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Monday's Afternoon Update

Florida’s leading indicator up again

Florida’s leading indicator — a measurement of economic activity in the state compiled by Durham, N.H.-based e-forecasting.com — went up in September after also rising in August. The September data is the most recent available. Six of the 10 components that make up Florida’s leading indicator had a positive contribution. More at the Orlando Business Journal.

Odds of Office Depot staying in Boca Raton grow

A bill to provide incentives for Office Depot to move its headquarters to Illinois failed to make to a full state Senate vote last week, a political stalemate that could persuade the office supply retailer to move more than 2,000 jobs to Florida. More at the South Florida Business Journal.

» Note: Ron Stein's column will return next week. In the meantime, his archive of columns on the topic of sales and marketing can be found here.

Startup spotlight: itopia

Business Profile


iSirona is a Panama City software company that integrates medical device data into electronic medical records. The company reported revenue of $17.2 million last year, up 2,092% over three years and is partnering with myHealth Sentinel in Singapore.

» Full story

Itopia was formed to capitalize on the inevitable migration of most business software applications and data to the cloud. The company hosts applications and data for a rapidly growing client base ranging from a Fortune 500 company and multinational law firms to small and medium-size businesses. Read more at the Miami Herald and visit itopia.

Small Business Advice
Offered incentives, customers will likely promote your business

There is an erroneous assumption among business owners that existing customers will promote your business if you provide great customer service. This is not entirely correct. Customer service is important and necessary, of course, but you also must provide a strong incentive to encourage your existing customers to promote your company on a regular basis. Read Jerry Osteryoung's full column.

Fees go up, up — not away — as airline profits grow

Anyone traveling by air this holiday season can book tickets, choose seats and check bags with confidence that they have a good sense of how much they’ll have to pay — as long as they do their research. All bets for next year are off, however, with the already lengthy list of airline fees likely to become even longer and more complicated. More at the Miami Herald.

Inn the Money

alfond innThe new Alfond Inn is a stylish $30-million addition to downtown Winter Park, not far from fashionable Park Avenue and a short, tree-shaded walk to Rollins College a block away. But the inn is more than just a place for heads in beds. The 112-room boutique hotel also is an investment in future students of the private school, founded in 1885.

» Full story