Gov. Rick Scott and Amazon announced a deal Thursday in which the Internet retail giant would create 3,000 new jobs in Florida by 2016. But the good news comes with a catch: The new jobs in the state also mean consumers will be required to pay a 6 percent state sales tax on all the books, DVDs, CDs and other products they buy through Amazon.com. More from the Tampa Bay Times , the AP and the Jacksonville Business Journal.
Space Florida is pushing for a commercial launch site (rendering) near the Brevard-Volusia border.
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Space Florida, the state’s aerospace economic development agency, continues to work for a commercial launch site just north of the Kennedy Space Center. The agency, together with the state, has proposed that NASA carve out 150 acres near the Brevard-Volusia border as a site for a commercial spaceport. Full story...
More than 7 in 10 Florida voters favor the concept of the bipartisan immigration reform plans proposed in Congress, according to a new survey that indicates the issue might not be as politically polarizing as many say. The results released Thursday from Republican-leaning Harper Polling and Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling could be a big boost to Florida’s Republican Sen. Marco Rubio. [Source: Miami Herald]
With new party leadership, an advantage in voter registration, and a vulnerable Republican governor seeking re-election, Florida Democrats should be in a strong position, but the outlook isn't all that dazzling. Read more from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and see also:
As Florida's growth machine stirs back to life, new Census data point to a familiar reason for the resurgence: The lure of a warm and sunny retirement. The state's 65-and-older population grew 4.5 percent according to new figures. [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Money 'watcher' keeps clients' finances on track [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
Caitlin Hall, of Plantation, makes money minding others' dollars. These days, Hall, 39, and a growing number of professional daily money managers cater to clients who are too busy, elderly or inexperienced to handle their finances.
› South Florida business with China grows [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
To succeed in business with China involves doing your homework, building trust with Chinese partners — and often drinking lots of alcohol. That was some of the advice offered by a panel of China experts at a seminar Thursday in Fort Lauderdale, sponsored by HSBC Bank and organized by the South Florida Business Journal.
› Orlando tourism visitor count hits record for 3rd year [Orlando Sentinel]
The year after the Great Recession, the number of visitors to Orlando hit an all-time high. And the country's No. 1 travel destination hasn't looked back since.
› Teenage bakery owner wins national award [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
Shea Gouldd, the 18-year-old owner of the popular Shea's Bakery in Delray Beach was named National Young Entrepreneur of the Year during a ceremony in Washington, D.C. on Thursday.
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› New law will ban Florida truckers from texting and driving [Sarasota Herald-Tribune]
The 226-page highway safety bill (HB 7125) brings Florida law into compliance with federal regulations that ban truckers and other commercial vehicle operators, like bus drivers, from either texting while driving or talking on their cells phone _ unless they are using a wireless device like Bluetooth.
› Grocers allege potato group pumped up spud prices [AP]
A U.S. wholesale grocer says America's potato farmers have run an illegal price-fixing cartel for a decade, driving up spud prices while spying on farmers with satellites and aircraft fly-overs to enforce strict limits on how many tubers they can grow.
› Element hotel to be built at Orlando Fashion Square [Orlando Sentinel]
The new LEED-certified hotel at Orlando Fashion Square will have suites with mini-kitchens, specially designed workspaces and entertainment centers along with hotel amenities for active business and leisure travelers that include a pool deck, fitness center and bike-and-ride stations.
› Cops drop workers compensation lawsuit against Miami Beach [Miami Herald]
A lawsuit that accused Miami Beach of engaging in a racketeering scheme to deny police officers full worker’s compensation benefits has been voluntarily dismissed.