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Thursday's Afternoon Update

Florida growth projection highest in 7 years

Florida’s economy is expected to keep growing through 2013. A Federal Reserve index that tries to predict state-by-state economic growth for the short term shows an expanding economy in the Sunshine State. More at the Miami Herald and see the report from the Federal Reserve.

Planned job cuts fall to lowest level since 1997

After three months of stepped-up layoffs, the number of planned job cuts in December plunged to 32,556, the second lowest monthly total of 2012. "Planned" job cuts are those announced by employers. More at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

More businesses catering exclusively to adults

Editor's Column

Children's Voices

Mark R. Howard

Children, as every good parent knows, want more than anything to feel that they’re being heard — even more than they want to get their way. And for 30 years, the state of Florida has struggled to give damaged children a voice amid the clatter and din of its child protection bureaucracy.

» Full column...

When dining at the Blue Windows Bistro in south Fort Myers, bring your appetite, but leave your children at home. As the nation ages, more businesses like Blue Windows are catering exclusively to adults. More at the Naples Daily News.

Workshops offer basics for aspiring entrepreneurs

For those aspiring entrepreneurs who included a business startup among their goals for 2013, two programs are offering seminars on the basics. More at the Tallahassee Democrat.

South Florida poised for record trade in 2013

South Florida is poised for record trade in 2013, thanks largely to solid growth in Latin America, the area's top trade partner, trade analysts said Wednesday. In the first 10 months last year, South Florida's trade with the world reached $102.6 billion, up by $9.4 billion from a year earlier, according to U.S. census data analyzed by media company WorldCity in Coral Gables. More at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Florida marks 500 years since first tourist

florida 500 anniversaryWhen Juan Ponce de Leon searched for riches in Florida, he unknowingly helped turn the Sunshine State into the first travel destination in the United States. Five centuries later, the state is celebrating its Spanish heritage with a series of events throughout 2013.

» Full story from the AP
» Visit Florida
» Viva Florida! In 2013, Florida celebrates 500 years