September 25, 2021

Monday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 7/12/2021

Canadians ready to return to Florida as COVID restrictions ease

Canadians are preparing to return to Florida as their government eases months of COVID-19 travel restrictions. Florida businesses that traditionally serve Canadian snowbirds and short-term tourists can hardly wait. Heartened by the move, some are starting marketing campaigns to woo back their old customers. Susan Harper, Canada’s consul general in Miami, acknowledged there is an urge to travel among Canadians who haven’t eaten at a restaurant, exercised at a gym or seen a movie in 15 months. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

Florida sees more COVID cases, higher positivity rates

Florida health officials reported an increase in COVID-19 cases and a higher positive test rate over the past week. The number of virus cases in Florida rose by about 8,000 compared with the week before, for a total of 23,747 new cases, the state Department of Health reported Friday. New cases of the coronavirus have been on the rise in Florida over the past month. The rate of positive tests was 7.8% last week after trending at about 4% positivity in recent weeks. [Source: AP]

Thousands in South Florida could face foreclosure with federal protection coming to an end

Time is running out for thousands of South Florida families who are facing foreclosure on their homes as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. For some, the nightmare started more than a year ago but was stalled by willingness of government officials to prevent banks from forcing people out during an unprecedented public health crisis. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

Grocers look for an edge as competition gets even tighter

As we exit pandemic-fueled shutdowns, when many shoppers turned online to order groceries, there are now signs the red-hot grocery market in the area is heating up again. The best sign that people’s shopping habits haven’t permanently changed? Crowded parking lots and packed aisles filled with folks happy to be out of the house. [Source: Busiiness Observer]

2021 is already the deadliest year on record for Florida manatees. Why are they dying?

More manatees have already died in 2021 than any other year in state history, as biologists point to seagrass loss in the Indian River Lagoon as a catalyst for starvation and malnutrition. At least 841 manatees have died in Florida waters, mostly in Brevard County's stretch of the 156-mile-long lagoon, from Jan. 1 to July 2, according to the latest Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission data available Friday. [Source: TCPalm]

Taking Florida cybersecurity to the next level

Cyberattacks are like the movie “Groundhog Day.” Every week, like clockwork, the headlines reveal yet another attack. Solar Winds, Oldsmar, and Colonial Pipeline are just the latest—each different in detail but all the same in theme—and they reveal how vulnerable the US is to cybercriminals. Indeed, cyberattacks cost American businesses and governments upwards of $1 trillion a year. [Sponsored report]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Southwest Florida companies supply coffee and produce for rescue crews at Surfside, Florida
Stacie Nikkel drove to the Surfside condominium collapse site with a car full of coffee and produce Friday. “It’s so sobering,” she said Sunday. “When you pull in there and you see — it literally takes your breath away. You can’t even describe it.” Mercy Chefs, a faith-based, nonprofit disaster organization, was cooking 1,500 meals a day for first responders. Nikkel, an account manager with BELFOR Property Restoration in Bonita Springs, asked the group how her business can help.

› I-drive shows return, adjust to pandemic times
Recent revivals and reboots are giving hope to International Drive attractions trying to break back into show business. Entertainment-driven businesses such as dinner shows have taken a beating during the pandemic as tourists have stayed closer to home, making for a sparser I-Drive population. Enhancements and adjustments have been made to productions, and there’s been an influx of fresh audience members: locals.

› Tampa Bay Area Hotel revenue shows continued strength of tourism rebound
Tourism continues to boom in the Tampa Bay region, with taxable revenue at Tampa hotels topping $60 million in June. According to a statement from Visit Tampa Bay, the tourism organization marketing the city to visitors, total taxable hotel revenue jumped 10.74% over 2019 to $64 million. This helped tourist development tax collections for June to increase by $950,181 over 2019.

› Virgin Voyages delays U.S. cruise debut from Miami, again
Cruise goers will have to wait a little longer to hop on Virgin Voyages’ ships after the company announced that it will delay its U.S. debut. Virgin Voyages postponed its first trip out of PortMiami, according to a statement . The cruise line had scheduled the departure for its inaugural ship, Scarlet Lady, for late September.

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