Thursday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
New jobless claims level off, but cuts keep hitting hotels, theme parks
New applications for unemployment assistance in Florida dipped again, the U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday. Claims for first-time benefits in Florida stood at 35,829 for the week ending Sept. 19. That’s 1,436 fewer claims than the week prior. Following furloughs and layoffs numbering in the thousands at Busch Gardens, SeaWorld and Universal Orlando, Walt Disney World’s Swan and Dolphin resort recently notified the state that 1,136 employees will be laid off Nov. 13. Hotels surrounding Orlando’s theme parks also continue to shed jobs. More from the Tampa Bay Times, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, and the Miami Herald.
Business groups back ballot measure to undercut future constitutional amendments
Some of Florida’s biggest business-lobbying groups are lining up behind a controversial measure on the November ballot that would make it harder to amend the Florida constitution. The Florida Chamber of Commerce has endorsed the measure, which is being sponsored by a secretive nonprofit called “Keep Our Constitution Clean” and would require any future proposed constitutional amendments be approved in two separate, statewide referendums. So has the Florida Farm Bureau. More from the Orlando Sentinel.
Florida property insurance market is ‘unhealthy,' Citizens chief warns
Homeowners are again starting to flock to the state-backed property insurer of last resort as the private market becomes economically stressed, the president of Citizens Property Insurance Corp. warned Wednesday. Citizens President and CEO Barry Gilway pointed to an “unhealthy” private market that is leading to increased policies at Citizens, with the problems due primarily to litigation and rises in costs of reinsurance, which insurance companies buy to help cover losses. More from the News Service of Florida and the Tampa Bay Times.
Jacksonville issues construction permit for $41 million Amazon fulfillment center
The city issued a permit Sept. 23 for construction of the Amazon.com fulfillment center in North Jacksonville at a cost of almost $41.2 million. Evans General Contractors of Savannah is the contractor for the 1,011,900-square-foot warehouse on about 52 acres at 10501 Cold Storage Road, No. 500, in Imeson Park at northeast North Main Street and Zoo Parkway. More from the Jacksonville Daily Record.
Cleveland Clinic Florida names new CEO
A colorectal surgeon from Ohio will become the new CEO of Cleveland Clinic Florida, charged with leading five hospitals in the state through the coronavirus pandemic. Dr. Conor Delaney will become president and CEO of the Cleveland Clinic Florida region that includes the large Weston campus. The Florida hospital system also includes a new research and innovation center in Port St. Lucie and outpatient centers in five counties across Southeast Florida. More from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
Join business leaders, national industry experts and elected officials as we Relaunch and Reimagine Florida at the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Virtual 2020 Future of Florida Forum & Annual Meeting October 20-22. Attendees will enjoy an interactive experience with 9+ hours of customized content including dynamic speakers, exhibit breakouts, and virtual networking as we unite Florida’s business community to become the 10th largest economy in the world by 2030. Register today!
Performing arts hall puts together schedule of virtual events
In the midst of social distancing concerns, what’s a large performing arts hall to do? Create a whole new lineup of virtual events. Performing arts organizations have been hit hard by the pandemic, with many scheduled performances around the region postponed or canceled. The city-owned Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota is trying to make the most of the tricky time — and stay top of mind with patrons — by shifting to the virtual arena.
» More from the Business Observer.
Out of the Box
Tiny home community in Tampa area appeals to minimalist lifestyle
ESCAPE Tampa Bay Village developers hope to capitalize on a trend of homeowners seeking smaller, more efficient houses. Most of the furnished homes, ranging from 250 square feet to 400 square feet or more, have wooden exteriors and a manicured green space. Some have cabin-like wooden interiors, while others are more modern with white interiors. Sales prices on the available seven houses range from $69,970 to $164,450 with various amenities included. Homeowners also pay a monthly lot rental ranging from $400 to $600 a month.
» Read more from the Tampa Bay Times.
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