September 24, 2020

Thursday's Afternoon Update

What you need to know about Florida today

| 9/10/2020

Jobless claims down in Florida as layoffs loom

Florida continues to see declines in first-time unemployment claims, even as the state braces for permanent layoffs over the next few months of workers --- many in tourism and hospitality jobs. The U.S. Department of Labor announced an estimated 36,541 first-time unemployment claims in Florida during the week that ended Sept. 5, while 884,000 new applications were filed nationally --- a number that remained unchanged from the previous week. More from the News Service of Florida.

Where did all the tourists go? Over the holiday weekend, they were back in the Keys

Business leaders in the Florida Keys report Labor Day weekend gave a much-needed boost in tourist dollars to the island chain suffering from its busy winter season being cut short because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Unlike many tourist hot spots whose make-it-or-break-it time is summer, hotels, restaurants, charter fishing captains and dive shop operators in the Keys rely on winter visitors to get them through the rest of the year. More from the Miami Herald.

Publix, Florida's beloved grocery store, celebrates 90 years of business

Ninety years ago this week, founder George Jenkins opened the first Publix store in Winter Haven, Florida, named Publix Food Store. Nine decades later, Publix has more than 1,200 stores across seven states in the South. It also employs more than 220,000 people and is the largest employee-owned company in the U.S. More from WTSP.

Best place to retire? Four of the top 5 cities found in Florida

Four Florida cities were among the five best places in the U.S. to retire based on a new report by the personal finance website WalletHub. WalletHub compared how friendly the 150 most-populated U.S. cities and at least two of the most-populated cities in each state were for retirees across four dimensions: affordability, activities, quality of life and health care. The website used 46 metrics to evaluate the four dimensions. More from the Center Square.

Will Trump’s offshore oil order kill drilling off of Florida for good?

Politics, not economics, has long kept offshore oil drilling far from Florida, with elected officials writing bills and orders to keep rigs away despite clear industry interest. President Donald Trump followed that precedent this week by announcing an extension of the moratorium on new drilling in much of the eastern Gulf of Mexico. Trump’s executive order will block oil and gas companies from buying new leases in federal waters in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, Straits of Florida and southern Atlantic Ocean until July 1, 2032. The question now is: Will the industry even have interest then? More from the Tampa Bay Times.

Out of the Box
University of Florida vets treating 660-pound gator for leg injury

 A 38-year-old alligator named Bob is on the mend thanks to a team of veterinarians at the University of Florida. Bob was taken last week from his home at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park for an evaluation in Gainesville. His right rear leg had been hurting and the 660-pound reptile needed a medical exam.

» More from the Tampa Bay Times.


Business Profile
The Cake Girl

floridaThe Cake Girl, a locally owned Tampa bakery that opened in June 2019, has bounced back with vigor from the COVID-19 economic shutdown. Founded by the husband-and-wife team of Kirby and Kristina Lavallee, the company saw its sales plummet 50% in March, when it, along with most other restaurants, cafes and walk-in bakeries, was forced to close its doors to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

» Read more from the Business Observer.

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