Friday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
Florida ports lead the way in transitioning to natural gas
A report released this week by the Florida Ports Council and the Florida Natural Gas Association shows Florida’s seaports and industry partners are investing in innovations to be more efficient and effective, including the implementation of environmentally friendly, less costly, domestically-produced natural gas as an alternative fuel. Florida’s 15 ports support more than 900,000 jobs across the state, and have a total economic impact of more than $117 billion. More from the American Journal of Transportation and Florida Politics.
Florida bill could preempt cities from regulating Airbnb-style rentals
The battle over short-term vacation rentals in single-family neighborhoods has started again in Tallahassee with many homeowners having a vested interest in the outcome of what has become an annual skirmish. On one side, vacation rental companies are seeking to block Florida cities and counties from imposing local regulations on them. On the other, property owners who see short-term home rentals as a noisy, disruptive nuisance want the business controlled. More from Florida Today.
Artificial intelligence firm TheIncLab expands to Tampa
A tech company that works to develop artificial intelligence-enabled systems that learn and collaborate with humans is expanding to Tampa. TheIncLab, based near Washington D.C., has opened an “AI+X lab” — that is, artificial intelligence plus experience — at The Undercroft, a tech development center and membership guild for companies focused on cybersecurity. More from the Tampa Bay Times.
Feds: Smugglers ferry Chinese migrants to Florida in yachts
Authorities have thwarted two separate attempts by smugglers to bring Chinese migrants illegally into the U.S. through Florida aboard yachts. Three men are facing human smuggling charges in federal courts in Miami and Fort Lauderdale. They are accused of ferrying a total of 26 Chinese migrants from the Bahamas in two unrelated cases where authorities also confiscated more than $300,000. More from the AP.
Amazon building Sarasota County distribution center
Amazon, the national e-commerce giant that’s changing the face of retail across the world, is opening a distribution center near Venice, Sarasota County records show. The company plans to build a 120,000-square-foot warehouse on a parcel east of Commerce Drive and parallel to Jacaranda Boulevard, north of Interstate 75. More from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
Shannon Rohrer-Phillips has big goals. An entrepreneur and education executive, she started a new venture hosting small events with speakers, and now she’s planning a women’s summit for hundreds of attendees that’s bringing big-name speakers to Sarasota. She’d like the summit to be an annual event that draws people from the area and beyond.
» More from the Business Observer.
2020 Economic Outlook
Pamela Nabors, President & CEO of CareerSource Central Florida tells us: "We’re outpacing the state and the country in terms of continuing low unemployment and continuing jobs creation. It’s been eight-plus years of growth, and as I look into 2020, I don’t see this region slowing down."
» Read more from Florida Trend.
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