May 23, 2019

Friday's Afternoon Update

What you need to know about Florida today

| 11/16/2018

Brightline rebranded as Virgin Trains USA in new partnership

Today Brightline, the privately owned passenger-rail company, rebrands itself as Virgin Trains USA to reflect a new partnership with the Virgin Group. Brightline operates trains and stations in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Miami. The Virgin Group, a British conglomerate formed by Sir Richard Branson, will be a minority investor in Brightline. “The partnership will allow Brightline to leverage Virgin’s industry-leading expertise and customer experience to establish a powerful new brand,” Brightline stated in its announcement this morning. More from the Orlando Sentinel and see the news release from Virgin Group here.

» Read more about Brightline in Florida Trend's December issue, due on the newsstand November 29.

Florida businesses hope to bounce back as tourists return

Red tide and blue-green algae ravaged Florida’s ecosystem and businesses across the state reported laying off workers and even closing their doors. For now, the fish, birds and tourists are just starting to flock back. More from WINK News.

See also:
» Despite it all, Canadian snowbirds flocking back to Sarasota
» Lee County tourism and hospitality industry prepares for post-water crisis comeback

Led by Ashton Kutcher, money is flowing to Miami startups

One issue that continues to dog Miami’s startup ecosystem is where startup funding is coming from. Serge Elkiner, founder and CEO of YellowPepper, said finding local funding is an even bigger problem than finding local talent. Groups like 500 Startups, TheVenture.City and Rokk3r Fuel are starting to shore up some of that problem. More from the Miami Herald.

Florida Trend Exclusive
No barriers: Women foster Miami's entrepreneurial growth

Women head many of the key incubator and accelerator programs in Miami’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. One factor in the emergence of a concentration of women leaders is the lack of an old boys’ network in the relatively new accelerator space, the women say. More from Florida Trend.

» Support for LGBTQ: Profile of Cindy Watson and the JASMYN network

Universal Orlando raises starting pay to $12 an hour

Universal Orlando workers will be getting a raise as company announced plans to increase minimum pay to $12 an hour in February. The pay hike — a 20 percent jump from previous $10 hourly minimum — comes about two months after Walt Disney World Resort and its union reached a contract deal that sets in motion a series of pay increases to bring the minimum to $15 an hour by late 2021. More from the Orlando Sentinel.

Business Profile

 marinemaxMarineMax — the nationwide boat retailer that’s headquartered in Clearwater and generated $1.05 billion in revenue in 2017, up from $942 million in 2016 — recently lent the skills of members of its Houston-based service team to NASA for a project that will help astronauts someday explore reaches of space beyond the moon, including Mars.

» More from the Business Observer.


Florida History
Florida Orange Juice Has Roots In World War II Military

floridaThis is citrus harvesting season in Florida, where oranges make up the largest part of an industry that contributes $8 billion a year to the state economy. Yet, few know that the citrus business owes much of its success to the U.S. military.

» Read more from WJCT.

Tags: Daily Pulse, Afternoon Pulse

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An overview of the features and articles in this month's issue of Florida Trend.


Florida Trend Video Pick

Mexico Beach, past beauty is returning but reminders of devastation lie all around
Mexico Beach, past beauty is returning but reminders of devastation lie all around

Seven months after Hurricane Michael, the Wood family has settled into life in Mexico Beach, where past beauty is returning but reminders of devastation lie all around.

Earlier Videos | Viewpoints@FloridaTrend

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