In 2003, the U.S. economy was going on two years of growth after an eight-month recession. Third-quarter growth was the best in 20 years. Times change. For this year’s Small Business issue, Florida Trend looked at what happened to some of the Florida companies that made Inc.’s list of fast-growing companies and our own Florida Small Business issue from 2003. Read the full story here and see the individual profiles:
Nursing Itself Back to Health
Dwight Cooper’s staffing business has had to adjust to changing market conditions.
A software book deal propels Karen Fredricks to success.
Delivering the Goods
Amid shrinking Postal Service ranks, Mark Forst has managed to grow his postal carrier uniform business.
A Little Too Overeager
In trying to land a government contract, Eduardo Blanchet stretched the truth.
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Last year set a record for South Florida’s trade with the world, and 2013 is shaping up to be another solid year — with a few exceptions. Read the full story from the Miami Herald and see these related stories:
» International Trade From Russia to Turkey
» Florida Trade Stats
» Florida and Colombia as Trade Partners -- Chat Archive
South Florida financial planners fielded calls Friday as more Floridians became interested in investing in a rising stock market -- just as the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit 14000 for the first time since 2007. The interest has been building with the Dow jumping nearly 6 percent in January, the best start for a new year in almost 20 years. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
Gunster, one of Florida’s oldest and largest business law firms, announces an expansion into the Orlando area with the addition of four attorneys and government consultants to establish the firm’s eleventh statewide office. This addition further solidifies Gunster’s statewide footprint and strategically places the firm in every major commercial market in Florida. Full story.
Florida's tourism industry racked up 87.3 million visitors in 2011 and looks to blow by 100 million within the next few years. These numbers are mere sign posts of state tourism marketing agency Visit Florida's not-so-modest mission: To be the No. 1 tourism destination on the planet. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Realities can blast 'rainbows' out of the sky for many First Coast businesses [Florida Times-Union]
Barely two years into his newfound business Fighter Energy drink, Brian Smith said he now knows he had unrealistic expectations when he started. Smith admits he had rainbows in his eyes.
› Docs challenge gun lobby to raise safety concerns [Orlando Sentinel]
Florida doctors, backed by the White House but opposed by state lawmakers and the powerful gun-owners' lobby, are fighting for the right to talk to patients and their families about the hazards of keeping guns in the home.
› Couple fights for dream of opening a family-friendly business [Tampa Bay Times]
Entrepreneurial by nature, Kristin Green got to thinking about opening a business that caters to moms with young children — a place where parents could relax over a cup of coffee and kids could play. A sanctuary where moms could exhale. She never expected it would put her family on the brink of financial ruin.
› Deer antler controversy good for business [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
Former NFL player's Pompano Beach company could cash in from allegations that Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis used supplement with banned substance to recover from injury.
» Related: South Florida now beckons for athletes seeking banned drugs
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› Universal Orlando claims millions in tax breaks via program meant to help 'high-crime' areas [Orlando Sentinel]
Records obtained by the Orlando Sentinel show that Universal has claimed more than $2.3 million worth of state tax credits since mid-2010 based on jobs it added to accommodate the millions of travelers flocking to Wizarding World.
› Shooting straight: Florida's gun laws 101 [Fort Myers News-Press]
Many gun owners, especially those who only take the weapon to the shooting range a few times a year, could easily end up doing something it would never occur to them is illegal, according to Travis Brunson, owner of Guns on 41 in Fort Myers. Training in gun laws is an especially relevant issue now, with so many first-time gun buyers coming into the market.
› Cell phone antennas being placed next to homes [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
Cell phone towers for years have generated concerns from neighbors, but now a new batch of antennas could pop up with little or no warning on utility poles, right next to homes.
› Gov. Scott asks for money for housing program [Sarasota Herald-Tribune]
Gov. Rick Scott has requested $50 million under his 2013-14 budget plan for a popular affordable housing program that has gone unfunded for several years.