Tuesday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
DeSantis signs online sales tax bill. It’s a $1 billion offset of business tax cuts.
The bill is estimated to tax consumers $1 billion a year, with the money first earmarked for the unemployment trust fund, which became depleted because of massive job losses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses pay taxes that go into the trust fund and, without another source of money, would have faced higher taxes to replenish the fund. Retailers that have a physical presence in Florida are already required to collect and remit sales taxes, But retailers without such a presence haven’t faced the requirement when they make sales to Floridians, who have been technically supposed to send in sales taxes on their purchases, though few do. More from the News Service of Florida and the Miami Herald.
As Brevard job count increases, many employers finding difficulty filling open positions
The Space Coast continued to gain jobs in March, as Brevard County pulls out of a pandemic-fueled economic downturn. The problem now: Many employers are finding it hard to fill jobs that are available. Brevard's total nonagricultural employment increased to 230,000 in March, a gain of 2,400 jobs from February. The 1.1% job gain in Brevard was the seventh-highest percentage increase of the state's 25 metropolitan areas and metropolitan divisions, according to newly released data from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. More from Florida Today.
Money moves forward to upgrade jobless system
House and Senate budget negotiators have agreed to put $56.6 million into the 2021-2022 spending plan for the state’s troubled unemployment system. Meanwhile, the House has offered — with conditions — to meet the Senate on spending another $36 million to overhaul the CONNECT online unemployment system, which became overwhelmed last spring as the coronavirus pandemic caused massive job losses. More from the News Service of Florida.
The CSI Companies opens its Jacksonville area headquarters
The CSI Companies cut the ribbon April 19 for its headquarters in The Point at Gate Parkway, where the staffing organization moved about 125 employees over the past few weeks. “This is just the start for us,” said CEO Chris Flakus at an event attended by staff and invited guests. The CSI Companies provides national staffing in the technology, financial, accounting, health care and other professional industries. CSI has about 125 Jacksonville employees and 205 total. More from the Jacksonville Daily Record.
Clothing distribution center closing, leading to more than 100 layoffs
Perry Ellis International will lay off 114 people in July when it closes it distribution center on Waters Avenue in Tampa. The company filed a WARN notice last week and the layoffs appeared on the state’s website Monday. A WARN notice is a required note for layoffs under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act. More from the Business Observer.
Terrance Freeman named CEO of Read USA
At-Large Group 1 Jacksonville City Council member Terrance Freeman is the new CEO of Read USA. “Thanks to our generous donors and the great support we’ve received from our community partners, we have taken our organization to the next level by hiring a full-time CEO,” said Ellen Wiss, board chair and co-founder of Read USA, in a news release. Read USA is a nonprofit organization that has provided about 250,000 free books to more than 73,000 children in Duval County since 2011.
» More from the Jacksonville Daily Record.
Out of the Box
Meet the creator of the pickle pizza, the talk of the Florida State Fair
The pickle pizza at the Florida State Fair is getting buzz – some of it good, some of it not so good. The creator is Tonio Viscusi, an Albany, N.Y.-based vendor who travels the country working fairs and festivals as Angela’s Pizza. He says the pickle pizza wasn’t his idea. It came from customer demand as word spread of putting pickles on pizzas. “I’ll say we didn’t invent it, but we perfected it,” Viscusi said.
» Read more from the Tampa Bay Times.
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