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Thursday's Afternoon Update

More companies plan to add jobs this summer

More small and mid-sized business owners in Florida and across the country plan to add to their payrolls this summer, a new study found. The brightening employment outlook comes on the heels of a winter when frigid weather conditions and political strife kept many smaller employers on edge. More at the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

State fair attendance drop blamed on bad weather

Attendance at February's Florida State Fair, plagued by this year by poor weather and rampaging teens, was down 11 percent compared to last year, its governing authority said. Attendance this year was 382,418 during the 12 days of the fair. It was 442,910 last year. More at the Tampa Bay Times and the AP.

Stadson Tech growing a year after winning FAU contest

Economic Yearbook

Tampa area cheers a plethora of new jobs

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Tampa Bay economic developers have plenty to cheer about. The list of companies announcing expansions or relocations in 2013 and the jobs they represent are impressive: Bristol-Myers Squibb, HealthPlan Services, USAA and Amazon.

» Access full story

With its $55,000 in cash and prizes from last year’s FAU business plan competition, Stadson Tech built its management team, marketed its product at trade shows and landed its first major contract with a security company. More at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Miami’s economy outpacing rest of Southeast

Steady job growth and a strong real estate market make South Florida’s economic outlook brighter than the rest of the U.S. Southeast, according to the chief of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. More at the Miami Herald.

FPL proposes a new solar pilot program

Florida Power & Light Co. on Wednesday proposed a pilot program that would build community solar energy projects — some with panels spanning the size of half a football field — in select cities including Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. More at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

See also:
» Solar proponents want Duke Energy to replace coal with cleaner options

Tourist ad jumbles Florida geography

marketing mistakeVisit Florida, the state's tourism agency, struck a deal with Coastal Living magazine to persuade people to, well, visit Florida. The trouble is, the resulting ad ad put the beaches of St. Pete and Clearwater on the east coast; it said three of the Panhandle's most posh coastal communities were west of Destin, instead of east; and it gave Ocala and Marion counties Weeki Wachee Springs.

» Full story from the Tampa Bay Times