Thursday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
Florida unemployment applications hit new pandemic low
New applications for unemployment assistance in Florida hit a new pandemic low last week, the Department of Labor reported Thursday, amid mixed signals about the state of the economy. For the week ending Sept. 26, new jobless claims in Florida fell from 39,028 to 29,360. New claims had unexpectedly climbed in the state the week before. The number of unemployed filing for unemployment for at least two consecutive weeks in Florida also fell, the Department said Thursday — from 374,181 to 317,726. More from the Miami Herald.
Brightline shut down commuter service for months. When will the trains run again?
The trains are in the barn. The downtown stations are deserted. And the management of Brightline, South Florida’s idled high-speed rail service, is still deciding when to restore service amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Brightline, the regional train line that conjured up new possibilities for South Florida transportation, economic development and even entertainment, remains on the sidelines after the pandemic suppressed tourism, diminished business travel and shrank consumer pocketbooks. More from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
Publix, RaceTrac claim tax breaks meant to boost manufacturing
Nearly a decade ago, as Florida’s economy was still struggling in the aftermath of the Great Recession, former Gov. Rick Scott and some business-lobbying groups persuaded state lawmakers to expand a tax break meant to boost the manufacturing industry. They said the new tax break would make Florida more competitive with other states for well-paying manufacturing jobs and help stabilize a state economy heavily dependent on tourism and construction. They didn’t say anything about grocery stores and gas stations. More from the Orlando Sentinel.
Perry Ellis targets new trends in sales abroad and loungewear
Roughly three years after buying back control of Perry Ellis International and taking the company private, founder George Feldenkreis is focused on new trends, recovering from the pandemic and international expansion. Despite the downturn caused by Covid-19, Mr. Feldenkreis said, taking back the company provided Perry Ellis International with greater flexibility to make decisions for the future without being unduly influenced by stock market volatility. More from Miami Today.
Local leaders tell DeSantis they’ve imposed $2 million in coronavirus fines
Only a handful of local governments have issued fines to people or businesses related to their coronavirus orders, according to reports requested by Gov. Ron DeSantis. Not all cities and counties responded, but out of the ones that did and issued fines, just two account for the vast majority of the $1.9 million in penalties. Miami-Dade County and Naples account for more than 85% of the fines. 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!
GroovyTek helps seniors learn to use consumer technology, have 'epiphany' moment
Navigating the online world can be difficult, especially for older people who didn’t grow up with technology. Seeking the usual “tech help” can result in a barrage of confusing terms that can be intimidating. GroovyTek’s founders Matt Munro and Alex Rodas started the company in 2015 with people over 40 in mind after they found their parents needed help with technology.
» More from the Palm Beach Post.
Nearly 11,000 Floridians employed in nation's 'Moon To Mars' quest
According to Space Florida, the state’s public-private space development agency, more than 17,100 commercial companies employ at least 130,000 residents in high-tech, high-wage jobs within Florida’s $20 billion aerospace industry. More than 33,000 of those employees were working on $5.9 billion worth of contracts for NASA in 2019, the federal agency said, including 10,870 employees working on contracts for its Moon To Mars mission.
» Read more from the Center Square.
In case you missed it: