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Friday's Daily Pulse

Venture capital investment soars to decade-high, but not in Florida

Venture capitalists are pouring money into companies at levels not seen in more than a decade, nearly hearkening back to the dot-com era. But Florida continues to largely miss out on the party. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Study supports getting onboard with financial literacy education

Recent news that Florida is the first state in the nation to adopt the Council for Economic Education's National Standards for Financial Literacy is an encouraging development, and hopefully other states will similarly follow suit. [Source: Huffington Post]

How to love paid family leave

Americans like to think they honor and defend family values. Yet in international rankings measuring support for families, based on the amount of paid leave to care for a new child or an ailing relative, the U.S. has sunk to the bottom. [Source: Businessweek]

Banks are open for the business of marijuana

Now entrepreneurs looking to kick start a business in marijuana can take it to the bank. The House of Representatives passed an amendment for a spending bill that would allow financial institutions to provide services to businesses selling marijuana without penalty. [Source: MSNBC]

Pet amenities a rising trend for home builders

These homes are set apart by their amenities — for dogs. Standard Pacific Homes is building and selling homes in 27 developments from Florida to California and is believed to be the first to offer a pet suite as an option in every one. [Source: AP]


› ‘Discover Florida Wild’ is new state website promoting outdoor tourism
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has launched a new website that provides one-stop shopping for outdoor activities managed by the state.

› Hollywood resident's award-winning spice now sold in stores
Hollywood resident Jenifer Bound has found her calling in the kitchen. A trained pastry chef, she's spent the past few years studying food, recipes and the science of it all, but she never dreamed of actually seeing one of her creations on store shelves.

› Maxwell House asking for tax incentives to add equipment, jobs in downtown Jacksonville coffee plant
The Maxwell House coffee plant on Bay Street downtown may benefit from a $16 million capital investment to add additional coffee production and packaging lines. While the overhaul would add machinery to the plant, it would create only about 10 new jobs on top of the 227 employees already at the plant.

› Cyber security business opens HQ in Sunrise
Cyber threats know no borders, so the business of cyber security is booming worldwide. That's why a noted California company that provides network security for enterprises has just opened a Latin American and Caribbean headquarters in Sunrise.

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› Manatee Y-Technical school closing
The Manatee County School District is canceling the Manatee YMCA's contract to run the Y-Technical High School for at-risk teenagers, representing the latest blow to the non-profit organization accused of mishandling county funds.

› Dubious Medicare lab billing plagues South Florida
South Florida is among the worst markets in the nation for “questionable” and potentially fraudulent Medicare billing for lab tests, a new study finds.

› Trade jobs make comeback in employment market
The ever-increasing demand for products "Made in America" is helping re-vitalize what, since the 1980s, had been a steadily declining manufacturing industry. And, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the top 10 highest-paying jobs will soon include those in trades industries.

› AutoNation reports strong earnings, speeds online investment
Fort Lauderdale-based AutoNation on Thursday reported yet another quarter with record results, as it sped up its $100 million investment in online programs to stay ahead of its rivals.