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Monday's Daily Pulse

Florida dealmaking jumps 67 percent

Has Florida got a deal for you? Florida was a mergers-and-acquisitions machine in 2013, accounting for 47 percent of all deals announced in the Southeast based on deal value, according to an analysis released Friday by deal tracker the Mergermarket Group. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Florida Trend Exclusive
The state of small business in Florida

Florida Trend
adds digital

In an open letter to readers, Publisher Andy Corty explains how the magazine's content is now available on tablets and other mobile devices. Corty also explains how FloridaTrend.com will be changing too, as some exclusive stories will only be available by subscription.

• Letter from Andy Corty

With the economy rebounding, small businesses that ramped up in advance are well-positioned to take advantage of the surge. In this article, Florida Trend looks at small business by-the-numbers and notes important statistical trends for businesses in Florida. Read more here...

Veterans given tools for civilian job hunting

They came out of the Army, Marines, Air Force and Navy more skilled than they went in, and many thought employers would welcome them with a job. But veterans, many of whom served in Iraq and Afghanistan, instead found they didn't know how to translate their work in the military to what employers were seeking. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

Economic impact of medical marijuana in Florida an open question

With the question of approving medical marijuana on Florida’s ballot in November, another question is whether approval could bring an economic windfall for the state. Pro-marijuana industry groups insist the economic impact will be huge, as it has been in other states. But others aren’t so sure. [Source: Florida Times-Union]

Citrus greening: Florida's bittersweet harvest

Florida growers have spent more than $60 million in research on the eradication of citrus greening. Nothing has worked. In the Sunshine State, citrus is a $9 billion annual business that employs more than 70,000 people. But its value lies in more than dollars and cents. [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]


› USF sees potential in rise of cybersecurity for education and economy
As anxiety escalates over credit card breaches at leading retailers, fresh attacks against Yahoo Mail accounts, national security privacy intrusions and even the threat of cyberwar, Tampa Bay is learning how to fight back.

› Spring training in Boca? One man's field of dreams -- and action
Boca Raton developer Glenn Gromann believes that if you build it, they really will come. His pitch to lure one, or maybe two, Major League Baseball teams to Boca Raton for spring training is not just some hazy fantasy inspired by a Kevin Costner movie.

› Florida schools prepare for digital lessons
Florida schools could get more money to upgrade classrooms, purchase new computers, tablets and other technology and train teachers and staff how to use them. But they’ll have to meet new goals set by the Florida Department of Education, submit annual technology plans and document how they’re spending the money.

› South Florida buzzing, but still misses the Super Bowl
Last year, Florida lawmakers scuttled a bid by the Miami Dolphins to secure tax dollars for a $350 million stadium renovation, and the NFL promptly turned down South Florida’s Super Bowl bids for 2016 and 2017. That's left the tourism industry to hum along by its own steam during Super Bowl, and this weekend offers a case study in the game's impact — or lack of it.

Go to page 2 for more stories ...

› Selmon Expressway becomes testing ground for automated vehicles
The Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority said Friday the Selmon Expressway has become one of 10 sites nationwide where researchers can study the safety and performance of automated vehicles.

› Successful restaurants serve up seconds, thirds and sometimes more
The National Restaurant Association’s annual outlook for the U.S. restaurant industry predicts sales will hit a record high of $683.4 billion this year. It would be the fifth consecutive year for revenue growth.

› Few Floridians get help promised to 'underwater' homeowners
Far fewer Floridians than expected are likely to benefit from a program the state rolled out four months ago to help homeowners who were "under water" on their mortgages.

› Medicaid growth not a Tallahassee priority
Even as the costs of not expanding Medicaid in Florida increasingly worry businesses, health care providers and patients, the issue remains on the back burner of state politics and is a longshot for approval in the coming legislative session.