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Tuesday's Daily Pulse

Florida losing bank branches at fast clip

Florida is one of the leading states for closures of bank branches, according to a study by SNL Financial. The state had a net loss of 79 branches during the 12 months ended Sept. 30, with 99 branches opened and 178 closed. The only states with a greater net loss of branches than Florida were Pennsylvania at 109, North Carolina at 92 and Georgia at 81. Read more and see a map at the South Florida Business Journal and see the full report from SNL Financial.

Florida cities used cuts to get through recession

A new Pew Charitable Trusts report shows Miami, Tampa and Orlando have been using job cuts and dipping into reserves to make up for revenue shortfalls in the wake of the recession. The report also says that property tax collections in Tampa dropped by one-third largely from 2007 to 2011 because of a change in state property tax law. [Source: Palm Beach Post]

By the numbers: U.S. veteran-owned businesses

In the more than 10 years since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, between 2.5 and three million U.S. soldiers have served in active duty. For many of them, the transition back to civilian life is a difficult one. Veterans who find they don't enjoy, or can't fit into, ordinary working life turn to entrepreneurship at greater rates than the rest of the population. [Source: Entrepreneur]

Three keys to nurturing customer relationships

Every day, businesses spend millions of dollars in an effort to find and cultivate new relationships with people who may become future customers. Yet for a large percentage of companies, efforts to retain customers once they’ve already been acquired are often left up to chance or assumed to happen automatically. [Source: South Florida Business Journal]

Cuban leaders eye new port as economic lifeline

Best known as the launch point of a mass maritime exodus to the U.S. in 1980, the 40,000-person town of Mariel has practically no traffic and kids play freely in the streets without worrying their parents. But all that's about to change with the rise of a huge, modern, $900 million port and special commercial zone in and around the town's formerly sleepy harbor. [Source: AP]


› Growers anticipate normal Florida fall tomato deal
Florida’s fall tomato deal is shaping up as a typical one. In mid-October, central Florida growers began harvesting light volumes of grape tomatoes and cherry tomatoes. In central Florida, mature-greens and romas should begin production in early November.

› Prioria Robotics to provide drones to Army
Prioria Robotics has been awarded $4.5 million worth of contracts to produce 36 small unmanned aircrafts and 12 ground control stations for the U.S. Army, the company announced Monday.

› Coalition to hold rally in St. Petersburg to promote solar energy
A coalition of almost two dozen groups plans to launch a campaign Wednesday that calls for more solar power in the Sunshine State, including replacement of some of Duke Energy's coal plants with sun-driven units.

› West Palm Beach a top 10 digital city
In the 13th Annual Digital Cities Survey, the Center for Digital Government cites municipalities that improve transparency through open government, that increase access to services through mobile applications, and that eliminate waste, cut costs and improve services.

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› Tampa gas prices dip below $3, expected to stay low through holidays
Gas prices dipped below $3 Monday — a bit of an early holiday present, and a trend expected to extend through the new year.

› Entrepreneurs ready to pitch investors at Startup Weekend Space Coast
The Florida Institute of Technology's Nathan M. Bisk College of Business is holding Startup Weekend Space Coast beginning Nov. 15 to provide entrepreneurs access to potential investors.

› Golf course development fight prompts push for new law
Years of fighting over what to do with a closed golf course near Boca Raton has prompted a proposed law intended to stop development from spreading to neighborhood recreation land.

› Amazon, postal service to deliver on Sundays
Amazon is teaming up with the U.S. Postal Service to deliver packages on Sundays. Financial terms of the arrangement were not disclosed, but the deal, but it's likely to give the financially ailing Postal Service a boost.