Thursday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
Florida’s private flood insurance market is growing
Over the past half century, homeowners looking to purchase a flood insurance policy had effectively one option: the federally backed National Flood Insurance Program. And Florida accounted for more than a third of its policyholders. But as the federal program struggles with mounting losses and an increasing number of homeowners at risk for flooding, a burgeoning private insurance market has arisen offering to relieve pressure. More from the Tampa Bay Times.
Florida House moving forward with tax-cut package
A wide-ranging tax package moved forward Wednesday in the House, despite concerns small airports could be hurt, local tourist dollars would be diluted and corporations would be the biggest beneficiaries. The Ways & Means Committee approved the package (PCB WMC 20-01), which features sales-tax breaks before hurricane season and the new school year, while trimming taxes on commercial leases and cell phones and other communications services. More from WJXT and the Center Square.
Colorado group tries to lure Florida businesses
A Colorado group has launched a statewide campaign to lure businesses away from Florida, touting more sunny days, legalized weed and stronger protections for LGBTQ citizens. In Colorado, the group’s website boasts, there are double the breweries of Florida, thousands of more miles of walking and biking trails and, the crux of the campaign, it is one of the most LGBTQ-friendly states in the country. More from the Orlando Sentinel.
Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport project set to bring hundreds of jobs to Bay County
Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport Authority and the Bay County Economic Development Alliance are moving one step closer in a project that will have a big impact in the community. At Wednesday’s Bay County commission meeting, commissioners approved the authorization for letters of support to potential funding partners for the Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul Center of Excellence. More from WMBB.
Space tourism: Here’s what Central Florida needs for this new venture to take off
The notion of taking tourists into outer space is starting to reignite after two space companies announced they are joining forces to do just that — but Central Florida must overcome three key hurdles to make this a sustainable business model. More from the Orlando Business Journal.
Out of the Box
Rare rainbow snake sighting in Ocala National Forest
A rare rainbow snake sighting was made recently in the Ocala National Forest, according to a Facebook post from the The Fish and Wildlife Research Institute. Tracey Cauthen happened upon the 4-foot snake while hiking, the post states. It marks the first time this species has been spotted in Marion County since 1969, according to the Florida Museum of Natural History.
» More from the Tampa Bay Times.
Organic, non-GMO stevia supplier Pyure Brands has sweet success
If you see a sugar-free energy drink or soda containing organic stevia at the grocery store, there’s a good chance the sweetening agent came from Naples-based Pyure Brands. “Sugar-free products have a stigma of being bad-tasting or using chemicals. That’s not our M.O. We’re going to use the best ingredients and actually make it taste good,” says founder Ben Fleischer.
» Read more from Florida Trend.
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