Tuesday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
Florida activates emergency small business loans amid COVID-19 economy worries
On Monday, Governor Ron DeSantis activated the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program to support small businesses impacted by COVID-19. The bridge loan program, managed by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, will provide short-term, interest-free loans to small businesses that experienced economic injury from COVID-19. The application period opens March 17 and runs through May 8, 2020. More from WTXL. and the Fort Myers News-Press.
Tech Data hit with $83 million fine in French antitrust case
Tech Data was hit with a fine of more than $83.7 million this week in France, where officials said the Pinellas County-based technology distributor worked with Apple and a third U.S. company to thwart French competitors. The fine is one of the largest business penalties ever assessed against a Tampa Bay area company, perhaps second only to the $137.5 million that WellCare Health Plans of Tampa agreed in 2010. More from the Tampa Bay Times
Sarasota gardening products company names first CEO
Sarasota Green Group has named Scott Allshouse as the company's first CEO. Sarasota Green Group makes Earth’s Ally and Grower’s Ally organic pest and disease control products. Allshouse is the former CEO of Buddy Fruits. He has over 20 years of experience in the consumer-packaged goods industry. More from the Business Observer.
Activists sue to extend vote-by-mail deadline in presidential primary
A group of civil rights organizations is suing Florida over its decision to not extend vote-by-mail for Tuesday’s presidential primary elections amid the rising number of cases of novel coronavirus in the state. The groups are seeking emergency relief to prevent “large-scale voter disenfranchisement,” according to the complaint, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida against Gov. Ron DeSantis and Secretary of State Laurel Lee. More from the Miami Herald.
Disney World donates food as nonprofits, schools step up feeding efforts
The unprecedented closing of all Walt Disney World theme parks has had one upside: a massive donation to Second Harvest Food Bank on Monday. The truckloads of food — enough for more than 18,000 meals — comes as local school districts, soup kitchens and food pantries scramble to keep people fed in the wake of widespread shutdowns to slow the spread of the coronavirus. More from the Orlando Sentinel
Angie Bastian first tried kettle corn, she recalls, when her kids were little and she and her husband, Dan, took them to festivals at Hunsader Farms, east of Interstate 75 in Manatee County. Two decades later, after a family move to Minnesota and now back, part time, in the Sarasota area, the Bastians have a powerful kettle corn and popcorn-driven entrepreneurial success story.
» More from the Business Observer.
Out of the Box
Papurri’s Barbershop Styles on Wheels
Once in the chair, you instantly know the meaning of “papurri.” “Every time we have a client and they sit down, we call them that name,” said Leo Maldonado, who barbers at Papurri’s Barbershop Styles on Wheels with his brother-in-law, Carlos Cabrera, the shop’s owner. “We just try to treat customers as family because that’s really important. We try to make them feel comfortable.” “We want a friendly shop,” he added. The idea of a mobile barbershop pairs well in post-Hurricane Michael Bay County, where businesses are still reopening and transportation is still an issue for many residents.
» Read more from the Star.
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