Friday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
Florida RV industry — from parks to vehicle sales — rides boom
The recreational vehicle industry, from vehicle sales to RV parks, has expanded and is now attracting groups from working baby boomers to millennials and more. The effects of the demographic shifts and increased demand are being particularly felt in Florida, where officials predict more growth in the years ahead. More from the Business Observer.
Fungus attacks, destroys part of Florida strawberry crop
A new strain of a deadly fungus has wiped out part of Florida's strawberry crop this winter, causing perhaps millions of dollars in losses and raising fears of a new permanent pest. First discovered in the Plant City area east of Tampa -- the center of strawberry production in the state -- the fungus took hold just as harvest season was beginning in December. More from UPI.
Column: Florida farmers should be leaders in fighting climate crisis
We’re in this climate crisis together. Almost no one stands to lose more than farmers as temperatures rise, stronger hurricanes lash crops, and new pests ride in on heat waves. We have come to understand and appreciate climate solutions we can deliver from the land. We’re now asking university researchers to help us help mitigate climate change. More from the Tampa Bay Times.
Southwest Florida tech firm, after $75M investment, plots global expansion
CallMiner ended 2019 with a bang, closing a $75 million investment round with Goldman Sachs. It’s the largest single investment ever made in the speech analytics firm founded in Fort Myers in 2002. It’s also one of the largest onetime capital investments made in a Southwest Florida company in at least the past few years. More from the Business Observer.
Peace River Citrus expansion in Bartow promises 175 jobs
Peace River Citrus Products Inc. will build a $98 million expansion of its Bartow juice processing plant that will bring 175 new high paying jobs to the city. “We’ve had many smaller home runs, but this is a grand slam,” said Rob Clancey, president of the Bartow Economic Development Council on Thursday shortly after the company announced the expansion. “Every time you bring in manufacturing, it has a great return on investment. That’s important.” More from the Lakeland Ledger.
Pub Sub delivery: Instacart and Publix team up for new meal options
Grocery delivery app Instacart is making it even easier for Floridians to continue their love affair with the “Pub Sub.” Publix and Instacart announced on Thursday a new program launching across Florida called Instacart Meals that allows shoppers to easily add a deli order to their grocery list. The program was piloted in Orlando and will spread across Florida in the coming weeks, according to Instacart.
» More from the Tampa Bay Times.
Out of the Box
Florida brewery features shelter dogs on beer cans to find them homes
A Florida brewery has perhaps the cutest cans in the state and is trying to make a difference with them. Motorworks Brewing in downtown Bradenton is featuring the faces of shelter dogs in need of homes on its beer cans in an effort to find them families and raise money for the shelter that takes care of them.
» Read more from the Orlando Sentinel.
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