Wednesday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
February consumer confidence plummets to early days of COVID-19 era
Consumer confidence among Floridians plummeted 5.4 points in February to 77.2 from a revised figure of 82.6 in January. Similarly, consumer sentiment at the national level experienced a decline of 2.2 points. “Consumer sentiment in February is only nine-tenths of a point higher than April’s reading, the lowest level observed last year as a result of the economic damage brought by the pandemic. The drop in February wiped out almost all the gains since the index bottomed out in April,” said Hector H. Sandoval, director of the Economic Analysis Program at UF’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research. All five components that make up the index decreased. More from UF News and Florida Politics.
Florida vaccine supply to jump to nearly 500k 1st doses next week of Moderna, Pfizer on top of new Johnson & Johnson option
Continued increases in the federal supply of the Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19 combined with a continued supply of Moderna vaccines means Florida will receive more than 470,000 initial doses between the two brands the week beginning March 8. That’s on top of the supply being delivered this week of more than 175,000 of the newly authorized Johnson & Johnson vaccine. More from the Orlando Sentiinel.
Tampa Bay Lightning launch program to support local small businesses
The “Backing The Bay” grant program is designed to help Tampa Bay area small businesses negatively impacted by the pandemic by providing them with marketing resources to boost their companies. Each month from March through the end of the year, the Lightning will select one locally owned small business to work with the VSG marketing team to create promotional items such as videos, written features, promotions, custom graphics and Lightning radio spots. More from the Tampa Bay Times.
Troubled Hertz announces reorganization plan that would put it under new ownership
Estero-based Hertz has filed its plan of reorganization in bankruptcy court, which would give it new ownership. Hertz Global Holdings, parent of the The Hertz Corp., filed the plan in the District of Delaware on Tuesday — and described it as a "key milestone" in its restructuring efforts via a news release. Under the proposed plan, Knighthead Capital Management and Certares Opportunities LLC, along with their affiliates, would invest up to $4.2 billion in the reorganized company. More from the Fort Myers News-Press.
Spring Break 2021: Why this year’s Fort Lauderdale beach party is unlike any before
Spring Break 2021 is shaping up to be the most unpredictable version of the time-honored South Florida tourism bonanza since “Where the Boys Are” started the party 60 years ago. The annual influx of college students hitting hotel rooms from Miami Beach to West Palm Beach is expected to begin this weekend and bar owners, restaurant managers, inn keepers and elected officials have plans in place to welcome that business with pandemic safety in mind. More from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
Last pair of Metrorail cars ordered in 2012 finally on track
A more than 8½-year effort to replace Miami-Dade’s Metrorail fleet is nearly over, as the county last week accepted and is now testing the last pair of new railcars from manufacturer Hitachi Rail Italy before adding them to the system. The two railcars are the last of 136 Miami-Dade ordered from Hitachi (formerly AnsaldoBreda) in June 2012. Each railcar cost roughly $3 million. About $313.8 million in funds generated by the countywide half-percent sales tax known as the half-penny went toward the purchase, a press note from the Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTPW) said.
» More from Miami Today.
Out of the Box
Chicken Yoga comes to Ybor City, and of course the chickens wear diapers
For decades, the city of Tampa has officially considered Ybor City to be a bird sanctuary because of its history of chickens clucking around the brick streets. And Ybor is unofficially considered one of Tampa’s more eccentric communities. So, of course Ybor now offers Chicken Yoga, a unique take on the animal yoga craze that has predominately centered around goats but has included creatures such as dogs, cats and even sloths.
» Read more from the Tampa Bay Times.
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