Wednesday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
Florida ban on evictions leaves small businesses exposed
On April 2, about the time the first round of rent checks came due after the coronavirus pandemic shattered the state’s economy, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis stepped in to save renters by suspending residential evictions for at least the next 45 days. But the governor chose not to stop commercial evictions — and now some small businesses say they are at risk of being forced out. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]
Florida's charter fishing captains try to stay afloat
In the statewide stay-at-home order issued by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis last week, the sprawling list of “essential” services or activities included fishing. Yet for the 3,502 captains with valid charter licenses in the state (according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission), inclusion on the list mainly is a moot point. These days, they can’t get a nibble of business. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
Inside Florida’s frenzied, failed dash to dole out $600 million in no-bid mask deals
When Florida belatedly realized last week that its COVID-19 problem was going to cascade into a statewide crisis, the state Division of Emergency Management embarked on a frantic, frenzied attempt to buy N95 masks, the gold standard in hospital protective equipment, negotiating more than half a billion in purchase orders in just the past week. [Source: Miami Herald]
With malls shut, property managers work with tenants to attract virtual shoppers
Malls may have closed in mid-March, but property managers are working with tenants to attract restaurant orders and virtual shoppers. Tenants are struggling to maintain their businesses at the malls. So, the Aventura Mall, Bal Harbour Shops, Brickell City Centre, the Design District and Dolphin Mall are helping to replace the loss of foot traffic with other ways to do business. [Source: Miami Herald]
Florida Panhandle property owners sue over beach closures behind their oceanfront homes
Arguing that they are being prevented from using their own backyards, oceanfront property owners are asking a federal judge to block a Walton County ordinance that has closed beaches amid the coronavirus crisis. The property owners filed the lawsuit and a request for an injunction Monday in federal court in Pensacola. It came after numerous local governments across the state closed beaches to prevent potential spread of the disease, and as Gov. Ron DeSantis has resisted ordering statewide beach closures. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Darden Restaurants furloughs 20% of Orlando headquarters’ staff
Darden Restaurants is furloughing employees at its Orlando headquarters and cutting pay for those who remain working there as sales plummeted more than 70% in recent weeks because of the coronavirus pandemic. The furloughs will begin next Monday and affect 20% of about 1,000 people who work at Darden’s Restaurant Support Center.
› Miami man charged with smuggling migrants in the Bahamas for thousands of dollars
A Miami man charged with smuggling more than a dozen migrants from the Bahamas to South Florida has been declared a “fugitive” after he failed to appear in Miami federal court for his arraignment. A magistrate judge has issued a bench warrant for the arrest of Milton Morgan Ferrell III, 37, the son of a once-prominent Miami lawyer and Democratic political fundraiser, Milton M. Ferrell Jr., who died in 2008.
› Mr Greens Produce shifts gears to assist retailers
As Florida supermarkets struggle to keep fresh produce on the shelves in the midst of the COVID-19 corona virus pandemic, Mr Greens Produce has stepped up to the plate to assist both large chain and independent grocers with needed commodities. Historically, Mr Greens has been a leading supplier of produce to the foodservice channel, but in recent weeks that business has largely dried up.
› Palm Beach International Boat Show postponed ‘until further notice’
The three-day exhibition of superyachts, boats and marine equipment was originally scheduled for March 26-29 along Flagler Drive in downtown West Palm Beach. As coronavirus restrictions began to take hold in March, organizers rescheduled the show for May 14-17.
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