December 11, 2023

Friday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 9/29/2023

Florida’s population boom drives bigger hurricane losses, despite tougher building codes

Florida leads the nation in strict building codes, and the decades of hard work have paid off in the increasing number of homes and buildings that survive each time a hurricane slashes the state. But a new report from Swiss Re, a major global re-insurance company, suggests that all those hard-won gains have been undermined by the explosion of growth along the coast. And that has likely helped fuel the skyrocketing price of wind-storm insurance across the state. [Source: Miami Herald]

See also:
» 1 year after Hurricane Ian, central Florida homeowners are still rebuilding out of pocket

Business BeatBusiness Beat - Week of September 29th

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Enterprise Florida exiting

The doors are ready to close on Enterprise Florida, the business-recruitment agency long targeted by state House leaders. Members of the Enterprise Florida Executive Committee this week signed off on the dissolution of the agency’s board as of Sunday, as required by a bill (HB 5) approved by the Legislature this spring. Many of the agency’s responsibilities are shifting to the Florida Department of Commerce, with a new non-profit organization set up to work on international business recruitment. [Source: News Service of Florida]

Florida Trend Exclusive
Seeking protection

Three activist groups served notice to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that they intend to sue to force the agency to invoke Endangered Species Act protection for the ghost orchid. The groups are the Institute for Regional Conservation in Hollywood, the Center for Biological Diversity and the National Parks Conservation Association. They say the orchid is threatened by poaching, habitat loss and degradation and by winds from intense hurricanes. [Source: Florida Trend]

State jobless claims decrease

An estimated 5,155 first-time jobless claims were filed in Florida last week, a decrease from the previous week and below the average for the year. The U.S. Department of Labor estimate came after a two-week rise in new claims. The state has averaged 5,321 claims over the past four weeks and 5,800 since the start of the year. [Source: News Service of Florida]


› Private equity firm buys Fort Myers retailer Chico's for $1 billion
Fort Myers-based women’s retailer Chico’s FAS, after a tumultuous four-year period that included three CEOs, multiple reinventions of its customer approach and product assortment and the fending off of at least one potential hostile takeover attempt, has a new exit strategy: being acquired by a private equity firm.

› Supreme Court zaps Florida Power rate hike, wants justification for it
The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday said state regulators did not adequately justify approval of a settlement that increased base electric rates for Florida Power & Light and ordered a new explanation. Justices, in a 4-2 opinion, sent a battle about the settlement back to the Florida Public Service Commission, saying regulators in a decision made in 2021 did not meet a legal requirement of showing why the agreement “is in the public interest and results in rates that are fair, just and reasonable.”

› Orange County Mayor Demings backs $560M for convention center, says other projects can wait
Ahead of a special meeting Tuesday that may decide how future millions in tourist-tax revenues are spent, Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings affirmed his funding priorities Thursday in a memo to the board of county commissioners, and enlarging the Convention Center again topped his list. He favors pledging $560 million to expand the Pentagon-sized meeting complex on International Drive.

› Miami art university to close, leaving hundreds of students scrambling
Miami International University of Art & Design, along with its Tampa branch and six other Art Institute campuses, will shutter its doors, effective Saturday, leaving nearly 2,000 students and faculty members displaced and scrambling. The Miami campus, 1501 Biscayne Blvd. in the former Omni mall site, and its Tampa branch are two of eight Art Institute schools. The other six campuses are in Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio in Texas, and Virginia Beach.

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