Wednesday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
Coronavirus has decimated some Florida farms
The coronavirus has turned much of Florida’s winter vegetable crop into waste. When Gov. Ron DeSantis issued executive orders shutting down the state to stop the spread of the coronavirus, people stayed home and changed their buying habits. Large food buyers like schools, resorts and restaurants became missing links in the food supply chain, leaving farmers with no market to sell their goods. More from the Tallahassee Democrat.
Royal Caribbean reports $1.4 billion loss
The coronavirus pandemic that has forced the cruise industry to a halt since March has hit one of the world’s largest cruise companies with a $1.44 billion loss in the first quarter. The earnings report from Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. released Wednesday shows the Miami-based company lost $6.91 per share basis. Its stock is down 68% since January 1. More from the Orlando Sentinel.
With Lido Beach open, a bright spot for St. Armands businesses
Sarasota leaders finally reopened Lido Beach, leaving the St. Armands district hoping that it will help put restaurants and retail stores back in businesses Some businesses of St. Armands were hit particularly hard in recent months. That’s partly because rents are higher on St. Armands Circle than elsewhere — with some monthly bills going as high as $30,000 a month. The majority of businesses also pay a property tax for the Circle’s improvement district and to help pay for the St. Armands Parking garage bond. More from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
Visit Orlando, Experience Kissimmee cut international teams as coronavirus changes travel industry
Central Florida tourism agencies have slashed international marketing teams and will instead target domestic travelers as the coronavirus pandemic ends and the industry begins to bounce back. Visit Orlando’s international team went from 15 to three, while Experience Kissimmee let go five of its seven international staff members. More from the Orlando Sentinel.
Electric cargo bicycles will roll through heart of Miami
Miami’s bustling urban core will be the testing ground for electric cargo bicycles. City commissioners last week approved a one-year pilot program for the e-cargo bikes, touting them as an environmentally friendly alternative to large trucks that will minimize downtown core congestion More from Miami Today.
As Tampa Bay reopens, live music slowly dials up the volume
While the concert industry remains a long way from normal — bars and venues are still closed, and large gatherings are still barred — live music has begun trickling back into everyday life around Tampa Bay. Restaurants, especially those with outdoor seating, have resumed booking shows.
» More from the Tampa Bay Times.
Florida's plan to build 330 miles of new toll roads
A year ago, the Florida Legislature conceived a program to create three new toll roads totaling 330 miles across Florida’s hinterlands — the largest toll-road project in the country. If nothing else, the idea was ambitious. The Legislature specified that the new tollways would be planned, designed and completed in under 10 years — by 2030.
» Read more from Florida Trend.
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