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Wednesday's Daily Pulse

Lourdes Rivas
Lourdes Rivas, CEO of Simply Healthcare Plans, is worried that the exchanges will siphon off customers.
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A disrupted health care market in Florida

A cornerstone of the Affordable Care Act is the new health care exchanges that will sell insurance online to individuals and small businesses. The law requires that these exchanges sell plans to everyone, no matter their health, and at regulated prices. For some businesses, such as insurance brokerages, the exchanges offer new competition for customers. For small businesses, the exchanges can mean a new way to shop for health insurance. Read the full story here and see also:

» Opportunity amid uncertainty in Florida's health care

» An Affordable Care Act case study

Online courses help workers juggle education, life

For working professionals, going back to school used to mean dashing from office to classroom. Now, the explosion of online education opportunities has made it easier for workers to juggle their jobs and school. Colleges are pushing web courses and online degrees for people who want to take their careers to the next level without stepping foot on campus. [Source: Miami Herald]

Farmland price growth flat, but stable

Despite the decline of crop commodity prices, farmers and investors expect cropland values to remain stable through the third quarter, according to the most recent Farmland Market Survey by Farmland Investor Letter. Irrigated cash rents averaged $328 per acre in Florida and pasture rents averaged $24 per acre, according to the survey. [Source: Tampa Bay Business Journal]

Pay for Florida workers trails cost of living

Workers in Florida saw their wages fall behind the cost of living for the past decade, with the median hourly wage down 4.3 percent since 2000, according to a new study. The study adjusted Florida wages for inflation, and showed businesses aren’t increasing wages as quickly as they are increasing prices charged consumers. [Source: Miami Herald]

The 'other Florida' lives at the Everglades Rod & Gun Club

There's a place on the Southwest Coast of Florida, deep in the 10,000 Islands area of the Everglades, where it's still the 19th Century. Here, you'll pass mile after mile of uninhabited wilderness – except for Florida panthers, black bears, and hundreds of species found nowhere else in the world – until you come to the small town of Everglades City. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]


› Grooveshark has licensing deal with Sony/ATV
The Gainesville company that offers a music streaming service said that it reached a settlement with Sony/ATV that resolves all matters and disputes. That followed an announcement earlier in August that it reached a similar deal with EMI Music Publishing.

› Women hoteliers talk about the business, professional journey
Tourism is big business in South Florida, generating nearly $15 billion in combined economic impact in Broward and Palm Beach counties in 2012, and employing more than 180,000 locals. Many of the nearly 18 million tourists that visited the two-county region last year stayed in one of its hundreds of hotels, resorts and inns.

› Neal Communities named state's green builder of year
Neal Communities was named "Builder of the Year" by the Tallahassee-based coalition for building 210 single-family homes that used environmentally friendly and sustainable methods in a 12-month period -- more than any other builder in the state.

› KSC employment dips below lowest point
Men had not yet set foot on the moon when Kennedy Space Center employment began a slide that purged more than 17,000 jobs over eight years. But two years after the final shuttle launch, the center has never employed fewer people than now.

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› How Drugs May Be Helping Miami’s Real Estate Rebound
For 18 months straight South Florida home prices have been rising. One reason is cash. For every 10 homes sold in July in our region, seven were bought with cash: no mortgage, no credit check.

› End of incentives for Florida film industry could prove costly
Central Florida has been center stage for some of Hollywood's biggest blockbusters. But some of those in the industry worry the spotlight is burning out.

› Popup retail to take over Channelside storefronts for Tampa Bay Fashion Week
Retail is coming to Channelside Bay Plaza, but not in the form of permanent stores that the struggling center needs. As part of Tampa Bay Fashion Week, organizers are setting up temporary, popup stores in vacant storefronts along Channelside Drive.

› South Florida isn't in Latin America -- but it's the best place for doing business there
The business magazine America Economia has ranked South Florida as the best place to do business in Latin America. South Florida was ranked first for infrastructure, regional platform for global business, corporate executive safety, corporate executive prestige, green city standards and best in executive salary to cost of living ratio.