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Tuesday's Daily Pulse

Details emerge on Florida health insurance exchange

For Florida residents hoping to purchase coverage through the new health insurance exchange, options will largely depend on where they live, according to new information from the state's Office of Insurance Regulation. As of this month, 10 insurance companies have received federal approval to sell Floridians health plans on the federally assisted health exchange, which rolls out Oct. 1. However, not all companies will sell plans in all counties. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]


Nonprofits turn to branding to raise awareness, funds

As marketing becomes more sophisticated in the for-profit world, nonprofits are discovering they also need to step up their branding game. Nonprofits are bolstering their branding following the Great Recession as they realize they need to embrace more businesslike methods, said Tony Beall, president and CEO of Mister Nonprofit Consultancy of Fort Lauderdale. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]


Government contracts harder to land for small businesses

American Express has released a new poll showing that small firms are competing for less government work and spending considerably more time and money to win the contracts they do go after. Researchers suggest the trends are largely the result of curbed government spending, which has driven up competition for work. [Source: Washington Post]


Regulator explains why insurance rates aren't dropping

Florida's insurance commissioner says there are reasons why homeowner rates in the state are not coming down despite reports that insurers are starting to save money on one of their biggest expenses. And he said that in some instances rates may still go up since some companies have spread increases out over several years. [Source: AP]


Feds declare disaster for Florida oyster industry

Federal officials are declaring a fishery disaster for Florida's oyster industry in the Gulf of Mexico. The collapse of the oyster industry last year followed a drought that reduced freshwater into Apalachicola Bay. But state officials have also blamed the lack of freshwater flow due to increased consumption in Georgia. [Source: AP]


ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Defense company to develop new crowdsourcing tech for disaster response
A Melbourne company said Monday it has landed a Navy research contract to create a "crowdsourcing" analysis system to assist emergency-response teams in disasters, crowd uprisings, fires, crimes and other crises.

› e-Builder helps builders manage projects more efficiently
E-Builder, based in Plantation, has developed cloud-based software for construction program management that makes it simpler for builders and developers to efficiently manage the enormous complexity of major construction projects, and helps reduce costs.

› Office Depot-OfficeMax narrows CEO pick to five
Office Depot's 1,700 employees in Boca Raton may soon know who their new boss is. Office Depot and OfficeMax, which have proposed a $1.2 billion merger, said Monday that it has narrowed down its section of a new chief executive for the combined office-supply companies to five candidates.

› Federal Reserve faces another vacancy in Miami
Less than a year after taking the job, the head of the Federal Reserve’s Miami branch is leaving. Tim Smith took over as the Fed’s regional executive for southern Florida in December when Juan del Busto retired after nine years on the job. This month, Smith announced his own retirement, effective Sept. 1.


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› Charity fills unused seats with kids in need
Sarah Rose had only ever watched the Tampa Bay Rays on TV. The 18-year-old had never heard the crack of the bat or felt the surge of the crowd around her — until April. Thanks to free tickets from the charity Seats of Dreams, which transfers unused event tickets to disadvantaged, disabled or sick kids, she finally made it to Tropicana Field.

› Top apps every business executive needs now
The good news about the app age is that entrepreneurs can tap into some great tools to help build their business. The not-so-good news is there are plenty of clunkers too.

› Trader Joe's officially announces South Tampa site
The California-based food retailer draws a cult-like following with its distinctive products, affordable prices and private label brands. In July, it was named North America's favorite grocery-store chain based on customer satisfaction.

› How teachers spend the summer
At some point in school, most of us have written an essay titled, "What I Did on Summer Vacation." But did you ever ask your teachers what they did on theirs? Teachers are people, too, and they enjoy summer break just as much as their students. Some seek adventure or the spotlight, while others reach out to others in need.