Tuesday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
Federal aid available to help pay for funerals of those who have died from COVID-19
People whose loved ones have died from COVID-19 can get the federal government to help pay for a funeral. The Federal Emergency Management Agency will begin accepting applications for funeral assistance starting Monday, April 12. Under the program, up to $9,000 in federal aid is available for COVID-19 related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020. [Source: WUSF]
The Sunshine economy: Why a South Florida bank was a big lender of COVID-19 rescue money
Jorge Gonzalez still has voicemails from some of the toughest days of the pandemic. The messages are from business owners who secured government emergency loans through the bank he leads. City National Bank of Florida was one of the most active banks, lending money through two federal economic pandemic rescue programs. One was through the Federal Reserve. The second was a congressional program — the Paycheck Protection Program. In all, the bank processed about $4 billion of loans to thousands of companies. [Source: WLRN]
Covid 'heightened the pressure' on airports to broaden business model, expert said
Orlando International Airport has been welcoming back flights, but its passenger traffic still has big gaps. In February, the airport saw 1.98 million passengers arrive and depart, down 54.11% from 4.33 million passengers in the same month last year. Similarly, Orlando Sanford International Airport saw a 50.5% decrease in passenger traffic for February, with 124,154 passengers for the month this year compared to 251,239 last year. [Source: Orlando Business Journal]
COVID-19 small business closures in Florida pegged at 32.2%
Nationwide, as of March 22, the number of small businesses in operation was 35 percent below what the level was in January 2020, according to the Opportunity Insights data tracker. The data also shows that different types of small businesses were not affected in the same way. A large number of shutdowns occurred in the leisure and hospitality sector, in which small businesses suffered closures estimated at 52.4 percent, according to tracker’s numbers. [Source: The Center Square]
Insurance Commissioner Altmaier urges moves to curb property insurance lawsuits
Pointing to a “disparity” between Florida and other states in litigation, Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier is urging lawmakers to consider a series of steps to restrict property-insurance lawsuits. Altmaier sent a five-page letter this month to House Commerce Chairman Blaise Ingoglia, R-Spring Hill, outlining potential ways to curb litigation, including limiting fees paid to attorneys who represent policyholders. [Source: News Service of Florida]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› DeSantis wants $4 million for medical marijuana quality control testing
Florida’s medical marijuana industry could soon get a big payday.
› States with the most pandemic-proof small businesses
To identify the states where businesses have the greatest potential to recover, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 11 key metrics.
› Florida Tech professor Syed Murshid awarded new patents for quantum communication research
Murshid’s new engineering patents are for space-division multiplexing and orbital angular momentum of photon-based multiplexing.
› Clearwater offers $1.5 million in grants to bring businesses downtown
The three grant programs to open May 1 will target external and internal improvements at vacant and aging downtown properties.
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