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Monday's Afternoon Update

Florida’s holiday shopping projected to rise 4.5 percent

Buoyed by a boom in visitors, the uptick in holiday shopping in the Sunshine State is predicted to outpace that of the nation this year, the Florida Retail Federation said Friday. Retailers in Florida are expected to reap a 4.5 percent jump statewide during the November-December season, compared to national forecasts that point to a 3 percent to 4 percent increase. More at the Miami Herald.

Sales and Marketing Advice for Florida business
Five ways to grow your email marketing list and acquire new leads

Are you driving yourself crazy trying to figure how to acquire new leads? The possibilities are too many to count, but improving search optimization, pumping up social presence, and more promotional activities are typically what many businesses turn to. Read Ron Stein's full column.

Funding short for buying new conservation lands

Business Profile

Vespas of the Sky

vespas of the sky
An Italian maker of small, relatively inexpensive airplanes is bringing the bulk of its manufacturing to Kissimmee, where it hopes that proximity to its largest potential markets will boost sales. Italigo Aviation LSA builds light sport aircraft that cost less than $300,000 apiece, run on regular gasoline and cost about $24 per hour to fly.

» Full story

Much of the land that the state considered surplus conservation land that could be sold to raise money for the purchase other environmentally sensitive lands turned out to be worth conserving - leaving Florida with less money to spend on other land needed to protect natural resources. More at the AP.

Small Business Advice
Small price changes make a big difference

Raising prices is not always the ideal strategy for improving the bottom lie, but it is one way to get there — so long as it is fair and competitive. The trick is ensuring customers do not perceive the increase as excessive. Read Jerry Osteryoung's full column.

Social entrepreneurs aim to solve society’s big challenges

Social entrepreneurs work to solve society’s most pressing social problems through innovative solutions — and interest in the movement is surging. There are social entrepreneurship accelerators and incubators to nurture startups More at the Miami Herald.

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» Profile: Rising Tide Car Wash

The Business of Health
Companies help workers drop pounds, boost productivity

weight lossAlthough two out of three Americans think obesity is a serious public health issue, most — 54 percent — don't believe the government should meddle in the matter, according to a national survey from Pew Research Center. Many business owners would also prefer that government stay out of their business. However, Florida employers are also well aware of how much an obese workforce weighs on their bottom lines. So many have taken matters into their own hands.

» Full story from the Orlando Sentinel