The consensus of the 48 economists surveyed by the National Association for Business Economics is that bad weather cut first-quarter growth to a weak annual rate of 1.9 percent, but that growth could exceed 3 percent by year's end. [Source: AP]
Some 7,000 startups and 30 startup organizations are currently in Florida, according to Gust.com, a global platform for management of early-stage companies. Startup companies seeking to lease month-to-month office space — and get guidance on growing their businesses at the same time — suddenly have more options in South Florida. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
Academic research has found that yes, work is affected by viewing games and filling out brackets, but not in a serious way. Charles Clotfelter, a professor at Duke University, wrote in 2012 that "the tournament has a profound and widespread impact on patterns of work" but wouldn't go so far as to say it had a big impact on productivity. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]
Hellman & Friedman is selling Catalina Marketing Corp. to Berkshire Partners for about $2.5 billion. Catalina, a St. Petersburg company that provides customized consumer digital media, has been owned by H&F since 2007. [Source: Tampa Bay Business Journal]
Gas prices continued to rise in the past week, but more slowly than they have been. Nationally, the average price for a gallon of regular gas rose 1 cent to $3.53, according to AAA. It went up 2 cents to $3.56 in Florida. More from the Florida Times-Union and WFTX.
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Small brewers cheer changes to beer measure [Tampa Bay Times]
Small breweries may not be as mighty as Anheuser-Busch distributors, but they showed a little muscle on Monday by helping to reshape a House bill that could have put some out of business.
› Gainesville's oldest law firm is finding new life downtown [Gainesville Business Report]
Dell Graham is a 10 lawyer firm with six of those 10 having board certification in civil trial, education, healthcare, and wills, trusts and estates. It is Gainesville’s oldest operating law firm, and one of a half-dozen of the oldest firms in Florida, having roots back 140 years.
› For Realtor, second job is representing industry in Tallahassee [Sarasota Herald-Tribune]
Realtor Mike Bruno feels like he's working two jobs these days, but he's not complaining. In addition to his regular gig as a real estate agent with Michael Saunders & Co., Bruno is the 2014 vice president for District 13 for the Florida Realtors trade association.
› Florida lawmakers consider flood insurance changes [AP]
The Florida Legislature is moving forward on a plan to entice private insurance companies to sell flood policies in the state that's the most vulnerable to storm surge.
Go to page 2 for more stories ...
› Money manager David Kotok talks recovery, the middle class, and fishing [Sarasota Herald-Tribune]
Sick and bedridden while putting the finishing touches on a book, British economist William Beveridge proclaimed “I have so much work to do” — before dying moments later. Those last words now motivate David Kotok to rise each morning, loop a tie around his neck and go into his office downtown in One Sarasota Tower.
› Florida NEXT and One Spark collaborate to boost creativity [Jacksonville Business Journal]
Since its establishment three years ago by former banker and Florida CFO Alex Sink, the non-profit Florida NEXT Foundation has served to guide and encourage startups, business accelerators and tech initiatives statewide.
› Design for PortMiami soccer stadium revealed [Miami Herald]
A group led by retired English soccer star David Beckham is set to unveil its design for a European-style, open-air fútbol stadium at PortMiami.
» Related: Beckham making case for remaking port with soccer
› South Florida hotels see stellar February [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
Last month, Broward County hotels had another stellar performance with 90 percent occupancy, the highest February occupancy since 2008, according to data released from Smith Travel Research.