October 4, 2023

Tuesday's Afternoon Update

What you need to know about Florida today

| 9/12/2023

Florida small business optimism dips in August amid ongoing inflationary concerns

Small business optimism in Florida was down in August, marking a 0.6 percent downturn to 91.3, the 20th consecutive month below the 49-year average of 98. The most pertinent issue for business owners across the state continues to be inflationary cost rises. Twenty-three percent of small business owners reported that inflation was their single most important business problem, up two points from last month. The net percent of owners raising average selling prices increased two points to a net 27 percent (seasonally adjusted), still at an inflationary level.’ More from the Capitolist.

Florida Trend Exclusive
Space: Enabling Orion

Darryl Howard grounds himself to his workstation to prevent a spark. Specially designed sticky floor mats and electrostatic smocks serve as additional safeguards, and for good reason: An unexpected zap could fry sensitive circuits that will go to the moon. The lives of four astronauts depend on more than just clean equipment. As a quality engineering manager at Honeywell Aerospace in Clearwater, Howard oversees instruments designed and built for the Orion spacecraft, which will carry the crew on a lunar flyby as part of NASA’s Artemis II mission in late 2024. More from Florida Trend.

$160 million in grant money could catapult Osceoola's tech industry

A Central Florida coalition led by Kissimmee-based Bridg is in the running for a major National Science Foundation grant. The Osceola County group on Aug. 4 was named one of 16 semifinalists — narrowed from 34 semifinalists — vying for up to $160 million over a 10-year period as part of the U.S. NSF Regional Innovation Engines competition. Come winter 2024, when the awards are announced, it’s likely economic growth nonprofit Bridg will be named a finalist, according to an NSF news release saying most of the semifinalists will be included. More from the Orlando Business Journal.

Orlando Museum of Art acquires work from Florida Prize finalists, offers program for visually impaired

There’s still time to catch Orlando Museum of Art’s ninth annual Florida Prize in Contemporary Art exhibition, as the Loch Haven Park institution has extended its run date through Sept. 17. In related news, the museum has acquired a new piece of art created by a pair of the Florida Prize exhibitors. And look for special “tactile tours” and workshops, ideal for the visually impaired, related to the museum’s visiting distinguished-portrait exhibition. More from the Orlando Sentinel.

Miami medical marijuana company moves headquarters to Tampa

Several months ago, Fluent was doing good business as a medical marijuana supplier. It was growing, and still is. The then-Miami-based, publicly traded company, with 586 employees, was growing its product in a Tampa indoor facility, and was distributing medical marijuana products, from chocolate to tinctures, to more than 30 of its branded stores in three states. But one thing was bothering the C-suite in Miami: traffic and the high cost of living in Florida's snazziest city. More from the Business Observer.

Hurricane Idalia cooled the Gulf of Mexico. How long will temperature drop last?

Hurricane Idalia cooled waters in parts of the Gulf of Mexico by roughly 1 degree Celsius, but experts say this reprieve from the ongoing marine heat wave is already starting to wane. Sea surface temperatures fell in the eastern Gulf in the wake of Idalia, and in the western north Atlantic after Hurricane Franklin. Hurricanes cool oceans by “upwelling” cold water from below the sea surface.

» More from the Tampa Bay Times.


Candy king

Inside an Orlando confection factory that would make Willy Wonka proud, a conveyer belt is rolling with rows of Hoffman’s Chocolates chocolate-covered pretzels. Without missing a beat — or a pretzel — a female employee meticulously oversees the march of sweets, hand-drizzling each treat with far more ease than Lucy Ricardo and Ethel Mertz mustered in the iconic bit that made TV history. Nearby, beyond palettes of peanut butter, chocolate and coconut, boxes of ready-to-ship products fill floor-to-ceiling shelves in an 80,000-sq.-ft. candy mecca — think Home Depot or Lowe’s steeped in machinery and shelves of sugar.

» Read more from Florida Trend.

Tags: Daily Pulse, Afternoon Pulse

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Florida Trend Video Pick

Miami dolphins surprise students, aim to tackle mental health issues, bullying in schools
Miami dolphins surprise students, aim to tackle mental health issues, bullying in schools

Students from Madison Middle School received a special prize from the Miami Dolphins Tuesday morning.

Video Picks | Viewpoints@FloridaTrend

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