Thursday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
To beat coronavirus, herd immunity is the goal. Can Florida get there?
The rollout of coronavirus vaccines in Florida was heralded as a light at the end of the tunnel for a pandemic that has upended normalcy and killed 35,000 people in the Sunshine State alone. Now comes the question of just how long the tunnel is. “We have a lot of vaccines out there all over the place, but people aren’t getting it,” said Kevin Watler, a spokesman for the Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County. “How fast we can resume to normal really lies with people who are choosing not to get vaccinated.” More from the Tampa Bay Times.
Florida restaurant employees receive surprise $1,000 bonus for work during pandemic
A hospitality group in Florida is thanking their employees for their work during the pandemic. The Chiles Group owns three restaurants on Manatee County beaches and recently surprised their employees with bonuses for their work during the pandemic. “It’s really nothing short of being so grateful that we have been able to rebuild the business, and the only way that can happen is with all of our great people,” said Chuck Wolfe, CEO of The Chiles Group. More from WFLA.
From roses to weed: Apopka flower grower moves into the medical marijuana business
There are roses outside the building where the marijuana is grown, planted nearby beyond a tall chain-link fence. Inside the building, medical marijuana plants grow and are harvested. There’s a room for labeling and a kitchen for the eventual production of edibles. Bill Dewar, whose dad started Dewar Nurseries off Keene Road in the early 1960s, is a partner in Sanctuary Medicinals in Florida, which runs the Apopka marijuana cultivation facility. It is one of the latest entries into the growing medical marijuana business in the state. More from the Orlando Sentinel.
After years of cuts, CSX adding train staff
CSX Corp. reported lower first-quarter earnings and revenue April 20 as harsh winter weather affected the railroad’s rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the Jacksonville-based company is projecting big revenue growth for the rest of the year and is expecting to increase its train staff after years of job cuts. “We are adding head count in the second quarter in preparation for the expected volume growth,” CEO James Foote said in CSX’s quarterly conference call with analysts. More from the Jacksonville Daily Record.
Southwest Florida manufacturer, even after pandemic dip, sold in $4.3 billion deal
New Port Richey-based Welbilt Inc., a maker of foodservice equipment, has been sold. Illinois-based Middleby Corp., which also makes foodservice equipment, acquired the company in an all-stock deal. According to a statement released by both companies, the deal could be valued at $4.3 billion. Shares of Welbilt (NYSE: WBT) surged on news of the deal, closing Wednesday at $22.58 a share, up 44.46% from $15.63 a share Tuesday. The company is one of the region's largest employers and manufacturers. More from the Business Observer.
Wall Street South? Downtown Miami finance firms now manage more than $150 billion
It’s a claim the city has long made — but now there’s proof. New data show Miami is cementing its status as the country’s next major finance capital. According to a study by analytics firm Convergence and commissioned by the Miami Downtown Development Authority, the number of registered investment advisers located in the city’s urban core climbed from 82 to 111 between 2018 and 2020, bringing total assets under management in the district from $75 billion to $152.4 billion.
» More from the Source.
Clearwater tech firm KnowBe4 launches IPO at $16 per share
A month after declaring its intent to go public, Clearwater cybersecurity training company KnowBe4, Inc. made its stock market debut Thursday with an initial public offering of $16 per share. Appearing on Nasdaq as KNBE, the firm will offer 9.5 million shares of stock, including 9 million from the company and 500,000 from select shareholders. At $16 per share, the offering, known as an IPO, would raise $152 million.
» Read more from the Tampa Bay Times.
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