the Ocala Breeders' Sales training track. That first race, however, may be the last.
› What’s the ‘right-to-work’ battle all about? [CNN]
Florida was the first state to pass right-to-work legislation, in 1943. Now the battle over right-to-work legislation in Michigan has renewed debate over labor policy and the role of unions in the American economy. Here’s a quick look at the issue from CNN.
› Cade Prize seeking entries for 2013 contest [Gainesville Sun]
The Cade Museum for Creativity + Invention has put out a call for entries for the fourth annual $50,000 Cade Museum Prize. The prize goes to Florida-based people or companies based on creative ideas that have a demonstrable impact and are likely to become commercially viable products or services.
Go to page 2 for more stories ...
› FAMU put on academic probation [Times/Herald]
Florida A&M University was placed on academic probation by its regional accrediting body Tuesday, which cited ongoing issues concerning hazing and financial mismanagement at the school.
› Sandy dents air travel to Orlando [Orlando Sentinel]
Hurricane Sandy made the seasonal slowdown at Orlando International Airport worse than usual this fall, according to statistics released this week by the airport.
› JaxPort aims to cut diesel emissions from cargo cranes [Florida Times-Union]
JaxPort will install technology on its diesel-powered cranes to reduce their pollution. The JaxPort board voted Tuesday to accept a $588,235 grant that will pay for putting diesel oxidation catalysts on cranes and some equipment at the Talleyrand and Blount Island cargo terminals. No local match is required.
› Entrepreneurship: Good guesses can help in year-end tax planning [Florida Today]
This year with the impending fiscal cliff and the likelihood of tax-code changes, you would need a crystal ball to offer exact advice on lowering your tax bill. Nevertheless, here are some educated guesses about what's going to happen tax-wise that could affect small business.