May 26, 2020

Tuesday's Daily Pulse

Photo: Octavio Jones \ Tampa Bay Times

Tuesday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 4/7/2020

Floridians could wait weeks for unemployment checks, officials say

Florida officials say they made huge improvements to the unemployment system over the weekend, but the state still faces a massive backlog of applications that will likely require Floridians wait weeks before seeing any money. During a Monday morning news conference, Gov. Ron DeSantis and state officials said they’re aiming to process 80,000 applications this week, a drastic increase from the week before. More from the Tampa Bay Times and the Florida Times-Union.

Publisher's Desk
April update: Thoughts from Florida Trend's Publisher

As I sit here in early April, it is unbelievable to think back to what has transpired over the past 30 days — and almost mind-numbing to imagine what we could be facing over the next 30. We are all wading in unchartered waters, learning to adapt our businesses to the current — and hopefully short-lived — circumstances. [Source: Florida Trend]

Florida fights coronavirus price gouging: 10-pack of toilet paper for $90 and $90 to ship it

It is illegal under Florida law for retailers and hotels to raise prices during a state of emergency to increase profit margins. Business owners are allowed to raise prices if wholesale costs increase, as is often the case with gasoline. About three weeks ago, Attorney General Ashley Moody activated a state price gouging hotline for the public to report concerns, a move that often occurs during hurricane season. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

Opinion: Construction is essential to Florida’s economy

Construction is currently one of Florida’s major economic staples. Keeping the men and women of the industry building must be a priority. If construction is disrupted, it creates a domino effect leading to dire negative economic repercussions for an already-burdened economy. [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]

Florida gas prices continue to tumble

Florida gasoline prices at the pump continue to drop while less drivers hit the road. Prices dropped 7 cents last week as part of the elephantine 50-cent drop seen in the last 40 days, according to AAA data. The average price of gas at the Florida pump is $1.91, although Orlandoans are enjoying even lower prices with an average of $1.81, AAA data shows. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Miami’s volunteer tax preparers still want you to file as early as possible
As the devastating economic ramifications of the coronavirus crisis come into sharper view, many families’ ability to promptly receive financial relief — including stimulus checks — will hinge on filing a 2019 tax return, experts say. But for low-income families, getting free tax preparation assistance will be more difficult now than in previous years.

› SeaWorld CEO Serge Rivera resigns in fourth leadership turnover in five years
SeaWorld CEO Serge Rivera, who led the company for just five months, has resigned, citing a disagreement with his board’s decision-making as the reason for his departure. The move comes as more 90% of employees are furloughed and the theme parks are shut down from the coronavirus pandemic. Company executives also took temporary 20% pay cuts.

› Door shuts permanently at Florida dog track
There was supposed to be ceremony. The last of the dogs would trickle out to happily live out new lives with adoption agencies and new owners. There was supposed to be tears. Owners would sweep the dust and dirt from empty kennels and turn off the lights. For the very last time. Sanford Orlando Kennel Club had planned to stay open until June. But now, in two short days, everything would be over.

› JAX Chamber survey of business shows 60 percent lost sales
The economic disruption inflicted by the coronavirus crisis has cut wide and deep in Jacksonville with 60 percent of businesses telling JAX Chamber they have lost sales and 37 percent saying it’s meant fewer employees on the job. As for what businesses need financially, 38 percent cited access to capital, 36 percent said sales are more important than getting loans at this time, and 26 percent said they have no capital needs.

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