May 22, 2024

Wednesday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 4/10/2024

New law promises tougher penalties for retail theft in Florida

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday signed a bill that seeks to prevent “smash and grab” thefts and “porch piracy.” The legislation (HB 549) will, in part, make it a third-degree felony to act in concert with five or more people to overwhelm merchants and steal items. The measure, which will take effect July 1, also will make it a second-degree felony to solicit other people through social media to participate in retail theft. More from the News Service of Florida, the Center Square and the Florida Phoenix.

Florida Trend Exclusive
Propelling women in tech

Women are half the population but only 25% of tech sector workers, with far fewer in leadership roles. Only 11% of venture capital partners are women, and in Florida, 90% of venture capital dollars go to all-male-founded startups. A software sales executive in Tampa is building a statewide network to help women in the industry climb the career ladder. [Source: Florida Trend]

Column: Florida businesses should rethink how they recruit and train workers

In Florida, there are 53 available workers for every 100 open jobs, indicating a tight labor market with more job openings than job seekers available to fill them. With an unemployment rate of 2.7%, the state’s job market is strong, but the gap highlights a challenge in meeting labor demand. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Acting Labor Secretary talks Florida worker protections, cost of living

Last week, the Department of Labor released its monthly jobs report, offering a glimpse into the health of the national economy. As of the end of March, the agency reported an increase of more than 303,000 jobs created, and a steady unemployment rate under 4%. In this interview, Acting Secretary of Labor Julie Su discusses some of the most pressing labor issues facing the state of Florida, including protections for workers, health care availability, and stubborn cost of living. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Are Florida moths disappearing? New study shows declining populations

Decades ago, living with Florida’s many insects was a bit different than it is now. Getting gas in early summer also meant scraping the bodies of dozens of love bugs from your car’s bumper or windshield. Floridians might have also noticed fewer dragonflies inhabiting the airways during mating season in the fall and early winter, though not quite to the same degree. Now, researchers are noticing that moths, big and small, could be next on the chopping block. [Source: Pensacola News Journal]

The business of basketball

By the time Rohith “Ro” Vemuri graduated from high school, the Jacksonville native was ready for the big leagues. Raised by parents who immigrated from India, Vemuri and his sister both knew college was in their future. His parents researched scholarship opportunities and learned about the Bright Futures Scholarship Program. [Sponsored report]


› Orange County abandons proposed transportation sales tax
With consensus proving elusive, Orange County commissioners decided Tuesday to abandon a November sales tax referendum to improve a failing transportation network. Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings, who was leading the sales-tax campaign, made the motion to halt it and the board unanimously agreed. “From the beginning, I wanted to at least have the conversation because so many people in the community wanted us to have the conversation, they wanted to give input,” he said. “We certainly have made a noble attempt to do that…”

› Miami Tech Month 2024 guide: 10 events to have on your calendar
Technology businesses, investors and entrepreneurs are descending on Miami this month for a series of meetups and industry events. The schedule for Miami Tech Month is jam-packed with conferences, pitch competitions, happy hours and panel discussions with some of South Florida's top thought leaders in the sector.

› Tampa siblings from noted family grow multimillion-dollar ice cream business
Chill Bros. Scoop Shop. The ice cream store is locally famous, with deep roots in Tampa and plans to expand into Pinellas County. "I never thought ice cream would be the ultimate route," says Max Chillura, 29, the chief stakeholder and a University of Florida business graduate. "I worked a real estate job. I just could not stomach it."

› FEMA backs off big hurricane penalty for Florida county
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has backed away from its startling plan to penalize 125,000 property owners in Florida due to violations of national flood regulations following the devastation of Hurricane Ian in 2022. FEMA’s move last month shocked officials in Lee County on Florida’s southwest coast, where Hurricane Ian caused tens of billions of dollars in property damage. Ian was one of the nation’s costliest storms.

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Florida Trend Video Pick

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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