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Wednesday's Daily Pulse

Florida businesses eye Mideast aviation bonanza

Tucked near the back of one of the world's largest airshows is a modest pavilion for the state of Florida, where a handful of businesses are trying to get a piece of the billions being invested in the aviation industry by wealthy Arab governments. [Source: AP]

Business energy tax cut could be on hold

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam says his proposal to trim the sales tax on energy used by businesses may have a hard time advancing during the coming legislative session. Putnam's proposal would cut the sales tax that private firms pay for electricity to 3.5 percent, collectively saving businesses about $250 million a year. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

Hotels adding new and bigger holiday attractions

South Florida hotels are going beyond the traditional holiday tree and decorations and are adding bells and whistles to attract new and repeat business during the festive season. The new attractions can help properties stand out when consumers are making vacation decisions, industry specialists say. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

Farm bill takes aim at state animal welfare laws

The future of state laws that regulate everything from the size of a hen's cage to the safe consumption of Gulf oysters may be at stake as farm bill negotiators work to resolve a long-simmering fight between agriculture and animal welfare interests. [Source: AP]

Business portrait of
Lee County

As Lee County celebrates its 125th anniversary, it is experiencing a resurgent economy and a healthy broadening of its traditional business base. At this profile, you'll find an in-depth look at the business communities of Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Bonita Springs and Sanibel. We also name key companies and people to know. The full report is here.

Latest report shows Florida crime rate down

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement recently released its semi-annual crime report, which tracks murders, burglaries, car thefts and other violent crimes. Overall, reported crime was down about 5 percent in Florida from January to June 2013. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]


› In Miami, Ericsson tackles new tech for traffic woes
Global telecom giant Ericsson came to – where else? – South Florida this week to announce a new effort aimed at using technology to solve traffic problems in major cities.

› USF poised to create Florida cybersecurity center
Cyberattacks reported by federal agencies have grown nearly 800 percent in the past six years. PricewaterhouseCoopers reports that in the private sector, 93 percent of organizations experienced some form of cybersecurity breach in the previous year. Who will take on that scourge? Maybe the University of South Florida.

› Disney lays off more parks executives
With the latest moves, Disney has now laid off at least half a dozen parks executives in recent months, including two from its research team and another from its Internet group.

› Give Miami Day begins Wednesday
Philanthropy isn’t just for the rich Wednesday, the Miami Foundation will encourage contributions from $25 and more with its second Give Miami Day, which began at midnight Tuesday.

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› State approves new Valencia College campus
With little discussion, the state Board of Education on Tuesday signed off on Valencia's plan to build its sixth campus in the fast- growing Poinciana community of Osceola County. Valencia already has one campus in Osceola and four in Orange County.

› Ski Slopes Demographics Change As More Senior Skiers Suit Up
Skiers on the far side of 50 — some on the very far side — has been creeping up each year, according to the National Ski Areas Association. Even those who retire to Florida still pursue their passion. The Florida Ski Council has 17 clubs in the state and at least one trip going every week of the ski season.

› Central Florida Partnership economic punch in U.S. top 20
The seven counties that make up the Central Florida Partnership and their combined economic punch is the 19th largest in the United States. To maintain that standing, and improve upon it, takes compromises, communications and partnerships.

› Jewish philanthropist honored for accomplishments
When Julie Talenfeld was growing up in Hollywood and Plantation, she remembers her mother always teaching her to give back. Now, a very successful businesswoman, Talenfeld still heeds her mother's words, and, along with her husband, child advocacy attorney Howard Talenfeld, are very active philanthropists in the local Jewish community.