Wednesday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
Brexit not expected to hurt Florida tourism but could unsettle real estate
Despite tense and what seem to be never-ending Brexit talks and contortions — not to mention the declining value of the British pound against the U.S. dollar since the historic 2016 vote — the British are, in fact, still coming to Florida. But the share of European buyers in Florida has trended down since 2016, which many believe is tied to income and employment uncertainty following the U.K.’s decision to leave the European Union. Read more from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune here and here.
Miami tourism sets record in 2018, surpassing 2017 gains
Though final figures won’t be in until next month, tourism had “a record 2018, building on a record 2017,” said Rolando Aedo, chief operating officer of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau. Not only were hotel occupancy rates and average room rates up, but revpar (revenue per available room) gained significantly. Read more at Miami Today.
Grow Financial Credit Union names successor to retiring CFO
Doug Tilden has joined Tampa-based Grow Financial Credit Union as chief financial officer, succeeding Gail Wean, who is set to retire in April after 21 years with the company. Tilden, according to a press release, comes to Grow Financial — which boasts $2.5 billion in assets and 200,000 members — from Chase Auto, a division of JPMorgan Chase & Co.. See the announcement here and read more from the Business Observer.
Florida economic development team sets Casablanca mission
Small and mid-sized Florida businesses in industries like energy, infrastructure, agricultural equipment and healthcare could find great new opportunities in Morocco, according to Enterprise Florida Inc. Enterprise, the state’s economic development arm, is leading a delegation of manufacturers and services providers on an export sales mission to Casablanca, Morocco. See the announcement from Enterprise Florida and read more from Miami Today.
Lawmakers, cultural leaders challenge Florida Legislature on arts funding
Arts advocates set their sights high at a town-hall forum Tuesday, calling on the Florida Legislature to fully fund more than $61 million in grants recommended by the state’s Division of Cultural Affairs. At times, the call for funding was a battle cry. More from the Orlando Sentinel.
2019 Economic Outlook
Education, rising sea levels and housing affordability top Miami-Dade concerns
Noah Breakstone, Managing Partner at BTI Partners, tells us, "Housing affordability is probably one of the top economic issues for Miami-Dade in 2019 because the housing market is expected to face significant challenges from rising interest rates, higher construction costs and limited income growth." Read the full story here.
Maryann Ferenc, founder of one of Tampa’s premier restaurants, is an effective advocate for her industry. “Tourism is our No. 1 industry, but that doesn’t exclude other industries from standing on the foundation that tourism provides."
» Read more from Florida 500.
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