FloridaTrend.com, the Website for Florida Business

Wednesday's Daily Pulse

Florida boasts 15 Fortune 500 companies

Fifteen Florida-based companies appear on the 2013 Fortune 500 list of the nation's biggest public companies by revenues. The largest Florida company, ranked 74th, is World Fuel Services in Miami. Florida will soon gain a new Fortune 500 company with Tuesday's announced headquarters relocation of car rental giant Hertz. More from the Tampa Bay Times and see the full Fortune 500.

» 2013 Best & Worst States for Business from Chief Executive

Hertz drawn to Florida by quality of life, tourism

Hertz Announcement
Gov. Rick Scott shakes the hand of Mark P. Frissora, CEO of Hertz Holdings. This move will bring 700 jobs to Florida.

Everyone was beaming at the love fest that was the formal announcement of Hertz’s global headquarters moving to Southwest Florida. “Florida is the center of the U.S. if not the worldwide travel industry,” said Hertz CEO Mark Frissora. [Source: Fort Myers News-Press]

See also:
» Hertz move gives construction economy a spark
» Hertz Becomes the Latest Company To Exit New Jersey Due To High Costs
» Hertz move to Florida expected to cost Tulsa more than 100 jobs

Florida Trend Exclusive
Orlando/Orange County business portrait

The broad outlines of Orlando’s economy are now well-defined. One strong arm, of course, is the area’s tourism industry, a global powerhouse with the nation’s biggest hotel market and second-largest convention center. Orlando’s other arm, still developing but increasingly muscular, is an amalgam of health care, education, research and high-tech simulation and manufacturing, including a military component. See the full business portrait.

Orlando skyline Go to business portrait.

Coca-Cola to invest $2 billion in Florida citrus

The Coca-Cola Co. says it is spending $2 billion to support the planting of 25,000 acres of new orange groves in Florida, a move officials are lauding as a major investment in the Sunshine State’s citrus industry. More from the AP, the Wall Street Journal and the Orlando Sentinel.

See also:
Florida Legislature OKs citrus greening funds

Bondi enlists Florida businesses to help fight human trafficking

Attorney General Pam Bondi is turning to Florida businesses to expand her “zero tolerance” campaign to crack down on human trafficking in the state, which has seen an increase of teen runaways, the homeless and immigrants as prime victims. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]


› University of Florida introduces supercomputer
The University of Florida has unveiled what officials are calling the state's most advanced supercomputer — a machine that can do as many as 150 trillion calculations per second. University officials said the Dell machine, called the HiPerGator, will help researchers do their jobs much more quickly, including finding life-saving drugs and making long-term weather forecasts.

› Rowing park seeks corporate sponsors
Although $30 million in local and state taxes have gone toward the ongoing construction of the rowing regatta facility at Nathan Benderson Park, the management of the county-owned sports venue expects it to become self-supporting once it is fully operational.

› At sea, reborn Carnival Sunshine still a work in progress
Some passengers on the newly renovated (and renamed) Carnival Sunshine are complaining that the vessel is not quite shipshape. Parts of the 3,006-passenger ship, previously called the Carnival Destiny, are “still undergoing final finishing work which has been hampered by inclement weather,” according to a spokeswoman.

› Disney parks' profit soars 73 percent
Profits soared across the Walt Disney Co.'s vacation businesses during the first three months of 2013, surging 73 percent on the strength of new investments in cruise ships and theme-park attractions in Florida and California

Go to page 2 for more stories ...

Florida Trend's
Viva Florida 500 Travel Guide

There's much to see and do as Florida commemorates the 500-year anniversary of Ponce de León arriving on its eastern shore.

The statewide festivities planned to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the discovery of Florida — Viva Florida 500 — invite residents and visitors alike to launch their own explorations.

Viva Florida 500

Map out a Florida adventure - start here!

› Did Dolphins owner Steve Ross get what he paid for?
Back in 2008, Dolphins owner Steve Ross paid $1.1 billion to join an elite clubhouse of rich folks, also known as professional sports team owners. While there are hundreds of billionaires in the world, only a select few can call themselves owners of a pro franchise.

› Citizens reform to have big impact on coastal homes
Real estate and insurance experts say the state’s reforms to Citizens Property Insurance Corp. will have a big impact on coastal real estate in South Florida.

› Medical device recycling firm builds Boynton Beach business
Most of the office furniture and artwork at EPrewards in Boynton Beach was found at garage sales. Company founder Steve Miller points proudly to a granite conference table snagged when a former office tenant couldn't move it. He says the use of existing objects is in keeping with the company's mission: to recycle medical devices and save money for hospitals.

› Neal has 800 more acres in Parrish
Neal Communities affiliates have bought more than 800 acres of land in Parrish, where -- in a rare move -- the developer plans to roll out a massive community with a national builder as a partner.