Wednesday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
State revenues beat expectations in February
As state lawmakers await updated projections that will help build next year’s state budget, they received a little more good news Tuesday, as monthly revenue collections continue to outpace expectations. The Legislature’s Office of Economic & Demographic Research reported February general-revenue collections came in $298.5 million above a forecast for the month. That was the seventh consecutive month that revenues beat a revised — and reduced — forecast issued in August amid the COVID-19 pandemic. More from the News Service of Florida.
COVID-19 has been more deadly in Florida than reported, especially in rural counties, study shows
Many COVID deaths went unreported last year in Florida’s rural counties, allowing the severity of the pandemic’s impact to be understated, according to a nationwide study released this week. Although urban counties such as those in South Florida did a good job identifying COVID deaths, most rural counties reported an unusual jump in deaths for 2020 but left many of them unexplained or attributed to other causes, according to a study by researchers at Boston University, the University of Pennsylvania and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. More from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
Amazon adding 400 jobs, speeding delivery in South Florida with creation of new centers
Amazon says it hopes to create more than 400 jobs with the opening of four new delivery stations — specialized processing centers designed to increase the efficiency of deliveries for customers in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. The stations — in Homestead, Kendall, and Miramar as well as Fort Lauderdale — are designed to ease same-day or even two-hour deliveries to residences in high-density neighborhoods. More from the Miami Herald.
NY tech firm moves HQ to Tampa Bay area, plans 300 hires in the next year
CrossBorder Solutions has relocated its corporate headquarters to a St. Petersburg business park from New York, in one of the largest and most significant shifts to the region in the past five years. As part of the move, the company intends to hire roughly 300 new workers from within the Tampa Bay area within the next 12 months, according to the St. Petersburg Area Economic Development Corp. (EDC). Most of the new positions will be focused on sales and development. More from the Business Observer.
Bill pitched by lobbyist puts Hertz in line for $2.3 million tax cut from Florida Legislature
The Hertz rental car company is poised to save $2.3 million in taxes under a bill that passed a Senate committee Monday, even as the chamber is poised to pass a budget that includes large cuts to hospitals and universities. Records obtained by the Orlando Sentinel show an aide to Hertz lobbyist Will McKinley pitched the idea for the bill to Senate Majority Leader Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples, on Jan. 21. The email explained that companies such as Hertz, which qualify for the state’s capital investment tax credit program, are unable to use them because of the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. More from the Orlando Sentinel.
Venice Theatre plans a return to regular schedule next season
After testing the waters with some small indoor musical programs last fall and this spring, Venice Theatre is preparing to reopen with a full season of plays and musicals for 2021-22, including some of the productions that were canceled or postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic. Murray Chase, the theater’s producing executive director, and other theater staff members, announced the company’s 72nd season for its mainstage, Stage II and Generations series in an outdoor event in the theater’s parking lot Monday night.
» More from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
At Don CeSar on St. Pete Beach, the 1920s meet 2020s
The landmark Don CeSar Hotel has added a two-story pool bar and rooftop lookout to its sprawling beachfront property, completing a three-year renovation project aimed at connecting the Roaring ’20s to the 2020s. The multimillion-dollar renovations at the 93-year-old hotel include a complete makeover of lobbies, lounges, rooms and restaurants, designed to draw visitors back to the 1920s vibe that inspired the original hotel.
» Read more from the Tampa Bay Times.
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