Wednesday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
Two-month consumer sentiment collapse stabilizes in May
After two months of unprecedented declines, consumer confidence among Floridians inched up one-tenth of a point in May to 76.4 from April’s revised figure of 76.3. Similarly, consumer sentiment at the national level increased slightly. Among the five components that make up the index, two increased and three decreased. More from UF News and the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
How Florida’s strained insurance market is facing COVID-19, hurricane season
From the threat of insurer ratings downgrades to mounting carrier losses because of excessive litigation to increasing insurance rates, Florida’s insurance market got off to a rocky start in 2020. Then came the COVID-19 global pandemic, causing further stress to the market and economic insecurity across all industries. [Source: Innsurance Journal]
Tropical Storm Cristobal forms in the Gulf, earliest 3rd named Atlantic storm on record
Tropical Storm Cristobal officially became the third named storm of the 2020 hurricane season. The storm is the first to form after the official start of hurricane season which runs June 1-Nov. 30, but it’s the third storm of 2020 as two previous systems formed in May, Tropical Storms Arthur and Bertha, both of which had a hand in drenching Florida during their formation. More from the Orlando Sentinel and WINK News.
SpaceX proceeding toward eighth launch of Starlink satellites from Cape Canaveral
After successfully taking astronauts to orbit over the weekend, SpaceX is still targeting Wednesday night for the launch of another batch of Starlink internet satellites from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. If schedules hold, a Falcon 9 rocket will boost 60 of the flat-packed satellites to low-Earth orbit from Launch Complex 40 at 9:25 p.m. The window to launch closes about 30 minutes later. Anticipated weather conditions are trending favorably for the most part, with the Space Force anticipating 70% “go” conditions during the window. [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]
Florida bars and lounges are anxious to reopen. No sign yet of when it will be OK
Gov. Ron DeSantis is under increasing pressure to let bar owners again pour spirits and ring the bell for last call. Local elected officials are telling the governor that bar and nightclub owners whose businesses rely on alcohol for 50 percent of revenue are getting desperate watching from the sidelines, a month into the first phase of the state’s reopening from the coronavirus pandemic. [Source: Miami Herald]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Walton’s tourism numbers are encouraging signs
Early numbers on occupancy rates in Walton County lodging for the week surrounding the Memorial Day holiday suggest there may have been more visitors in the county for the holiday weekend this year than last year, when the coronavirus pandemic was not a factor in vacation decisions.
› Jacksonville airport steadies for a return to the skies
Any traveler who has not been to an airport since the pandemic began would be struck by how different Jacksonville International Airport looks. There’s no traffic at the arrival drop-off; plexiglass barriers and floor decals now dictate social distancing at info booths and in Transportation Security Administration lines; seating at food courts has been removed. Airport executives gathered at JIA Tuesday to highlight the safety precautions in place in an effort to combat the massive losses in revenue that airports have seen as a result of the pandemic.
› FPL to donate $30K, provide meals for neighbors in need
The Palm Beach County Food Bank in Lantana recently announced that Florida Power & Light Co., through the NextEra Energy Foundation, is contributing $10,000 for its hunger relief efforts. The donation will help the organization provide more than 8,000 additional meals to families in need. FPL’s donation to the food bank is part of the company’s commitment of more than $30,000 to nonprofit community partners dedicated to hunger relief and food insecurity programs.
› Hillsborough to set $3 million in grants for businesses damaged in protests
Hillsborough County is setting aside $3 million to aid small businesses damaged when public protests turned into looting and vandalism Saturday night. The program will allot up to $50,000 to approximately 60 businesses to make repairs or replace stolen inventory.
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