September 24, 2020

Monday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 9/14/2020

Many Canadian snowbirds are delaying Florida visits until COVID-19 eases

As if COVID-19 hasn’t done enough damage to Florida’s tourism industry, many Canadians who for years have wintered in the Sunshine State are having second thoughts about migrating south unless the pandemic shows signs of abating. “There are hundreds of thousands of Canadians who are on the sidelines planning not to visit Florida this year due to COVID,” said Alain Forget, who heads sales and business development at RBC Bank, a subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada. Their decision, he said, is contingent on how much longer the U.S.-Canadian border remains shut or if Florida’s COVID-19 cases rise in the next few months. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

Florida Trend Exclusive
Florida restaurant openings during the COVID-19 pandemic

To open a business and invite the public in by the hundreds in the middle of a pandemic and a recession, you have to be brave or crazy. Or a restaurateur — which may amount to the same thing. Amid the spread of COVID-19, fears and regulations and shortages of staff, meat and sanitizer drove many restaurateurs to despair and hobbled Florida’s restaurants. But not all. A few veteran chefs and restaurant pros punched through the gloom to launch new restaurants or reopen doors of those closed in their infancy by state order in March. [Source: Florida Trend]

Sorry, that’s not covered: Insurers fight businesses over COVID-19 shutdowns

Across the U.S., courts so far have sided mostly with insurers after businesses claimed the pandemic interrupted their business and insurance should cover it. But thousands of cases are still pending, including dozens in South Florida, and a single judge’s ruling in a case in Missouri have given businesses confidence that there might be a way to force insurers to pay up. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

Column: Working remotely in the pandemic may generate a tax surprise

If the pandemic caused you to relocate across state lines, even temporarily, the next surprise could be having to file an extra tax return and potentially pay more taxes. Multistate taxation has long been a headache for entertainers, athletes, professional speakers and others who earn money in more than one state. Snowbirds, retirees who move south for the winter, can face it as well. Now it could be a problem for many people who relocated, however temporarily, because of the pandemic. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Tropical Storm Teddy forms in Atlantic

Tropical Storm Teddy has formed in the Atlantic, making it the earliest "T" storm on record for the Atlantic hurricane season. The storm that had been Tropical Depression 20 became better organized overnight, with sustained winds of 35 mph, and is expected to become a major hurricane this week, according to the National Hurricane Center’s 5 a.m. Monday advisory. Located about midway between the African coast and the Leeward Islands, Teddy was moving west-northwest about 14 mph. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]


› Tampa gets millions from Feds to spread Riverwalk love
For years, Tampa’s Riverwalk has been seen as the key to spreading downtown’s renaissance across the Hillsborough River. Now, local elected officials are touting a $24 million federal transportation grant they say will forge closer economic and mobility links between the Riverwalk and West Tampa, paving the way for more affordable housing, green space and sustainable living in a rapidly changing part of the city.

› FPL offers aid as disconnections loom
Florida Power & Light said Friday it will offer aid to customers who are behind on their electric bills, as the company prepares to begin disconnections that have been put on hold during the coronavirus pandemic. FPL said, in part, it will provide bill credits of up to $200 to some residential and small-business customers. To qualify, customers would have to pay outstanding balance amounts minus the bill credits. For example, a customer who owed $600 would have to pay $400, with a $200 bill credit making up the remainder, according to FPL.

› Amid looming fee increases, Miami Citizenship Week strives to boost naturalization
Although interest in naturalization typically spikes in the months leading up to presidential elections, the COVID-19 outbreak ground the citizenship process to a halt in March. The pandemic shuttered the offices of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the federal agency that administers the country’s lawful immigration system.

› Fanatics seeking 2,000 seasonal employees for Jacksonville sportswear warehouse operations
Sportswear titan Fanatics said Friday it’s trying to hire 2,000 people in Jacksonville for jobs that are planned to last through the end of the year. Some jobs might continue into next year, but those would be “need-based” and can’t be predicted yet, said company spokesman Seth Schlechter.

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