May 22, 2024

Wednesday's Afternoon Update

What you need to know about Florida today

| 4/10/2024

Cruise demand leaves pandemic in rearview with record passengers, more construction on tap

The COVID pandemic drove the cruise industry to a standstill, but numbers released Tuesday signal the years of comeback are officially over with more expansion on tap. More than 31.7 million passengers took cruises worldwide in 2023, said Kelly Craighead, Cruise Line International Association president and CEO, speaking at the annual Seatrade Cruise Global conference at Miami Beach Convention Center. CLIA is the lobbying group for member cruise lines, including Royal Caribbean, Disney Cruise Line, Carnival, Norwegian, MSC and most other major brands. More from the Orlando Sentinel.

Florida’s business rent tax set to drop to 2%

Florida’s tax on commercial leases is set to drop to 2% by June 1, about two months earlier than expected, the Department of Commerce announced. Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation (SB 50) passed in 2021 requiring online retailers to collect sales taxes from consumers, a measure that added nearly $1 billion to Florida’s revenue. But another piece of the bill cut the state’s 5.5% tax on commercial rents to 2%. More from Florida Politics.

Best flood score in Florida to save Pinellas residents on insurance costs

Roughly 20,000 policyholders in unincorporated Pinellas County will save more money on flood insurance than residents anywhere else in the state this year, local and federal officials announced Tuesday, as the county earned a designation that ranks its work to protect residents from flooding among the best in the nation. The savings, projected to total about $10 million in premiums collectively, are a result of the county improving its score in the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Community Rating System. More from the Tampa Bay Times.

Office Depot parent company to lay off 75 staff at headquarters

Varis, a business-to-business procurement technology company owned by Office Depot parent company The ODP Corp., will lay off approximately 75 employees from its office in Palm Beach County. The Boca Raton-based business networking company filed a WARN notice with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity on March 27 that acknowledges Varis will implement a workforce reduction. More from the South Florida Business Journal.

Jacksonville Aviation Authority hosting April 13 job fair at Cecil Airport

The Jacksonville Aviation Authority is hosting a job fair with fixed-base operator Million Air from 9 a.m. to noon April 13 at Cecil Airport in West Jacksonville. Participants include The Boeing Co., Flightstar Aircraft Services, Hermeus, Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department, Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, Tactical Air Support and U.S. Coast Guard. More from the Jacksonville Daily Record.

Transportation Trends
Freebee riders in Coral Gables, Doral set records

Coral Gables and Doral are seeing Freebee ridership records, as numbers continue to grow. This year, Coral Gables has reported more than 62,000 rides were booked on the service and the Freebee fleet is being upgraded to Tesla vehicles to improve service. The rideshare service was initially launched in 2017 and offers free, on-demand rides in electric-powered vehicles to those requesting it within the service area.

» More from Miami Today.


Florida Trend Exclusive
Economic backbone: Regional input

The Federal Reserve system, the national bank of the U.S., manages monetary policy and determines interest rates. It has 12 regional banks under it, including an Atlanta branch. The Atlanta branch covers much of the Southeast and includes two Florida branches in Jacksonville and Miami. Members of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta's Jacksonville branch board share local insights to help the Fed set monetary policy.

» Read more from Florida Trend.

Tags: Daily Pulse, Afternoon Pulse

In case you missed it:

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.


Video Picks | Viewpoints@FloridaTrend

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