Thursday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
Visit Florida views delta variant as ‘bump' in recovery
Florida travel-industry leaders expect the surge in COVID-19 cases linked to the delta variant to cause only a brief slowdown in the state’s tourism rebound, as they seek more federal money to lure families and winter visitors. The goal is to maintain the pace of recovery that the leisure and hospitality industry has seen this year after COVID-19 caused massive economic damage in 2020, when the state ended 10 years of steadily increasing tourism numbers. More from the News Service of Florida.
Now that COVID cases peaked, the question remains: When will so many Floridians stop dying of the virus?
Florida’s COVID cases and hospitalizations are declining but it could take weeks before a drop-off in deaths from the virus occurs. One public health researcher suggests the state’s death count could reach as high as 56,000 people before the impact of the delta variant subsides. The COVID death toll climbed to nearly 47,000 over the past week. More from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. and the Orlando Sentinel.
Microsoft comes to Miami with 50,000 square feet in Brickell aimed at Latin America
Microsoft is landing in Miami. After a months-long search, the tech giant based in Redmond, Wash., said Wednesday it would open a Latin America-focused office at 830 Brickell, the city’s newest Class A office space. “I am excited to share that our Microsoft Latin America regional team has a new future home at 830 Brickell in Miami,” said Mariana Castro, vice president, sales, marketing and operations, Latin America at Microsoft. More from the Miami Herald.
Autism therapy company expands to Florida bringing 1,500 new jobs
An autism therapy company headquartered in Indiana recently announced the expansion of its services to Florida, including a new center in Sarasota. Over the next 12 to 18 months, Hopebridge will be adding up to 30 centers starting in Sarasota, St. Petersburg, Fort Myers and Brandon. The centers began scheduling diagnostic assessments for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and applied behavior analysis (ABA therapy) evaluations in Aug. 2021. The plan is to open for full- and part-time therapy in Oct. 2021. More from the Business Observer.
Disney Cruise Line announces date for Disney Magic return to Florida
Disney Cruise Line will have all four of its ships sailing from the U.S. by the end of October as it announced the date for the return of Disney Magic to Florida while also planning the resumption of longer sailings on Disney Fantasy. Disney Magic will have its first sailing from PortMiami on Oct. 28 as it begins four- and five-night itineraries with stops in the Bahamas and Mexico. More from the Orlando Sentinel.
This music festival in Miami Beach celebrates reggae’s influence throughout Latin America
The Miami Beach Reggae Fest promises to serve up groovy music and great vibes. But it’s also being envisioned as more than your typical concert. Billed as promoting “Peace & Love,” the festival – which is scheduled for Sept. 11 at the North Beach Bandshell – seeks to offer a life-affirming sense of community, something we’ve had far too little of over the past year and a half.
» More from the Miami Herald.
Bradenton-based First Watch takes first step to take restaurant chain public
First Watch is going public. The Bradenton-based breakfast and lunch restaurant chain announced this week that it filed an S-1 registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the first step in moving toward listing on the New York Stock Exchange. The company plans to trade on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the ticker symbol “FWRG.” The number of shares being offered, as well as the price range for a proposed initial public offering, have not been determined.
» Read more from the Tampa Bay Times.
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