Florida's dalliance with Las Vegas-style casinos is back on, with a state leader saying he'll propose a bill next week. Garrett Richter, chairman of the Senate Committee on Gaming, said Monday that he favors destination resorts in Broward and Miami-Dade counties, but statewide they have "no chance." More at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and My FOX Orlando.
Florida ranks as the 6th-fastest-growing state for women entrepreneurs. Women are starting small businesses in Florida at a rate faster than the national average. The state has seen a 74% increase in the number of women-owned businesses in the past 15 years. Read more...
While the Sunshine State has been bulking up its ports and transportation infrastructure in anticipation of the completion of the widening of the Panama Canal, Florida may need to up its game amid infrastructure investments being made by Panama. [Source: Jacksonville Business Journal]
Worldwide, algae — with more than 100,000 strains including kelp and seaweed — is becoming big business. Companies are growing it on a large scale outdoors for a range of applications including biofuel, said Sean O'Hanlon, former chief of Miami-based American Biofuels Council and a specialist in algae and clean technologies. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
Florida’s online health insurance “marketplace,” a website separate from the Affordable Care Act, will need at least 67,000 enrollees for it to break even, the site’s CEO said this afternoon. But Rose Naff, who oversees Florida Health Choices, said she believes enrollment will likely start slowly when the site switches on. [Source: Fort Myers News-Press]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› State to move forward with controversial $1 billion Medicaid contract [Miami Herald]
Despite a judge’s recommendation, the state will not revoke a $1 billion contract awarded to the Miami-based healthcare company Prestige Health Choice.
› Embry-Riddle reaches for the stars with $1M telescope [Orlando Sentinel]
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University on Monday installed a $1 million telescope at its Daytona Beach campus, which gives the school bragging rights as home to Florida's largest university research telescope.
› Florida lawmakers to probe biometric scans of school children [Reuters]
Florida is considering legislation to sharply regulate the use of fingerprint, palm print, iris scans and other biometric identification systems once found only in futuristic thrillers such as "Mission: Impossible" and "Minority Report."
› M.L.S. to Award David Beckham a Team in Miami [New York Times]
David Beckham is set to return to Major League Soccer on Wednesday, this time as an owner of a Miami team that will become the league’s 22nd club.
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› Southwest Florida hunting ground for cyber scammers [Sarasota Herald-Tribune]
Scammers love Southwest Florida. Consumers nationwide lose more than $1.5 billion a year in fraud that is reported to the Federal Trade Commission, and residents of Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte counties are among the hardest hit.
› OUR Microlending receives $600,000 grant to offer microloans in South Florida [Miami Herald]
Miami-based OUR Microlending said Monday that it has received certification as a Community Development Financial Institution by CDFI Fund — a program of the U.S. Department of Treasury — and has received a $600,000 grant to be disbursed via microloans to small business owners in South Florida.
› Workforce Central Florida gets new name, look [Orlando Business Journal]
Workforce Central Florida will roll out a brand new name next week as part of a statewide rebranding effort. Workforce Central Florida is the local board that connects employers to workers and provides worker resources and training.
› Florida education department seeks input on financial literacy standards [Tampa Bay Times]
Demand has risen in recent months for Florida high school students to receive an improved education in financial literacy. Lawmakers recently added the requirement that the subject be added to schools' curriculum. Some people think the topic should be a graduation requirement.