Thursday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
Florida jobless claims fall below 6,000
For the first time in more than a year, Florida has posted a weekly count of new unemployment claims on par with the period just before the coronavirus pandemic caused widespread economic damage. The U.S. Department of Labor on Thursday estimated 5,800 initial jobless claims were filed in Florida during the week that ended June 5, down from a revised count of 8,257 during the week that ended May 29. More from the Source.
Etsy sellers contributed over $1.1 billion to Florida economy in 2020
Florida Etsy sellers contributed over $1.1 billion in economic output in 2020, according to a seller census from the company. Business on the online marketplace boomed during the pandemic, as people looked for new sources of income. About 44% of Etsy sellers who started their business last year did so because of Covid-19. More from the Tampa Bay Business Journal.
Florida Supreme Court shoots down diversity rule, calling it a quota
Florida’s highest court has issued an order that blocks lawyers from their attempts to increase diversity in the legal profession, a move that no other state has taken. The Supreme Court ruled that requiring instructors in legal seminars to include people of color was equivalent to a quota, which the court called discriminatory. Critics responded that the order takes aim at diversity itself. More from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
Brightline reaches settlement with Indian River County
The private rail company Brightline, which operated on Florida East Coast Railroad tracks in South Florida until the pandemic hit, was faced with a lawsuit that was filed by Indian River county. "Ultimately it was about safety and security," said Joe Flesher, county commissioner. "And that was the primary concern for stopping the train. But we’re not stopping the train." More from WPEC.
After buying Heat arena’s name, crypto exchange FTX will open a Miami office
FTX, the cryptocurrency exchange that just purchased the naming rights to the Miami Heat’s arena in a 19-year, $135 million deal, is opening a Miami office. In an interview with the Miami Herald, FTX founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried said the company has begun scouting for office space for what he called a “substantial” U.S. office presence; he did not specify exactly how many employees or local hiring plans. FTX is based in Hong Kong. More from the Miami Herald.
Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg extended through 2026
IndyCar and downtown St. Petersburg have enjoyed each other’s company for the past 17 years. And with the St. Petersburg City Council approving a two-year extension to the existing contract, that relationship will continue through at least 2026. Pre-pandemic, the Grand Prix was one of Tampa Bay’s largest sporting events, drawing an estimated crowd of 140,000 over three days in 2019. The past two race weekends were capped at 20,000 per day.
» More from the Tampa Bay Times.
Office furniture firm lands multimillion-dollar opportunity
Tampa-based Reimagine Office Furnishings’ business model was once predicated on stylishly remanufacturing existing office furniture for corporate clients. So when the pandemic hit and the world seemed to depart their offices en masse, it was clear the firm needed to shift its focus. The couple at the helm of the business, President Bill Adams and CEO Joni Adams, first began selling screens and brackets that attached to work surfaces and separated nearby cubicles. They’ve since sold over 50,000 screens.
» Read more from the Business Observer.
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