Consumer confidence among Floridians is on the rise, rebounding from a dismal reading the month before when the federal government shutdown was fueling pessimism. The University of Florida survey released Tuesday found that consumer sentiment bounced back to a reading of 76 in November, up from a revised reading of 70 in October. More from the Tampa Bay Times and UF News.
Florida is on track to set a record in the number of gun sales based on background checks being conducted. By the end of 2013, the state is on track to conduct nearly 800,000 background checks, that's double the number of background checks conducted in 2007. [Source: WEAR]
Between Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and three weeks of shopping from now to Christmas, shoppers have more options than ever to get all the gifts on their holiday lists. More from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, the Miami Herald and the Tampa Bay Times.
Federal authorities warned the public on Tuesday of holiday scams involving counterfeit products including cellphone accessories and luxury goods. "It always comes down to the adage: You get what you pay for," said Gerard O'Neil, the assistance special agent in charge in Miami of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations. [Source: AP]
Higher home prices in South Florida are reducing the need for so-called short sales, new data from RealtyTrac Inc. show. With home prices steadily increasing since early 2012, more South Floridians are regaining lost equity and don’t have to resort to short sales [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Struggle continues with new Florida unemployment computer system [Fort Myers News-Press]
The majority of technical "glitches" that first confronted users of the state's overhauled unemployment computer system appear to have been smoothed out.
› Federal appeals court to consider if Seminole Tribe must pay gas tax [Orlando Sentinel]
A federal appeals court is poised to take up a long-running dispute about whether the Seminole Tribe of Florida should have to pay state taxes on gasoline it uses on tribal lands.
› Dunedin to start pursuing other spring training teams [Tampa Bay Times]
Wanted: One Major League baseball team looking for a good spring training home. Mayor Dave Eggers announced that he is going to start contacting teams that might be candidates to replace the Toronto Blue Jays if that organization pulls out of Dunedin.
› Key West to Cuba flights struggle to take off [AP]
Two years ago, U.S. Customs and Border Projection gave Key West the green light to resume flights to and from Cuba that had long been stifled by a ban on most American travel to the island after the Cuban Revolution. Yet not a single plane has taken off for the island since.
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› Schools may join push for sales tax increase [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
Raising the sales tax could be an easier sell to voters if school improvements — along with park and road upgrades — are among the spending plans, according to a new Palm Beach County proposal.
› UF Health receives four star ratings for two locations [Gainesville Business Report]
UF Health has received four stars from the University Healthsystem Consortium, the national alliance of academic medical centers and affiliated hospitals, ranking near the top in overall quality and accountability.
› Orlando hotels post higher numbers in October [Orlando Sentinel]
Orlando hotels posted healthy statistics for October, selling more rooms at higher prices. Hotels in the Orlando area filled 67.6 percent of their rooms during the month, compared with 65.5 percent in October 2012. The average daily rate rose 3.3 percent, to $99.63.
› Inside The New $220 Million Art Museum Named After Billionaire Jorge Perez [Forbes]
Billionaire real estate developer Jorge Perez donated $40 million to the Miami Art Museum in 2011. The gift, half in art from his personal collection and half in cash, was bequeathed on the condition that the institution be renamed after Perez in perpetuity.