February 6, 2023

Wednesday's Afternoon Update

What you need to know about Florida today

| 3/2/2022

Two years later, Florida small businesses still waiting for promised PPP loan forgiveness  

After COVID-19 shutdowns put Miami hairdresser Vicki LeMaster out of work, a friend recommended that she apply for a Paycheck Protection Program loan through the online lender Kabbage. “I didn’t want a lot of money, just enough to get me through,” she said. The process seemed simple enough and LeMaster was soon approved for a modest amount in May 2020, which under the terms of the program wouldn’t have to be paid back if used for approved purposes, like payroll. But getting forgiveness has been far less simple. More from the Miami Herald.

Florida Trend Exclusive

Five questions with Endeavor's Claudia Duran

Claudia Duran is managing director of Endeavor Miami, a global network that selects, supports and invests in high-impact company founders to help their companies grow. It relies on financial support from board members, foundations and corporate partners. In 2020, Endeavor’s Miami entrepreneurs generated $340 million in revenue. It currently supports 26 companies. More from Florida Trend.

Prescription drugs are contaminating Florida’s marine life, researchers find

Fish and marine life off South Florida’s coast are ingesting high amounts of pharmaceuticals flushed down the drain or excreted in wastewater, because outdated treatment facilities are unable to detect and filter out the contaminants. Results from a study by researchers at Florida International University’s Coastal Fisheries Research Lab have identified 58 different pharmaceuticals in 93 bonefish, sampled along a 200-mile stretch of South Florida’s coastline over a three-year period. More from the Tampa Bay Times.

A population boom is coming to Apopka. Long timers worry about losing community

While population growth has been steady in Apopka for about the past six decades, demand for homes throughout Central Florida has started bringing more new residents to the area quickly. Now, once-rural Apopka is fast becoming one of the most attractive prospects for developers and buyers. Apopka is the second-largest city in Orange County after Orlando, but most longtime residents don’t think of it that way. More from the Orlando Sentinel.

Danish Luggage Hero moving its home to Miami

With now more than 30 locations in Greater Miami and more than 1,100 locations in 45 cities worldwide, a luggage storage company from Denmark that is facilitating flexible traveling with more than 3 million hours of stored luggage is moving to Miami. Copenhagen-based Luggage Hero has for five years offered travelers a safe place to leave luggage for any amount of time in a day at an hourly rate of $1 or a flat $8, and its executives are now choosing Miami to launch an office that would help them oversee their business operations in the US, which are becoming highly successful. More from Miami Today.

Business Profile
Tampa-based Vu Technologies secures $17M seed investment

 Tampa-based Vu Technologies closed on a $17 million seed investment from a number of investors in Tampa, Orlando and Texas, the company announced Tuesday. This latest round of funding came from ADX Labs, Topmark Partners and other Angel investment groups, and will help the digital studio firm expand its existing virtual network in Tampa, Nashville and Vegas.

» More from the Tampa Bay Times.


Tech Trends
Automation, AI putting jobs at risk in Jacksonville

floridaJacksonville nearly broke into the top 10 in a study about jobs that can be automated and positions where people can be replaced by artificial intelligence. An analysis by Commodity.com of data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics combined with the findings of an Oxford University study indicates that 43.2% of Jacksonville workers are at risk of being replaced by technology.

» Read more from the Jacksonville Daily Record.

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