FloridaTrend.com, the Website for Florida Business


Monday's Daily Pulse

Race to sign up for health insurance by Monday

Monday is the last day to sign up for federal health exchange insurance if people want their coverage to start in January. Officials have already pushed the deadline back a week and it's still unclear whether everyone who wants to enroll will actually be able to because of lingering problems with the federal website. More at the AP and the Miami Herald.

See also:
» Obamacare's signup deadline on Monday has its exceptions
» Florida Republicans face Obamacare conundrum: Take the subsidy or not


Personal income growth slows in Florida

The total personal income for the state grew 1.18 percent during the third quarter, compared to 1.48 percent growth in the second quarter. That’s slightly above the national growth rate of 1.1 percent for personal income in the third quarter. [Source: South Florida Business Journal]


Control of the court could become election issue for next governor

Florida’s 2014 governor’s race may become an expensive popularity contest over who steers the state in the next four years but one little discussed job – the power to appoint – could give the next governor a legacy that could last much longer. [Source: Times/Herald]


Florida's bubbling springs. Beautiful. Beloved. And under siege.

Springs and the aquifer from which their water boils up are under severe stress, and water experts say the consequences could be considerable to the economy, the cost of water and the health of springs that have been drawing humans to the natural fountains for eons. [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]


Minimum wage laws push up business costs

Florida’s lowest paid workers will get a raise on Jan. 1 and, while the increase is slight, business owners say they feel the impact of the yearly increases mounting. Florida’s minimum wage will increase by 14 cents from $7.79 to $7.93 an hour. That adds up to an annual wage of about $16,500. [Source: Fort Myers News-Press]


ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Florida nearing 1 million firearm background checks
A record high of nearly 1 million background checks have been done this year on people interested in buying firearms, state data show. The background checks are a required part of the purchase process.

› Brevard companies can benefit from big builds on the Space Coast
A handful of multimillion-dollar construction contracts are brewing around Brevard County involving public agencies and private businesses. These projects not only provide construction jobs, but also, when possible, officials have been trying to give an edge to local construction and engineering companies during the bidding process.

› Miami musician-entrepreneur rocks out his crowdfunding campaign
For this Miami entrepreneur and his first product, the beat is on. David Packouz’ crowdfunding campaign for BeatBuddy, the first guitar pedal drum machine, became a smash hit on the fund-raising charts, surpassing his $75,000 funding goal in just 24 hours.

› Experts cash in on predator law
A law that allows Florida to confine sex predators beyond their prison terms has spawned a cottage industry of expert witnesses who have billed taxpayers more than $26 million, with nearly half of that money going to just 10 people.


Go to page 2 for more stories ...

› Land, office space supply starting to shrink
Demand from relocating and expanding companies for office and industrial space in South Florida picked up in 2013, and next year is expected to be even stronger as companies finally move forward with building or leasing plans.

› State fines computer contractor over unemployment system mess
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity said Friday that it will not pay Deloitte Consulting a $3 million installment payment and has instituted a $15,000 per business day penalty against the contractor for its "failure to deliver a fully functioning online computer system" for filing unemployment in the state.

› Jacksonville will offer up to $50,000 for retailers that set up shop downtown
In its first action to put some money behind its redevelopment mission, the Downtown Investment Authority board voted last week to put $750,000 in a “retail enhancement program” targeting the Northbank.

› SeaWorld launches 'Blackfish' counterattack in ads
After months of dismissing "Blackfish" as activist propaganda, SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. today is launching a more aggressive counterattack on the critical documentary. The Orlando-based theme-park company has placed full-page ads in eight of the country's largest newspapers, making a passionate case for the importance of displaying killer whales in captivity.