Florida Trend | Florida's Business Authority

Tuesday's Daily Pulse

Florida’s young voters sought by both sides

The presidential race in Florida this year could come down to voters like Kristin Perkins. The 21-year-old biology major at Florida State University hasn’t decided who will get her vote. In fact, Perkins hasn’t registered to vote yet, but plans to do so before Florida’s Oct. 9 registration deadline. She will register as an independent and then try to decide between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]

» Business making an anti-regulation pitch to voters
» Florida to continue hunt for illegal voters as election nears
» How to solve the swing-state puzzle
» Groups race against time to get Florida voters registered
» Florida’s packed presidential ballot includes Roseanne Barr

Florida among the worst states to live in over the next five years

A new Gallup poll shows Alabama, Florida and Mississippi will be among the top 10 worst states to live in over the next five years. The survey was based on 13 factors including clean water, work environment, economy, obesity, job prospects, number of smokers and safe places to exercise. Read more from Local 15 TV and AL.com and see poll results from Gallup.

As ID theft mushrooms here, victims suffer

From thieves installing ATM skimmer devices at Publix Supermarkets to those filing fraudulent tax returns in someone else's name, identity theft has left many Florida victims in financial limbo. College students can't get financial aid. Some people can't close on homes they were scheduled to buy. Others can't get new credit cards. Thousands have had to wait more than a year for federal tax refunds they were counting on to pay bills. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

Florida Trend Exclusive
Businesslike higher education

The University of West Florida has devised a strategy for coping with declining state funding, which has fallen by nearly 47% in the past five years. A year ago, the school created a non-profit called Business Enterprises Inc. to give it a vehicle for business-style expansion. President Judy Bense hired Matt Altier as the organization's CEO. Full story...

How small businesses can use LinkedIn marketing tools

With more than 175 million users in 200 countries, LinkedIn has become an online marketing tool to be reckoned with for business.

Need help sorting through the issues on November's ballot? Read
The Amendments
Florida's Constitution
Florida Trend's guide to the 11 proposed amendments:

Amendment 1 - Health Insurance Mandates
Amendment 2 - Veterans Tax Relief
Amendment 3 - Budget-Taxes
Amendment 4 - Property Tax Breaks
Amendment 5 - Judicial Reform
Amendment 6 - Abortion Restrictions
Amendment 8 - Religious Funding
Amendment 9 - Surviving Spouses Tax Relief
Amendment 10- Small Business Tax Break
Amendment 11 - Senior Homestead Tax Exemption
Amendment 12 - Student Representation

Dubbed the “world’s largest professional network,” LinkedIn can be more than just a way to stay connected to your colleagues. It can also be a tool to help you promote your business and find new customers. [Source: Miami Herald]


› Space shuttle Endeavour stuck at home in Florida
Space shuttle Endeavour apparently doesn't want to leave home. NASA's youngest shuttle was supposed to depart Florida's Kennedy Space Center on Monday for its permanent museum home in Los Angeles. But stormy weather along the Gulf of Mexico nixed the travel plans.

› Naples entrepreneurs connecting parents, teachers with new software
Marcos Quiros is ready to change the world. Quiros, 27, and three business partners began Softwarenology in October. The Naples-based company created an interactive content management system that utilizes social media to connect companies, clients and communities.

›Study finds that arts organizations had a $66 million impact on Jacksonville's economy in 2011
Advocates often argue supporting the arts is important because a thriving culture makes a city a more attractive place to live. But a series of annual studies by the Northeast Florida Center for Community Initiatives at the University of North Florida have found that the arts also helps Jacksonville’s economy.

› Young professionals gain foothold in North Port
Every month, a small but growing group of about 25 members meets not just to share food and socialize but to talk about their futures in what is now Sarasota County's largest city in population, as well as land.

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› Office Depot’s largest shareholder calls for changes to regain value
A New York investment company is now the largest owner of Office Depot stock and has outlined steps for the company to increase its value.

› Everyone needs an occasional dose of retail therapy
People have an emotional connection to shopping. It gives us the stuff that surrounds our lives. Every purchase makes a statement about who we are and want to be, no matter what the size of your wallet. Besides that, shopping is a matter of national importance.

› Estero back on track as Southwest Florida 'boomtown'
Estero community leaders and developers believe the local economy is on the mend, and construction there is booming.

› Southwest Florida commercial vacancy rate falls below 20%
There are emerging signs that the commercial real estate market is climbing out of the Great Recession, with the vacancy rate in Sarasota and Manatee counties falling below 20 percent for the first time in two years.