January 23, 2021

Monday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 11/23/2020

Florida businesses hoping for a Black Friday revival

Many businesses devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic are relying on Holiday sales this year to keep afloat. But Black Friday is known for drawing large crowds, presenting health risks when coronavirus cases are spiking across the country. Now, owners are trying to adapt. This Black Friday could be the most important one in a long time. According to the National Federation of Independent Business in Florida, one in five small business owners think they won't be around in six months if things don't turn around soon. [Source: WFSU]

COVID-19 in Florida: Cases up 49% compared to prior week

Florida on Saturday added 8,410 new cases of COVID-19 to its pandemic tally, ending its worst week for infections since Aug. 1. Department of Health data show 56,732 people tested positive for the virus over the past week, continuing a monthlong upward trend. Florida’s surge is part of a nationwide wave that on Friday hit a pandemic record of 195,542 new cases across the country, according to Johns Hopkins University. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

As Tampa’s Super Bowl nears, party buzz is muted

Less than 80 days from Super Bowl 55 at Raymond James Stadium, the celebrity event factor — traditionally a major part of Super Bowl week — remains a big unknown. The NFL has several long-planned official events penciled in, even as coronavirus cases spike in Florida and around the country. The NFL Experience, an interactive celebration of the game, is still scheduled to wind along Tampa’s Riverwalk. The Weeknd is booked to play halftime. But outside the league, there’s a sense of hesitation about what kind of party Tampa’s next Super Bowl will be. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

On the Road: AAA says less will travel this Thanksgiving, most by car vs. plane

Yes, there may be heavy traffic this Thanksgiving on Florida's roads, as usual. But fewer Americans will travel this holiday weekend due to fears about the COVID-19 pandemic and unemployment, the American Automobile Association said. AAA projects an estimated 50.6 million Americans will travel this Thanksgiving. About 2.8 million of those travelers will be Floridians, an estimated 2.62 million going by car. [Source: Florida Times-Union]

Three Carnival Corp. cruise lines will cancel sailings until 2021

Three Carnival Corp. cruise lines will extend their sailing cancellations until 2021, as the number of COVID-19 cases in the United States surges out of control, with more than 185,000 U.S. cases reported Friday. On Friday, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and Seabourn all said their voyages will be canceled until 2021. Holland America Line and Princess Cruises will extend their pauses for all departures through March 31, 2021. [Source: Miami Herald]


› The Stein Mart bankruptcy: How it all ended
D. Hunt Hawkins spent his last full day in his 10th-floor office at the former Stein Mart Inc. building dressed casually and waiting for his office furniture to be moved out. It was Nov. 13, three months and a day after Stein Mart’s Chapter 11 filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, and time to leave the Downtown Southbank headquarters at 1200 Riverplace Blvd.

› Sarasota-Manatee businesses hit by the pandemic learn new ways to reach customers
When the pandemic reached the United States and businesses across the country were forced to shut down, their owners were left to figure out how to stay afloat. The Bradenton Farmers’ Market was among them. Farmers, artisans and local shops depended on the market for their livelihood. But with people expected to stay home and no signs of when a lockdown would end, the obvious question was, “What do we do?”

› Snowcat Ridge launches Dade City tubing hill five years in the making
Picture a large, man-made slope, like the wide slide with lanes at the state fair that thrill seekers fly down on a mat. But this one is iced and the mode of transport is a snow tube or raft. Prices vary but start at $24.95 for a two-hour pass. Dozens of visitors made the trek for the opening of winter-themed attraction, which is housed on the same property as Halloween destination Scream-A-Geddon. They traveled from around the state curious about how someone managed to open a snow tubing park in the deep south.

› Want company? Growing ‘family on demand’ startup Papa moves to Downtown Miami
Even tech startups need brick-and-mortar offices. ‘Family on demand’ startup Papa has signed a lease for the entire 11,420-square-foot The Brickell Building located at 66 SW Sixth St., south of the Miami River. The announcement comes two months after Papa announced it had received an $18 million investment led by Comcast Ventures.

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