FloridaTrend.com, the Website for Florida Business

Wednesday's Daily Pulse

U.S. Hispanic entrepreneurial growth dramatic

The number of Hispanic entrepreneurs in the United States has grown exponentially over the past two decades and Hispanic immigrants in particular have a higher rate of entrepreneurship than the U.S. population at large, according to a report released Tuesday. [Source: Miami Herald]

Florida renters finding a tough market

Although the rental market has softened some from a peak last year, a lack of units for lease and strong demand for those available are expected to further boost the cost of monthly rent for at least another two years. [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]

Tallahassee projects creating long-term impacts

2013 was “historic” for Tallahassee and Leon County, highlighted by economic development successes that will make an impact on the region for years, says Sue Dick, president and CEO of the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Development Council of Tallahassee/Leon County. Access full story.

Common Core backlash in Florida prompts changes

Fueled by parents angry over contentious new national education standards called Common Core, the Republican-controlled Florida Legislature is pushing through a series of sweeping changes. But shhh - don't tell anyone this - Common Core isn't really going away in Florida, just the name. [Source: AP]

Paul Anderson
Florida Trend's annual Economic Yearbook looks at the economy in each of the state's 11 regions: Miami-Dade, Southeast, Treasure Coast, Southwest, Tampa Bay, Central, Space Coast, North Central, Northeas, Northwest and Big Bend

Women-owned firms increase by 34 percent

Florida's number of women-owned firms in the state increased by 34 percent from over the past decade. But increase that didn't keep pace with U.S. growth of women-led businesses, which was 40 percent. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]


› Popular proposed tax break for solar power blocked in Florida House
A Florida Senate committee on Tuesday approved a constitutional amendment for the November ballot that would give tax breaks to businesses that install solar panels, but it is unlikely to come before voters: The chairman of a powerful House committee believes the solar industry isn't ready for it.

› Bitcoin virtual currency a reality for one Tampa Bay restaurant
A month ago, Nick Pappas started accepting bitcoins at his Flamestone American Grill in Oldsmar, becoming one of the first Tampa Bay businesses to test the virtual money. Instead of using a credit card to buy a gift card online, customers can pay with bitcoin.

› Pact to expand marine trade in South Florida and Spain
Civic leaders from South Florida and Spain will sign a goodwill agreement Wednesday in Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez’s office to support international marine trade.

› Sarasota scores high on luxury car gauge
Brands like Rolls-Royce, Maserati, Lamborghini and Infiniti account for a larger percentage of cars on the road in Sarasota County than just about anywhere else in the state.

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› Spanish Broadcasting System delays earnings report
Miami-based Spanish Broadcasting System delayed its fourth-quarter and full-year 2013 earnings call, scheduled for Tuesday. The company reported that it needed more time to file its year-end numbers “due to unanticipated delays in resolving the accounting treatment of certain deferred tax assets.”

› Corporate donation to FIT worth $24.1 million
The Florida Institute of Technology announced this week that it's receiving a corporate donation package that will greatly improve course offerings in manufacturing technology.

› Savant automation tech to be built into Florida townhomes
Savant, one of the top brands in the home automation and control business (or what they call “smart home technology”), just announced that its newest product line, Smart Series, will be present at Lennar for Landmark, an 1,800-unit community in Doral.

› South Florida companies penalized for gold, precious metals scheme
Several South Florida companies were penalized in civil court for causing investors to lose money in illegal gold and precious metals deals.