Every year the State of Florida fails to collect more than 500-million dollars due from online sales. A boom in shopping at your finger tips may equal big problems for Florida’s future. Florida retailers are relying on trusted customers to battle online retail giants who are not collecting sales tax. [Source: WJHG]
Floridians may want to brace themselves gastronomically for a factually overcooked 2014 gubernatorial fight centered on the trajectory of the economy. Florida's recovery, while very real, is spurred by global and national conditions — consumer confidence, corporate profits and gross domestic product, for example — leading to increased tourism and population migration into the state. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]
The retail-worker strikes that swept the nation in 2013 did not move Congress to raise the minimum wage, but a growing number of states are taking action. The minimum wage will rise in 13 states this week, including Florida. [Source: Florida Today]
Growing an entrepreneurial ecosystem takes time, but looking back on the year, I saw at least five significant green shoots that have the potential to nurture South Florida’s growing tech hub in a big way in 2014. [Source: Miami Herald]
Space Florida intends to continue chasing drone-related business despite being "disappointed" that Kennedy Space Center didn't make the cut as a federal test site for the unmanned aerial systems. More from WZVN and Florida Today.
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Palm Beach County airport remakes itself to compete for passengers [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
Travelers can now fly nonstop to Los Angeles from West Palm Beach and, just before they hop on the plane, get a mani/pedi. More nonstop options and better amenites are all part of Palm Beach International Airport's strategy to get more passengers through its gates.
› New Year's Eve hotel rates skyrocketing [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
Several South Florida hotels are already sold out for New Year's Eve, so if you're planning to ring in 2014 in a hotel and have waited until the last minute to make a reservation, be prepared to pay a hefty price.
› First commercial flight from Key West to Cuba in more than 50 years takes off [AP]
The first commercial passenger flight from Key West to Cuba in more than 50 years landed Monday in Havana, capping several years of efforts to reunite the two islands, though regular air service still appeared a distant prospect.
› Tim Tebow returning to SEC as an analyst [Florida Today]
Tim Tebow, who won the 2007 Heisman Trophy and was a part of two Florida national titles in 2006 and 2008, has reached a multi-year agreement to work as an analyst for the SEC Network that launches next August.
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› Paying down debt an attainable goal in improving economy [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
Many South Floridians are focused on reducing debt — a plan that could help them and the entire community in 2014. Healthier balance sheets equals less stress and ultimately more dollars to spend in South Florida, economists say.
› People of the Year: Southwest Florida Economic Development Alliance [Fort Myers News-Press]
Lee and Collier counties have long survived on the area’s tourism and construction. But regional leaders know these industries alone can’t support the region, and the recent recession was a swift and crippling reminder of that reality.
› What to look forward to at Disney World in 2014 [Orlando Sentinel]
Every year, there's plenty to look forward to at Walt Disney World, but 2014 will be especially magical at Walt Disney World parks. Here are a few of the things to look forward to in the coming year.
› Do Not Call complaints top Florida list in 2013 [Palm Beach Post]
Complaints about violators of Do Not Call topped the list of complaints consumers filed with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the department said Monday. Consumers filed 47,226 complaints with the department’s consumer assistance center.