May 28, 2020

Monday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 11/4/2019

Florida business owners shrug off recession fears

Despite all the rumblings about a recession, small and mid-size business owners in Florida remain an upbeat bunch. That’s the takeaway from the PNC Financial Group’s latest “Economic Outlook,” which found Florida business leaders have a “high degree of optimism” about the state and national economies for the coming six months. Three out of four of Florida’s small and mid-size business owners believe a recession is unlikely, while 22% say it is likely before the end of 2019, according to the survey. [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]

The 2020 election is one year away. Here are five things to watch in Florida.

In one year, millions of Floridians will decide whether President Donald Trump deserves four more years in office or if it’s time for a change. Trump has few paths to victory without the Sunshine State. Democrats would love to end his election night early, but they can also secure a win through the Midwest. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

NASA, VA and U.S. military seeking contractors in Central Florida

If you're looking to get a piece of Central Florida's multibillion-dollar contracting economy, opportunities are out there. Current open contracts include simulation opportunities with the U.S. Navy, hospital services with the Department of Veteran Affairs and construction work with Kennedy Space Center. Military contracts contribute to the local economy in the form of jobs and subcontractor opportunities. [Source: Orlando Business Journal]

Battle continues on underground power lines in Florida

Pointing to concerns about the effects on millions of utility customers, the state Office of Public Counsel is continuing to battle proposed rules for carrying out a law that is expected to lead to building more underground power lines in Florida. The Office of Public Counsel, which represents consumers in utility issues, has made a series of legal moves during the past week, after the Florida Public Service Commission on Oct. 3 approved the proposed rules. [Source: Pensacola News-Journal]

Florida GOP leaders starting to address climate change again after long ignoring issue

After appointing the state’s first chief science officer and another singularly tasked with battling the effects of sea level rise, Gov. Ron DeSantis quickly emerged as a different kind of Florida Republican leader. The GOP-led Florida Senate embraced the change last month, holding its first-ever hearing on climate change — with experts presenting data on water intrusion and its impact along the state’s 8,400 miles of coast. Most in the environmental community are pleased with the new-found attention. But they also wonder: Now what? [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]


› Silicon Beach SRQ shows Sarasota County’s maturing tech sector
An event took place Oct. 9 that flew beneath the radar. A new networking group launched with a nearly 100 people attending, representing about 25 local companies at Sarasota-based Clickbooth’s headquarters. They were all technology firms, or heavy users of technology, and they represented part of the economic future of the county.

› Vaping illnesses on the rise in Florida
Florida had 78 reported vaping-related illnesses as of Oct. 26, according to the state Department of Health. The latest data showed an increase of eight cases in the last week, according to a News Service of Florida analysis. The number of deaths associated with the lung illnesses remained at one.

› Hispanic grocer Bravo Supermarkets rearing to meet Hillsborough County demand
A.J. Maali was confident about moving from Orlando to Tampa Bay to head a new Hispanic grocery store. “The demand is there,” he told himself, referring to Tampa. “But the supply is not.” As Hillsborough County’s Hispanic population grows, so does the demand for the foods and flavors of Latin America. Now, nearly 30 percent of the county is Hispanic, according to population estimates by the Census Bureau.

› Miami is blooming with skyscrapers. What about the people who clean them?
According to a new report from the University of California-Los Angeles’ Center for Neighborhood Knowledge, the median wage for contracted office janitors in South Florida is approximately $8.50 per hour. The Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the median local wage at $10.89, a figure that includes full-time janitors and ones covered by living-wage statutes.

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Mega pantries already operate in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, serving an average of almost 4,000 people every week.
Mega pantries already operate in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, serving an average of almost 4,000 people every week.

Feeding Tampa Bay opened the new drive-through food bank — dubbed a mega-pantry — in Manatee County in response to an all-time high demand for meals and groceries from local food banks.

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