May 22, 2024

Tuesday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 4/9/2024

Pythons are eating the Everglades. Could eating them instead help fight climate change?

The voracious Burmese python has done widespread damage to the Everglades food chain, pretty much wiping out populations of small mammals like marsh bunnies and gulping down everything from birds to alligators. But a new study out of Australia suggests a paradoxical prospect: Florida’s most destructive invasive species also could help protect the planet from the looming impacts of climate change — at least theoretically. [Source: Miami Herald]

A consequence of a low jobless rate: not enough qualified workers in South Florida

For every 40 people in the South Florida workforce, about one doesn't have a job. That gives the region the lowest unemployment rate in the nation among large areas, at 2.5%. It also means employers are having a very difficult time finding qualified workers to fill job opportunities. Seven out of 10 businesses in Miami-Dade County say they can't find workers ready to fulfill their open jobs, according to a new survey by FIU's Pérez Metropolitan Center. [Source: WLRN]

The national venture capital scene is cold. Florida is following suit.

Venture capital activity nationwide didn't bounce back in early 2024. For several reasons, startups still aren't raising the same amount of capital as previous highs, and the number of venture capital deals in the first quarter of the year dipped to the lowest level since 2017. The cold market has continued into 2023 for venture capital nationally — the same might be said for Florida. [Source: Tampa Bay Business Journal]

Cities and states with the most fraud complaints in 2024

Florida has the second-highest rate of fraud in the nation. Credit card fraud and identity theft in general are more common in Miami than any other city in the country. It’s no surprise that instances of credit card fraud are concentrated in urban and tourist areas. However, Florida’s prevalence on the list could also relate to its elderly population. [Source: USA Today]

Could Taylor Swift help Florida’s tourism? Visit Orlando bets $600,000 on it.

Taylor Swift is a megastar who millions follow and love. Could Orlando’s tourism industry get the Swiftie boost? Visit Orlando is banking $600,000 on it. That’s the amount that Visit Orlando spent on an advertisement running in the new Swift concert film debuting last month on Disney+. Some have questioned whether that money would be better spent on public transportation, affordable housing and other community needs that arise from a tourism-driven economy and millions of tourists arriving. [Source: Florida Politics]


› 8 new ships coming to Norwegian Cruise Line, sister brands plus dock at Great Stirrup Cay
The parent company to Norwegian Cruise Line announced Monday a major order for eight new ships among its three brands as well as the construction of a pier to allow its cruise ships to dock instead of tender to its private Bahamas island for the first time. Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings said it was planning to bring on four new ships for NCL, two new ships for upper premium brand Oceania Cruises and two ships for luxury brand Regent Seven Seas, all to be built at Fincantieri shipyard in Italy and debut during a 10-year run from 2026-2036.

› Sunseeker Resort boosts Charlotte County tourism revenue
Charlotte County Tourism Development Tax collections improved with the opening of Sunseeker Resort Charlotte Harbor playing a significant role, said Sean Doherty, tourism director of the Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau. Whenever one books a hotel room or rents or leases another type of living quarters for six months or fewer, a 5% tax—the TDT—is collected on the total payment.

› Top defense contractor in Tampa wins $24M contract for Air Force training
CAE USA — a Virginia defense contracting company with a major Tampa presence — has won a $23.9 million contract for training with the U.S. Air Force. The contract is fixed-price and will be completed in 2025; it is for courseware and instruction for Air Force training programs. At the time of the award, $11.7 million in operation and maintenance funds were obligated to CAE.

› Delta IV Heavy set to launch on farewell flight from Cape Canaveral Tuesday
Again, the time has come. The Delta IV Heavy rocket is stated to make its final flight at 12:53 p.m. on Tuesday, April 9, from Cape Canaveral Space Force Launch Complex 37. This comes after its first attempt at a finale flight scubbed four minutes before the planned March 28 launch.

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Marion County leaders celebrate big boost in tourist revenue
Marion County leaders celebrate big boost in tourist revenue

Tourism leaders are celebrating a big win as Marion County has seen a record-breaking couple of months when it comes to tourist development tax revenue.


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