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Thursday's Afternoon Update

Micro-businesses booming in U.S.

There are small businesses and then there are the really small businesses – those that have no employees. And those are booming, at least in number. The number of businesses without paid employees in the U.S. rose 1.7 percent to 22.5 million in 2011, according to a new report released Thursday from the U.S. Census Bureau. Florida boasts 31,485 non-employer businesses, the third most of any state. More at the Central Valley Business Times.

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» Making a micro business

State's 2nd largest insurer fined nearly $1.3 million

Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty announced Thursday that his office was assessing a fine against Universal Property & Casualty Insurance Company. Universal has roughly 542,000 policyholders statewide and collects more than $765 million a year in premiums. Only Citizens Property Insurance Corp. has more residential customers. [Source: AP]

Quality of sites, not quality of life, attracts companies

CEO Sounding Board


florida environment
Florida and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency this year agreed to end dual rule making over the proper levels of nitrogen and phosphorus in Florida waterways and let Florida take the lead in regulating nutrients. Excess nutrients cause algal blooms and other water quality problems. We asked Florida CEOs: "What does the settlement mean for Florida?"

» Read full story

Contemporary business recruitment depends largely on hard-nosed data-crunching that's easily and quickly digestible, a sophisticated website, access to industry-friendly property free of regulatory hurdles and, perhaps most importantly, lucrative financial incentives. More at the Ocala Star-Banner.

Miami-Dade public records go mobile

The clerk’s office Thursday is launching mobile access to a ton of public records. They include county real-estate records, marriage licenses and code-enforcement and parking violations. Other official records from the county recorder also will be available via mobile devices during the first phase of the project. More at the Miami Herald.

Minority firms offered resources, financing help in new statewide effort

The new Minority & Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Capital division was unveiled last week to better support and grow black, Hispanic and women-owned businesses in the state. Lending its support to grassroots organizations serving minority entrepreneurs, Enterprise Florida's ultimate goal for the effort is to generate jobs in Florida by helping minority firms be successful. More at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Out of the Box
Davie stuck with unwanted bridge; want to buy it?

davie bridgeWhen the Davie Town Council voted last year to commission a 90-foot span across the N-23 Canal on the west side of town, it envisioned a charming bridge that would be praised by the horseback riders and hikers who would use it. The first hint that something was amiss came when a representative from the Shoreline Foundation construction firm called to ask how many vehicles would be driving across it each day. None. Oops.

» Full story from the Miami Herald