FloridaTrend.com, the Website for Florida Business

Thursday's Daily Pulse

32 states trail US as a whole in job recovery

Five years after the Great Recession officially ended, most states still haven't regained all the jobs they lost, even though the nation as a whole has. Florida is down 170,000 jobs in the aftermath of its real estate market collapse. [Source: AP]

See also
» U.S. jobs data seen reinforcing strong growth outlook

Florida Medicaid privatization underway statewide

More than three million Medicaid recipients around the state are transitioning into managed care under Florida's massive overhaul to privatize its Medicaid program. [Source: AP]

Patriotism as pest control: Florida’s weird fireworks law

The coming of Independence Day means fireworks season — and the beginning of the institutionalized charade behind their sale in Florida. Technically speaking, consumer fireworks are illegal in Florida. But nearly 60 years ago, state lawmakers passed an exception — now the only one of its kind in the United States — for fireworks purchases by farms and fish hatcheries. More from TBO.com, the Florida Times-Union, and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

350 Bigges Florida Companies

It's here! Our annual list of Florida's 350 Biggest Companies. Preview the state's top 125 private and 225 public companies ranked by revenue or purchase the full lists — featuring hundreds of additional contacts, phone, fax, website, full company address, and other information not previously published.


Business leaders want Congress to tackle immigration reform

A coalition of business groups in the farming and construction industry is calling on Congressional leaders to make immigration reform a priority—particularly immigration visas. [Source: WJCT]

Developers revive condo-hotel concept

Developers across the U.S. are reviving a concept that collapsed with the real estate crash in 2008: combining condos and hotels. In cities including Miami, a rebounding hospitality market is joining with rising demand for luxury homes. [Source: Finance & Commerce]


› LeBron James, investors, opening Blaze Pizza restaurants
Basketball star LeBron James is teaming up with a group of investors to open several pizza restaurants across South Florida. Plans call for the opening of 10 Blaze Pizza restaurants in Florida, at least three of them in South Florida.

› Florida Country Superfest has biggest economic impact on Jacksonville
The inaugural Florida Country Superfest held at EverBank Field June 14 and 15 had a greater economic impact than the other major spring festivals combined this year, according to figures released Wednesday by Visit Jacksonville.

› Dozens of businesses in South Florida register for medical marijuana licenses
Dozens of businesses in the state of Florida have already registered for medical marijuana licenses, even though a vote won’t come until November.

› Darden bets big on $40M Olive Garden makeover
During the next year, Orlando-based Darden Restaurants' remodel of the Olive Garden on North Orlando Avenue will be used as a prototype for 75 more stores at $500,000 to $600,000 per store — a $40 million undertaking that will change about 9 percent of the 800 Olive Gardens in the nation.

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› Farmers markets get grounds to grow
From now on farmers markets may set up shop in unincorporated areas of Miami-Dade County as long as organizers follow certain rules. Until now, farmers markets could set up shop in unincorporated Miami-Dade but only in agricultural areas and urban centers.

› 'Do Not Call' tops list of consumer complaints for June
The top three complaints received by the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services last month were related to violations of the statewide "Do Not Call" list, fuel and cable.

› Lawyers argue for repeal of Florida’s same-sex marriage ban
Lawyers representing a half dozen same-sex couples suing Miami-Dade County for the right to marry say Florida should follow the precedent set by the U.S. Supreme Court in a decision last year that struck down parts of the Defense of Marriage Act.

› Google exec says Cuban internet is old and censored
Fresh from a visit to Havana, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt has described the Internet in Cuba as “trapped in the 1990s,” heavily censored and with a weak infrastructure dominated by Chinese equipment because of the U.S. trade embargo.