November 15, 2019

Wednesday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 10/16/2019

Florida Trend Exclusive
Florida credit unions go shopping

Florida leads the nation in the number of banks purchased by credit unions. Banks say the trend further blurs the difference between banks and credit unions. Credit unions say they need to grow to remain competitive. In part, the purchases in Florida reflect simple market dynamics in a state with a fast-growing population. Financial institutions looking to acquire new customers have to get them either one at a time or by buying another institution. [Source: Florida Trend]

Next Florida Senate president puts focus on businesses, water, children

Shortly after Trilby Republican Wilton Simpson was formally elected Tuesday as Florida’s next Senate president, he characterized himself as a farmer and an entrepreneur — and not a politician. And with that introduction, the 53-year-old owner of an egg farm and an environmental-remediation company vowed to tackle Florida’s economy with “common-sense, fiscally conservative principles” and to foster a business-friendly environment. [Source: Gainesville Sun]

Visit Florida tries to market itself to lawmakers

Florida’s embattled tourism marketing arm has started a campaign aimed at state lawmakers that highlights the industry’s vital economic role in the state. In arguing Tuesday to maintain and keep the doors open beyond June, Visit Florida President and CEO Dana Young pointed to a recent state report that noted the tourism industry is outperforming other sectors of the economy. The report also warned that an economic slowdown was ahead. More from the Orlando Sentinel and the Fort Myers News-Press.

Agriculture in the Sunshine State

Florida’s recognized signature crop is citrus. But Florida agriculture has other significant commodities, including vegetables where Florida ranked fourth among all states in total vegetables harvested acres with 245,375 acres. Most of these acres are grown beginning in the fall under subtropical growing conditions. In Florida, another significant industry is floriculture and bedding, nursery, propagative materials, sod, food crops grown under glass or other protection, and mushroom crops. [Source: USDA]

Florida considers forcing collection of tax on online sales

Online sellers would have to automatically collect sales tax from Floridians and submit it to the state under a bill moving in the Florida Senate. The Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee unanimously approved the bill Tuesday. Republican Sen. Joe Gruters said Florida consumers are required to pay the sales tax, but rarely do so if online sellers don't collect it. [Source: AP]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› New headquarters for Sarasota-Manatee builder Lee Wetherington Homes
Lee Wetherington Homes has broken ground on a $4 million headquarters building it plans to occupy next year. The company is constructing a two-story, 15,000-square-foot building at 7498 Fruitville Road, about 1.5 miles east of Interstate 75. The 45-year-old home builder, based in Lakewood Ranch since 2001, says it was time to tailor a new building for its specific needs.

› A Marriott Moxy Hotel is headed to The Heights in Tampa
Marriott International will bring its Moxy Hotel brand to The Heights, the 50-acre riverfront district anchored by the Armature Works, developers said Tuesday. Plans call for a 153-room Moxy Hotel on the first seven floors of a new 25-story tower planned two blocks east of the Armature Works. Construction is expected to start in early 2020, with the hotel projected to open in 2022.

› Customized products company in Jacksonville acquires WallMonkeys.com
Jacksonville-based Holmes Custom announced its acquisition of WallMonkeys.com. The Maryland-based manufacturer and e-commerce retailer was founded in 2009 and prints peel-and-stick wall decals for homes and businesses.

› What happened to the hottest club in South Beach? A look back at the Latin Quarter
South Beach is known for its clubs, but you should have been there in the 1940s and ‘50s. This place was hot. Celebrities flocked to the Latin Quarter on Palm Island along the MacArthur Causeway. Sammy Davis Jr., Sophie Tucker and Milton Berle were among the performers. Millionaires and socialites to gather flocked to the club.

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