FloridaTrend.com, the Website for Florida Business

Thursday's Daily Pulse

Florida economy improving but "normalcy" about three years off

Florida's economy is finding its footing, but the state is still about three years away from growth rates seen before the recession, according to a new state forecast. The state's Office of Economic and Demographic Research says a number of forecasts suggest "normalcy" will be "largely achieved by fiscal year 2016-2017." Read more from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and read the full report here.

Special Economic Report
The effect of changes in the national flood insurance program on Florida

Special report on rising flood insurance rates in Florida
» Report includes map and charts.

The changes required by the Biggert-Waters Act are already affecting home sales in Florida, when purchasers or potential purchasers learn of the increased costs of the new flood insurance rate structure. This could continue to lead to significant reductions in home sales and values, and to reductions of county tax receipts as property values are re-calculated accordingly. Full report is here. [Economic report is from Florida TaxWatch.]

Legislators: Jobs portal fails to comply with transparency law

Two Democratic legislators from South Florida have scheduled a press conference tomorrow to demand that the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity comply with a new law that requires the agency's web site to tell taxpayers how their money is being spent in the high-stakes jobs recruitment business. [Source: Times/Herald]

Why MLS is convinced it will succeed on second try at Sunshine State

The skeptics about MLS expansion into Florida were in hiding on Tuesday night. That’s when Orlando City SC were unveiled as the league’s 21st expansion team and the first team in Florida since the league picked up and left the Sunshine State almost 12 years ago. And a little more than 200 miles south, it appears David Beckham and his partners are getting closer to putting the pieces together as well. [Source: Yahoo Sports]

» MLS officially awards Orlando soccer franchise
» MLS boss backs Beckham's bid to put team in Miami

Businessman chosen to lead State University System

Marshall Criser III, a South Florida businessman with strong ties to higher education, has been selected as the new chancellor of the State University System. The system's Board of Governors unanimously chose Criser, 55, of Coral Gables, to replace Frank Brogan, who recently accepted a job heading the state system in Pennsylvania. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]


› Consumer prices barely go up in South Florida
The cost of living barely nudged up in South Florida in October — not even 1 percent in a year — thanks to falling gas prices, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Wednesday.

› New York firms gets nod for Miami studio bid
Miami will begin negotiations with a national studio operator to create a production facility in the city’s urban core. On Wednesday, the board of the Omni Community Redevelopment Agency selected EUE/Screen Gems as the preliminary winner of a bid to create the tax-funded $10 million studio complex on city-owned land.

› Xbox One launches with Orlando contest
Orlando gamers will have a chance to play the Xbox One system before it goes on sale – and win big prizes — in an exclusive contest Thursday night. The Microsoft Store at Florida Mall is one of just six nationwide holding a Killer Instinct Ultra Fighter Gaming Tournament.

› Sarasota County to vote on 2050 plan changes
Sarasota County commissioners are voting on seven proposed changes to the 2050 growth management plan to make it less restrictive and more friendly toward development.

Go to page 2 for more stories ...

› Seven companies to bring 401 jobs to Miami-Dade
The companies – which include an online travel-search company, a manufacturer of mobile storage containers and a cancer treatment center – will contribute about $26.12 million in new capital investment.

› Gov. Rick Scott's 2010 victory architect takes a step back
Amid a power struggle with Gov. Rick Scott's new chief of staff, the pollster-architect of the Republican's unexpected campaign victory in 2010 has taken a step back from day-to-day operations of his re-election campaign for next year.

› iStart Jax launches entrepreneurial program to help underprivileged
iStart Jax, a Northeast Florida nonprofit business accelerator for technology-based start ups, has launched a new program called E-Mindset, which aims to teach the concepts of having an entrepreneurial attitude to underprivileged women and young adults.

› Shady finance deals put cities in regulatory spotlight
The financial pain inflicted by the Great Recession has been compounded in some broken cities by ill-advised budget decisions that involved honest mistakes. Then again, not all of those decisions were honest. Look no further than Miami-Dade County, Florida.