February 20, 2020

Monday's Afternoon Update

What you need to know about Florida today

| 2/10/2020

Coronavirus slams Florida's lobster industry

Although China is 9,000 miles away, the coronavirus is causing the lobster season to end early for many lobstermen of the Florida Keys. With the virus spreading across China, commercial flights from the United States were recently halted. But even before the airlines stopped flying, the major buyers in China were canceling orders for Florida’s spiny lobster. Fear surrounding the virus was hitting the country’s economy and keeping people out of restaurants. More from CBS Miami and CBS4.

How many jobs has cannabis industry grown in Florida? New study adds them up.

Florida’s medical marijuana industry grew by 93% in 2019 with a total market value approaching $800 million, which is close to states with recreational markets like Oregon and Washington. Florida also has the largest population of medical marijuana patients in the country, with the most recent number totaling more than 300,000. More from the Miami Herald.

Tech Data purchase of Bangalore-based Inflow Technologies called off

A Bangalore, India technology distributor has told Tech Data thanks but no thanks to a proposed purchase. Inflow Technologies exercised its right to withdraw from the acquisition and paid a break fee to leave the deal, Tech Data announced Monday. Terms of the acquisition, which was announced in December, and the break fee were not disclosed. More from the Tampa Bay Times.

Momentum builds for increasing teacher pay. Florida’s business leaders are on board

Giving raises to Florida teachers is not a new idea. Teachers have been lobbying lawmakers for better pay — not bonuses — for years. Democrats have proposed boosting the minimum salary to $50,000 since 2015. Most often, their voices have stood alone. In 2020, though, some of the most powerful lobbying groups in the state are joining the chorus: those representing the business community. More from the MIami Herald.

Florida lawmakers look to nix local regulations of Airbnb rentals

The Legislature is looking once again at banning local regulation of vacation rental homes, which have exploded in popularity in recent years with the onset of online platforms like Airbnb, Homeaway and VRBO. The move comes after Airbnb alone has given more than half a million dollars to Florida political committees and campaigns since 2017, either directly or through its own political committee— which still has more than $900,000 in the bank. More from the Orlando Sentinel.

Entertainment
These Keys residents believe in Bermuda Triangle weirdness. Now they’re in a TV series

 Four Keys mariners are part of a series on the Science Channel about mariners' experiences in the mythical "Bermuda Triangle," which is bordered by Miami. “Curse of the Bermuda Triangle” debuted at 10 p.m. E.T. on Feb. 9 on the Science Channel.

» More from the Miami Herald.

 

Business Profile
The software success of Modernizing Medicine

floridaModernizing Medicine is headquartered at the Boca Raton Innovation Campus, 1a 125-acre office park that once was home to IBM's South Florida operations where IBM developed its first personal computer. Modernizing Medicine now employs almost 800 and is on its way to 1,000 workers, says CEO Dan Cane.

» Read more from Florida Trend.

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