Once this year’s harsh weather has faded, the U.S. economy could be poised for a breakout year — its strongest annual growth in nearly a decade. The combination of an improving job market, pent-up consumer demand, less drag from U.S. government policies and a brighter global outlook is boosting optimism for the rest of 2014. [Source: AP]
The number of workplace harassment and discrimination charges in Florida dropped nearly 13 percent last year, to 7,597 from 7,940 in 2012, according to new figures from the U.S. Equal Employment and Opportunity Commission. [Source: Miami Herald]
Florida led the nation by far in cash sales for residential real estate in February. All eight markets in the state that in the Top 100 markets nationwide exceeded 50 percent cash sale deals. [Source: Tampa Bay Business Journal]
Gov. Rick Scott's chief elections official is suspending Florida's efforts to remove noncitizens from the voter rolls, citing changes to a federal database used to check voters' citizenship status. [Source: Times/Herald]
Once you decide to engage in social networking set your goals and develop a strategy for each platform. You may find that some platforms work better for your brand than others. Without goals you are unable to measure your success. [Source: Florida Today]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Start-Up City: Miami returns with new focus [Miami Herald]
Back for a second year, Start-Up City: Miami, presented by The Atlantic and The Atlantic Cities, will explore the national urban tech revolution and its impact on South Florida.
› Downtown St. Petersburg businesses ready for Firestone Grand Prix [Tampa Bay Times]
It's been a decade since the Grand Prix first took over downtown, bringing the roar of IndyCar and thousands of fans to the Sunshine City. Though the event is just three days, construction of the 1.8-mile waterfront track begins more than a month ahead of time, creating a familiar headache — or boon — for downtown businesses.
› Florida companies expected to reap rewards from Singapore Airshow [Miami Herald]
Florida aviation and aerospace companies generated about $62 million in projected sales as a result of last month’s Singapore Airshow, a major expo for the global industry.
› Florida’s angels take a different flight path [Tampa Bay Business Journal]
Funding for young entrepreneurial firms in Florida is strong, despite the state and region’s relatively poor showing in a recent report on angel investments.
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› Mobile payment company targets Miami with Spanish version [South Florida Business Journal]
A Spanish-language version of mobile payment technology used by retailers like Starbucks and Whole Foods Market is specifically targeting Hispanic people in South Florida.
› Council for Economic Outreach talks of doubling number of projects [Gainesville Sun]
After the economic development arm of the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce met its economic development goals halfway through its five-year plan, the group is starting early on its next plan, which promises to be a lot more ambitious in how many jobs are created and how much money is invested.
› Jacksonville Sports Council formed to showcase city as sports destination [Jacksonville Business Journal]
From the Jacksonville Jaguars, to being a neutral site for the Florida Gators and Georgia Bulldogs to face off, to t-ball — the City of Jacksonville, Gator Bowl Sports and the JAX Chamber want Jacksonville to be a global stage for sports.
› Donation of $2.5 million boosts renovation of UM Jewish center [Miami Herald]
It’s one of the first buildings that visitors see when arriving on campus, but the University of Miami Hillel center is also sorely in need of a makeover. Built in 1953, the building has become “outdated, obsolete and rundown.”