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Tuesday's Daily Pulse

Home contracts rise for first time in nine months

More Americans signed contracts to buy homes in March, the first increase since June and a sign that the housing market might pick up after a sluggish start to the year. [Source: AP]

Florida Trend Exclusive
Community Portrait: Palm Beach County

Palm Beach County contains four distinct regions: South, central, north and western. Each has its own set of attributes. In this portrait, we look at the regions's economic backbone and also its culture, demographics, higher education, recreation and more. Cities included in the report are Belle Glade, Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Jupiter, Palm Beach and West Palm Beach. Full portrait.

Why business schools need to start thinking small

Some of the very best and most dynamic business school students will start their own businesses, while others will work in small or medium-sized companies. Their futures will lie not in the sprawling world of the multinational but in the comparatively cosy confines of the local economy. [Source: The Conversation]

Legislators reach deal on spending items

Racing against the clock, Florida legislators reached a deal Monday on a roughly $75 billion state budget that boosts spending on schools, child welfare and the cleanup of damaged water bodies across the state. More from the AP and the Times/Herald.

Five common small business accounting mistakes

Keeping the books is one of the more challenging aspects of running a company. It’s also one of the most important. Accounting errors can be damaging—even fatal—to businesses, but mistakes are surprisingly common. Here's how to avoid five of the most common accounting mistakes that plague small businesses. [Source: Forbes]


› Supreme Court catches case of Florida fisherman
The Supreme Court on Monday caught the case of a Florida commercial fisherman convicted of destroying evidence amid a federal investigation. The evidence consisted of red grouper fish, allegedly underweight.

› Florida's high school graduation rate among lowest in nation
Florida's high school graduation rate is among the lowest in the nation. A report released Monday at a GradNation Summit in Washington found Florida's 75 percent graduation rate is about five percentage points lower than the nationwide average. Across the U.S., about 80 percent of high school students graduate, a new milestone.

› Microsoft's Latin America headquarters growing fast in Fort Lauderdale
It's easy to envision what a world-class technology hub for the Americas could look like in South Florida. There's already one shining example in Fort Lauderdale at Microsoft's Latin America headquarters.

› No, Miami is not a top 10 industrial market
Talk of the Panama Canal and dredging of the Miami River have lit up the industrial market in the Magic City. But Miami is hardly leading the Florida—or the national—charge on the industrial occupancy front.

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› University of Miami medical school partners with biotech firm
The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine announced a partnership with Boston-based biopharmaceutical firm Berg to collaborate on drug research and development.

› USDA snnounces $150 million investment fund for rural businesses
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced a $150 million fund the agency will use to invest in small rural businesses. The fund establishes a new Rural Business Investment Program with a new wrinkle for investment in rural ag-related companies.

› Florida sheriffs campaigning against medical marijuana
The Florida Sheriff's Association is set to make a large push against the legalization of marijuana. Voters will decide on the legalization of medical marijuana in November.

› Smart City Startups event in Miami brings minds to table to solve urban woes
Dozens of startups from around the world participated in last week’s inaugural two-day Smart City Startups event, a gathering of social entrepreneurs, investors, foundations and urban leaders looking at how to help startups build smart cities.