September 24, 2020

Wednesday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 8/5/2020

Florida consumer confidence dips again due to COVID-19 resurgence

Florida consumer confidence is falling as the coronavirus resurgence drags well into the summer, the Bureau of Economic Business Research at the University of Florida reported Tuesday. Statewide consumer sentiment had been on the upswing in May and June when it appeared the COVID-19 outbreak was on the wane. But the record-setting increase in cases and deaths due to the illness in July offset any positive upswings in consumer viewpoints in Florida. The consumer sentiment rating dropped two points in July to 82.5, according to the UF economic statistics bureau. [Source: Florida Politics]

DeSantis announces task force to map out how families can reunite at Florida’s long-term care facilities

Gov. Ron DeSantis led a coronavirus discussion Tuesday focusing on long-term care facilities, and how the state plans to work on eventually allowing family members to be allowed to see their loved ones again. DeSantis ordered the 150,000 or so residents of nursing homes and similar facilities be locked down early on during the coronavirus pandemic because the high death risk to the elderly population from COVID-19. More from the Orlando Sentinel and the Tampa Bay Times.

For years, a wealthy tribe refused to pay taxes. Now it’s suing for a bigger share of COVID relief money

For years, members of the Miccosukee Tribe in South Florida didn’t pay federal taxes on their earnings from the tribe’s lucrative casino, then fought in court for years to avoid paying its $1 billion IRS bill. Now, the wealthy tribe is suing the United States, saying it deserves a bigger share of $8 billion in COVID-19 relief funds that were distributed among 574 tribal governments. In a lawsuit filed July 31 in U.S. District Court in Miami, the tribe claimed it was allocated the minimum $100,000 after a formula used by the Treasury Department incorrectly determined its population was zero. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

Florida coronavirus deaths up 245 but new cases continue downward trend

Florida had one of the biggest single days for reported resident coronavirus deaths Tuesday with 245 new fatalities to bring the state death toll to 7,402, but new positive COVID-19 cases continue to trend down as Florida nears 500,000 infections to date. The Florida Department of Health reported its 10th day in a row new cases falling under 10,000, logging 5,446 positive results to bring the total to date to 497,330. Some major testing sites, though, were closed down over the weekend and into Monday. More from the Orlando Sentinel and the Tampa Bay Times.

Federal bill would break ground on $1.6B Everglades reservoir this year

The 10,100-acre, $1.6 billion Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) reservoir project would begin as planned under a bill adopted by the U.S. House. The Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2020 passed the House in a voice vote last week after it was approved unanimously July 15 by the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure. WRDA moves onto the Senate, which has adjourned for its August recess while in a stalemate with the House over another COVID-19 stimulus package. [Source: The Centrer Square]


› Tampa among top in US for small business employment and wage growth
While the Covid-19 pandemic has hit small businesses hard, there are some bright spots for Tampa’s small businesses. In a recent report on small businesses from IHS Markit, a London-based global information provider, Tampa and Florida had some of the best small business employment and wage growth in the U.S. in the past year.

› Duval County to conduct Florida’s 1st fully remote civil jury trial
Jury selection will begin at 8:30 a.m. Thursday in what will be the first fully remote civil jury trial in Florida and what should result in the first binding verdict from a remote trial in the United States. The Fourth Judicial Circuit was chosen by the Florida Supreme Court to serve as one of five remote civil trial pilot projects throughout the state.

› Sales, profits slide at Sarasota’s Helios Technologies
Profits and sales tumbled at Helios Technologies during another coronavirus-impacted quarter. The Sarasota-based company, a global manufacturer in the hydraulics and electronics markets, posted net income of $12.9 million, or 40 cents per diluted share, in the second quarter. That was down 25% from $17.3 million, or 54 cents per share, one year earlier. In the first quarter of 2020, Helios reported a net loss net loss of $17.2 million, or 54 cents per share, its first loss since 2009.

› Four new Dengue fever cases have been confirmed in the Florida Keys
Four more cases of Dengue fever have been confirmed in the Upper Florida Keys. This makes 26 cases reported this year by the Florida Department of Health in Monroe County. “All indications of these infections show that they were locally acquired,” the health department said in a news release. “These individuals received medical treatment and are expected to make a full recovery.”

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