Tuesday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
Hurricane sales tax holiday could boost coronavirus-stricken businesses
Florida’s hurricane sales tax holiday begins Friday, and it couldn’t come soon enough for businesses desperate to boost revenue. This year’s disaster preparedness tax holiday runs from May 29 through June 4 and exempts sales tax on qualifying hurricane supplies. The sales tax holiday comes as many businesses are just reopening their doors after weeks of closures related to the COVID-19 pandemic that has crippled the economy. More from Florida Politics and WTSP.
Florida toy importer braces for retail upheaval
Most U.S. states have begun to reopen their economies, but Jay Foreman, chief executive of Basic Fun, said he’s more worried than ever. The Boca Raton, Florida importer sells toys to retailers like Walmart Inc (WMT.N), Target Corp (TGT.N), Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O), TJX Cos Inc (TJX.N) and J.C. Penney Co Inc (JCP.N), many of which were forced to temporarily shutter their stores because of the pandemic-induced lockdown. About 30% of his customers are still closed. More from Reuters.
Florida Republicans: Bring RNC to Florida
President Donald Trump is threatening to pull the Republican National Convention out of North Carolina and Florida Republicans are saying come on down. The President threatened Monday to pull the convention from North Carolina if the state’s Democratic governor doesn’t immediately sign off on allowing a full-capacity gathering in August despite the ongoing pandemic. More from Bay News 9.
Florida shortens stone crab season over industry objections
Florida’s $30 million stone crab industry is snapping mad over the state’s decision to reduce by five weeks the seven-month harvest season for what is widely considered a classic but expensive delicacy in the Sunshine State. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said the shortened season and other new limits are necessary to sustain Florida stone crabs, whose large, meaty claws are removed and served boiled with melted butter or mustard sauce. More from the AP.
Tampa Convention Center loses millions, but finds new role
For the Tampa Convention Center, the bottom line isn’t pretty. But city and tourism officials have found silver linings in the pandemic that has cost the facility millions since the coronavirus shut down the country in March. For starters, a surprising number of events remain on the books through the end of the year — good news for the 600,000-square-foot facility on the water that opened in 1990 and has served as a foundational cornerstone of the city’s downtown resurgence. More from the Tampa Bay Times.
Florida entrepreneur launches virtual escape room
A Florida entrepreneur had to shut down the physical location of his in-person game-room because of the pandemic. So he took it online, and is now cashing-in big time. Rob and Alison Faiella had to close their escape room because of the pandemic. Rob also got laid off from his job as a computer programmer, but he used his skills to keep this business going.
Out of the Box
Want to spend a night at a baseball stadium? Florida minor-league team listed one on Airbnb
The minor-league baseball season is in jeopardy of not being played due to the coronavirus pandemic, but at least one team is finding a creative way to keep its stadium in use and make some money in the process. The Pensacola Blue Wahoos, the Double A affiliate for the Minnesota Twins, have listed their stadium on Airbnb.
» Read more from the Miami Herald.
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