FloridaTrend.com, the Website for Florida Business

Monday's Afternoon Update

Raul Castro's retirement may not increase business between Florida and Cuba

President Raúl Castro's retirement this week — marking the first time in nearly 60 years Cuba will be ruled without a Castro — was expected to pave the way for increased business between the U.S. and Cuba. But recent policy changes have made that process thornier than ever. “The climate has certainly changed,” said Jay Brickman, vice president of Jacksonville-based Crowley Maritime Corp. “The optimism that was there has been dampened. People are investing less time to see how they could enter the Cuban market until they see where the relations are going.” More from USA Today and the AP.

See also:
» Raúl Castro expected to leave office earlier than originally planned

Sales and Marketing Advice
How to turn a business introduction into a lasting relationship

Too many businesses will never reach their potential simply because they didn’t have a strategy for keeping in touch with new contacts and existing customers. Constantly reevaluate your follow up approach and how you can improve your system. Read Ron Stein's full column.

Tampa merchants hanging on until day when West Main Street lives up to its name

West Main Street in Tampa was once a thriving economic center for African-Americans and Cuban-American businesses. The West River project is expected to transform the area again but for now, it feels like something of a ghost town, business owners say. More from the Tampa Bay Times.

Opinion: The future of agriculture lies in Central Florida

Agriculture has continued to be Florida’s second largest industry for many years now. Even so, the industry itself is still a mystery to many who live in Florida’s sprawling suburbia. More from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

Small Business Advice
Are you deriving any benefit from your company website?

Most small businesses have a website of some kind, and many are relying more and more on the Internet to help their marketing and sales efforts. Having a website that strokes one’s ego yet doesn’t generate sales is an exercise in wasted time and money. Read Gray Poehler's full column at Florida Small Business.

Florida Small Business
National Financial Literacy Month

 In honor of National Financial Literacy Month, the Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network, the state's principal provider of business assistance, is pleased to share information about its services and resources.

» More from Florida SBDC.


Health and Safety
Huge new recall of eggs applies to Florida

floridaMore than 200 million eggs distributed to restaurants and grocery stores in nine states, including Florida, have been recalled because of bacterial contamination. A notice posted on the Food & Drug Administration website Friday said the eggs shipped from a North Carolina farm may be tainted with salmonella.

» Read more from CBS Miami and the AP.