December 14, 2019

Friday's Afternoon Update

What you need to know about Florida today

| 9/20/2019

Florida continues strong run of job growth

Florida’s long run of creating new jobs continued in August with 22,500 more people employed than a month earlier, according to state figures released Friday morning. Florida has added jobs every month dating back to 2011, except for a blip in September 2017 when Hurricane Irma ripped through the state upending the economy for a couple of weeks. The state has added 221,200 jobs since this time last year. More from the Tampa Bay Times.

Business accelerator aims to drive Florida-Israel links

The Florida Israel Business Accelerator aims to bring Israeli companies to Tampa by giving guidance on the U.S. market, from cultural differences to getting products validated. Thirty companies have been through Fiba since it started in 2017 and five have opened offices in Tampa. It has received grants from Florida’s department for economic opportunity, and the Vinik Family Foundation has helped evaluate businesses to be included. More from the Financial Times.

Tropics spinning with activity as forecasters eye 3 systems in Atlantic on top of Jerry

The tropics continue their turnstile-like storm activity with the end of Hurricane Humberto and the prediction for a third tropical wave’s appearance. Meteorologists believe a third tropical disturbance will form off the coast of Africa this weekend, and is expected to become a tropical depression, possibly by early next week. The system would have a 70 percent chance of formation over the next five days, the NHC said. More from the Orlando Sentinel.

Some pets at Central Florida companies have big jobs: ambassadors, greeters or just cuddlers

Twice a week, Bentley, a standard poodle, greets guests at The Alfond Inn and then stands up on his hind legs to punch a button on the wall that opens the door for departing visitors. Dubbed the “Alfond Ambassador,” Bentley’s calm and friendly demeanor have been highlighted in multiple TripAdvisor and Yelp review A wide variety of businesses in Central Florida employ domestic animals such as Bentley — known as mascots or “shop pets" — as an additional element of hospitality for patrons. More from the Orlando Sentinel.

Miami Beach is waging war on sea rise. One idea: Turn a golf course into wetlands.

Miami Beach has been ahead of the curve in sea level rise adaptation for years. The city is spending half a billion dollars to pump and pipe rising seas off the island city, a move that has earned it international acclaim (and some local complaints). But a recent proposal by a city-paid consultant offered a bold new idea in the war against climate change, one that would test the limits of just how much residents are willing to give up to adapt: turn the popular city-owned golf course into a wetland “eco-district.” More from the Miami Herald.

Food and Dining
Florida has some of America’s most popular grocery stores

 24/7 Tempo has assembled a list of some of the most popular grocery stores around the country, based on the number of Yelp reviews they've received and the overall scores Yelp users have given them. 3 of the top 30 are specialty grocers in Florida: Freshfields Farm in Orlando, Locale Market in St. Petersburg, and Mazzaro's Italian Market, also in St. Petersburg.

» More from USA Today.

 

Energy Trends
Financing Florida's clean energy upgrades for homeowners

floridaIn 2010, the Legislature passed a law allowing cities and counties to implement a new type of financing program to help homeowners pay for clean energy upgrades. The program, called Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE), enables local governments to issue municipal bonds to provide no-money-down loans to homeowners seeking to install solar panels, put in new windows or make other energy-efficient improvements.

» Read more from Florida Trend.

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Florida Trend Video Pick

Alka Rocket challenge at KSC
Alka Rocket challenge at KSC

Five universities competed at the Third Bayer Alka-Rocket Challenge at Kennedy Space Center on Thursday. 

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