April 10, 2020

Wednesday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 2/26/2020

Election 2020: Will your vote count in Florida?

At a time when 59 percent of the public doesn’t trust the election process, state elections officials have thrown a veil of secrecy over that work, refusing to disclose details about the weaknesses detected in their systems and whether they’ve been fixed. Florida has doubled down on secrecy since federal officials reported at least four counties were hacked in 2016. The state forced all 67 elections supervisors to sign nondisclosure agreements before they could receive federal funding for elections security, be briefed about vulnerabilities found by cybersecurity experts or even hook up to the state’s voter registration system. More from the Lakeland Ledger and the Tallahassee Democrat.

St. Petersburg’s Jabil says coronavirus is hurting its business

One of the Tampa Bay area’s largest public companies said Tuesday that impacts from the coronavirus outbreak in China will hurt its second-quarter performance. Jabil, a manufacturer of electronics and many other products, said the health crisis has hurt its factories, which are operating at 65 to 70 percent of their normal capacity. At the same time, demand for its products remains steady. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

The Sunshine Economy: Lloyd's Of London CEO on the rising cost and risk of climate change

Lloyd’s of London may be known for insuring some unusual things, like Bruce Springsteen’s voice, soccer star David Beckham’s legs and actress America Ferrera’s smile. But Lloyd’s of London doesn’t insure any of it. Lloyd’s is the place where the risk gets a price. It isn’t an insurance company. It is a global insurance marketplace — a huge one. It has a quarter of the market for higher risk insurance and re-insurance for storms and floods in Florida. And the nature of the risk is changing. [Source: WLRN]

South Florida fails to make a splash with big corporate relocations

South Florida’s year-round warm weather and lack of state income tax aren’t enough to lure big corporate moves that take up large square footage and bring thousands of employees. Amazon HQ2 isn't coming to South Florida. Hertz went to southwest Florida. And Spirit Airlines is moving its operations control center to Tennessee, although it's keeping its headquarters in the area. Will South Florida ever see a big corporate move? [Source: Globe St.]

Florida’s iguana invasion is heating up

Florida Fish and Wildlife are tracking the state’s green iguana population and it seems that its moving further up the state, according to recent reports. Green iguanas are an invasive species in Florida and typically seen in tropical environments. The lizards were first reported in the 1960s in the South Florida cities of Hialeah, Coral Gables and Key Biscayne, according to the FWC. [Source: Click Orlando]


› Fourth-quarter earnings dip at Sarasota’s Helios Technologies
Fourth-quarter profits and sales slumped at Helios Technologies Inc. Helios, formerly known as Sun Hydraulics Corp., posted net income of $13.8 million, or 43 cents per diluted share, for the final quarter of 2019, down 16% from $16.4 million, or 51 cents, a year earlier. However, full-year earnings and sales improved at the Sarasota-based manufacturer of hydraulics and electronics.

› Black Orlando Tech, Venture ScaleUp land top awards in tech grant program
The Orlando Economic Partnership announced grants to 15 tech groups recently, with Black Orlando Tech and Venture ScaleUp each landing the $10,000 max grant. “A key part of growing and nurturing a strong tech and entrepreneurial community in Orlando is the grassroots and volunteer-driven organizations that commit to making Orlando a great place for tech entrepreneurs,” Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said in a news release.

› Tampa-based fast-casual restaurant chain opens prototype eatery
Beef ‘O’ Brady’s unveiled a new corporate-owned prototype restaurant at 889 E. Bloomingdale Ave., in Brandon Feb. 24. The Tampa-based fast-casual restaurant chain has 150 units, including 22 corporate-owned eateries, across central Florida. It celebrated 35 years in business in 2019 and looks to add more franchisees.

› Miami family donates $2.5 million to fund investigative journalism. ‘Future is in peril’
As journalism feels the pressure from the political and business worlds, civic leaders Ron and Charlene Esserman and their family are making a countermove. “We want to galvanize people to stand up for change, and that’s what a free press does,” Charlene Esserman said. So the Essermans have pledged $2.5 million to help fund investigative journalism in South Florida.

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