Thursday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
Florida lawmakers consider more tax holidays for shoppers
The yearly tax breaks Floridians get on school supplies and hurricane gear could extend to other items and events this year. Lawmakers are considering a total of four sales tax holidays. They want to continue “Freedom Week,” which happened around the 4th of July last year. They also want to add a sales tax holiday around Labor Day. If approved, Floridians would get a 14-day disaster preparedness holiday in May and early June. More from WJXT.
High-tech Tampa video company opens largest studio yet in Las Vegas
A month after going national, Tampa’s Vu Technologies is going supersized. The fast-growing digital video production company announced Thursday that it has opened its largest studio yet, and first in the western United States — a 40,000-square-foot facility in Las Vegas. The studio dwarfs Vu’s 16,000-square-foot Nashville studio, which opened in January, and even surpasses its 35,000-square-foot Tampa home base in the former University Mall. More from the Tampa Bay Times.
Rooftop solar fight pivots to phased reduction of net metering’s financial incentives
Florida homeowners and businesses would be given 18 months to install rooftop solar before current financial incentives are reduced under a House proposal intended to find middle ground between the rooftop solar industry and the state’s powerful electric utilities. But the change to HB 741, which was originally written by Florida Power & Light for the House and Senate sponsors, also includes several sweeteners for the utility industry in its effort to revise net metering laws. More from the Miami Herald.
Atlanta company acquires Sarasota wealth management firm
OneDigital Investment Advisors recently announced the acquisition of assets of Sarasota-based Generations Wealth Planning LLC. Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed. GWP Founder Rob Lyons, also managing partner and financial adviser, and his son Kevin Lyons, partner and financial adviser, have served more than 200 clients. The father-son duo will stay with the firm through the acquisition and are bringing the rest of the team as well, according to a statement. More from the Business Observer.
Orlando restaurateurs make semifinals for James Beard Awards
The chef at Kabooki Sushi along with the restaurateurs behind Reyes Mezcaleria and The Osprey, an Orlando baker and a pastry chef are all semifinalists for prestigious James Beard Awards. Henry Moso, of Kabooki Sushi, was named a semifinalist in the “Best Chef: South” category on Wednesday. “This is keeping me motivated to be a better leader, to keep working on my skills and new dishes – to keep elevating the guests’ dining experience, to keep improving my team,” Moso said. More from the Orlando Sentinel .
Out of the Box
She makes drinks, tells bad jokes: Meet your robot bartender
The robots are rising. But at least they’re making us drinks. Or, at least, Cecilia is making us drinks. She looks like an arcade game but pours like an angel. She tells bad jokes, asks if you prefer fruity or classy cocktails and suggests the best way to drink tequila is as a shot with salt and lime even as she pours you a margarita. She’s about 7 feet tall, impervious to insults and can serve 120 cocktails an hour without breaking a sweat.
» More from the Miami Herald.
This local Grand Prix driver will try to make St. Petersburg proud
When Dante Tornello watched the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on TV as a child, he’d point out one familiar building after another. When he studied at USF-St. Petersburg, he’d hear the engines buzzing from campus. “There’s always part of me that wanted to be there,” Tornello said. The 25-year-old St. Petersburg native finally gets that chance this week as a rookie driver in the Mazda MX-5 Cup support series.
» Read more from the Tampa Bay Times.
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