Monday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
Florida's hospitality industry: Employers need workers. Workers need jobs. What's the problem?
Evans Philias of Hollywood is eager to get back to work. He was furloughed in March 2020 after seven years with Starbucks at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. Matthew Slaine, the CEO of Quality Restaurant Group, has the opposite problem. QRG owns more than 350 Pizza Huts, Sonic Drive-Ins, Arby's and Moe’s Southwest Grills that need workers just like Philias. In fact, the company needs almost 1,500 of them in Florida alone.Despite a high demand for workers, and the fact that Florida's unemployment rate in the hospitality industry is still 24% above pre-pandemic lows, employers and employees cannot seem to come together. More from the Palm Beach Post.
Northeast Florida Regional Council outlines economic recovery plan after pandemic
First Coast communities can strengthen their economic futures by helping people struggling today with work or home problems exacerbated by the pandemic, a Northeast Florida Regional Council panel is advising. The council is beginning to circulate a COVID-19 economic recovery plan that focuses on investments in infrastructure, help for small businesses and affordable housing to ease strains that the pandemic underscored. More from the Florida Times-Union.
Fory Myers lab company buys British firm in $390 million deal
Leading cancer-focused genetic testing services firm NeoGenomics has acquired a British-based liquid biopsy firm, Inivata. Fort Myers-based NeoGenomics invested $25 million into Cambridge-based Inivata in May 2020, according to a statement. At the time of the investment, NeoGenomics was granted a fixed price option to purchase the remainder of Inivata for $390 million prior to Dec. 31, 2021. More from the Business Observer.
Florida weighs limited harvest of once-endangered goliath grouper
Florida may lift its three-decade ban on catching and killing goliath grouper. Wildlife officials say the coastal fish’s numbers have recovered sufficiently from near-extinction to allow a limited harvest, but the proposal is strongly opposed by environmentalists who say it is still at risk. On Wednesday, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will consider a staff proposal to allow 100 goliaths to be caught and kept annually during a four-year period. More from the Tampa Bay Times.
Norwegian Cruise Line names new ship Prima, sending it to Port Canaveral
Norwegian Cruise Line is feeling a little Italian. The line is naming the first of six planned ships in a new class Norwegian Prima, and it’s going to send it to Port Canaveral. Currently under construction at the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy, the first of what the line has been calling Project Leonardo, and now the Prima class of ships, will debut in 2022, the first new class of ships for the line in 10 years. More from the Orlando Sentinel.
Tidewell Treasures opening second Sarasota location
Selecting merchandise for Treasures Thrift Shop has become second nature to Deborah Kenny. Kenny, who has been the manager of the Venice resale store that benefits the nonprofit Tidewell Hospice for several years, has no back room in her 7,200-square-foot stores. She also has no warehouse space, so each piece of furniture she accepts and picks up is immediately placed on the sales floor.
» More from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
Out of the Box
Even when virtual, there’s a vitality to the Gasparilla race scene
Fitz Koehler is a bundle of energy with a constant smile. It’s difficult to miss her. She’s the bright blond in the bright blue jacket, sporting the greenish reflective sunglasses, holding the pink microphone at the starting and finish lines of this year’s Publix Gasparilla Distance Classic. Koehler has officiated her fair share of running events since becoming a professional race announcer in 2014. But it wasn’t until this weekend that she voiced her first hybrid race. The Distance Classic went virtual for the first time since the event started in 1978 due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
» Read more from the Tampa Bay Times.
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