Florida ports are at risk of losing business as operators look to destinations around the world such as Asia, Europe and Brazil to grow their passenger base. The shift has been years in the making as cruise lines have worked to spread a vacation model born in South Florida to new global markets. [Source: Miami Herald]
Halfway to the deadline for spending federal Hardest Hit foreclosure-relief funds, Florida has distributed less than a third of its $1 billion share and lags most other states in getting the money into homeowners' hands. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
Nearly one million Floridians are enrolled in a private health plan through the ACA exchange but some are finding that some physicians refuse to honor their coverage — even when the doctors are included in the plan’s provider network. [Source: Miami Herald]
With Congress nearly frozen in place and big donors taking on growing influence, start-ups are moving into the political breach. Companies like Phone2Action, which recently helped push through legislation in Florida, are assuming functions once reserved for political parties and special interest groups. [Source: New York Times]
Thousands of recent retirees who have discovered that the American dollar can buy more overseas. Lured by affordable housing, inexpensive healthcare and vibrant ex-pat communities, more Americans are heading south of the border to spend their golden years. Some are calling Latin America the new Sun Belt. [Source: Miami Herald]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Entrepreneurs share a summer cocktail of startup advice [Miami Herald]
South Florida entrepreneurs shared war stories, mixed in some introspection and served up sound advice last week at a pair of gatherings — Startup Grind and Tech Cocktail.
› Uber brings hope to Orlando taxi drivers, fear to their bosses [Orlando Sentinel]
Bulldozers and backhoes working on Mears Transportation's new $20 million headquarters are grinding to a halt as nervous executives put the project on indefinite hold. The reason: Uber, a smartphone app that threatens to cut deep into taxi-industry profits.
› All Aboard Florida station expected to spark development [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
With a $30 million station planned for Florida's high-speed passenger train project and a larger transit hub emerging, the area north of Broward Boulevard could ultimately become home to new high-rises, shops, restaurants and more, according to developers and community groups.
› Defense contractor coming to Gainesville [Gainesville Sun]
Two companies that do federal contracting work have opened offices in Gainesville HUBZones within the last year to gain an advantage in vying for more contracts.
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› 10 agents of change raising the bar in Tampa Bay's economy [Tampa Bay Times]
These 10 Tampa Bay folks are on missions worthy of watching in the latter half of 2014. Why? Because they represent our growing crop of change agents. They are people pushing to make things better in this regional economy.
› Entrepreneur leaves EA to focus on startup [Orlando Sentinel]
Orlando entrepreneur Chris Harden has left his position at EA Sports to commit full-time attention to his startup company, TROBO, with co-founder Jeremy Scheinberg.
› Family creates company to bring medical marijuana drug to Florida [Times/Herald]
The parents of RayAnn Moseley, the Pensacola child with intractable epilepsy whose story softened the hearts of reluctant lawmakers, are fighting a new battle: getting Charlotte’s Web to Florida.
› The conservative legal foundation behind threat to manatee's endangered status [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
They successfully fought to strip the wood stork of its endangered status and won the first skirmish to do the same to the manatee. Their clients range from small businesses to Florida's powerful home building industry.