October 17, 2019

Friday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 9/20/2019

As tourist season nears, hospitality workers are in short supply

Hundreds of housekeeping positions are posted for South Florida hotels on Employ Florida, the state’s employment site, while there are thousands of job openings for cooks and food prep workers, both at hotels and restaurants. The job openings are only expected to grow as new hotel properties and restaurants open this coming tourist season. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

Florida's algae task force holds its first meeting

A state task force to help determine strategies for researching and mitigating harmful algae blooms met Thursday in St. Petersburg. It’s the first time the group has met since Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the initiative in November. Florida’s Harmful Algal Bloom Task Force is funded for a year. [Source: WGCU]

Florida hospitals file suit, demand compensation from opioid companies

Twenty-seven Florida hospitals are the latest to join a flurry of litigation against big-name opioid manufacturers, distributors and retailers, claiming millions of dollars in damages for uncompensated care related to the opioid epidemic. Purdue Pharma, Johnson & Johnson, Abbot Laboratories and more than 30 other companies and individuals are named as defendants in the lawsuit, which was filed in Broward County circuit court. [Source: Miami Herald]

How a Tampa Bay ethical hacker helps companies with security

Jessica LaBouve breaks it to companies gently. Their pride and joy, the application or platform they spent so much time developing, isn’t secure. “It’s almost like you’re telling them their baby’s ugly,” she said. LaBouve, 24, is a penetration tester for Tampa cybersecurity company A-Lign, an ethical hacker who kicks the metaphorical tires on a company to find their security weaknesses. But instead of exploiting a weakness she finds, LaBouve points it out to the company and tells them how to improve. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Visit Florida launches #LoveFL campaign to help tourism industry recover from Hurricane Dorian

Officials at Visit Florida hope a social media campaign helps the tourism industry recover from the effects of Hurricane Dorian, which threatened the state’s east coast during Labor Day weekend. The new effort encourages tourists and residents to use the hashtag “#LoveFL” on Friday to encourage people to visit the state. In addition, Visit Florida will share travel deals on a Florida-specific landing page on Expedia. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

Intellectual property and your new business: Questions you should be asking to ensure you're protected.

There are many things to think about when you’re starting a new business. In addition to the financial, marketing and other business matters, there are important intellectual property concerns that should be addressed up front. If you wait until you have more money or time, it may be too late. Your most valuable business assets could be lost. [Sponsored report]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Let Florida snowbirds from Canada stay longer, Rubio and Scott urge
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and U.S. Sen. Rick Scott want to allow Canadians to be able to stay longer in the United States. The Florida Republicans announced Thursday they have introduced legislation dubbed the “Canadian Snowbirds Act,” which seeks to allow Canadian citizens over age 50 who own or rent U.S. homes to spend up to eight months a year in the country. Currently, the annual U.S. stay is capped at six months.

› Jacksonville among best for startup businesses
Jacksonville is the most affordable Florida city to launch a startup business and the fourth-best in the nation to begin a business. Listwithclever.com, a real estate analysis web site, ranked America’s top 50 cities for beginning a startup business, and Jacksonville was listed as one of the most favorable.

› Darden Restaurants sales increase, but Cheddar’s sees sales drop
Orlando-based Darden Restaurants saw a total sales increase of 3.5% to $2.13 billion in the first quarter of its fiscal year, the company reported Thursday, but sales dropped at some of its brands. The increase in sales was driven by the addition of 40 new restaurants and a same-restaurant sales increase of 0.9%, the company said.

› Toxic soil under golf course is a legacy of Miami’s dirty past. There’s a lot more out there
Since the early 1960s, Melreese Country Club has been used by golfers who enjoy the rolling fairways, five lakes and a cypress wetland that makes the park seem like an oasis in the middle of Miami. Next door at Grapeland Heights Park, kids hit baseballs for 40 years before it was redeveloped into a water park that opened in 2009. Both were built on top of an old incinerator ash dump full of dangerous toxins.

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