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Tuesday's Daily Pulse

Florida business owners brace for tariff war with China

Business owners across Florida are becoming more concerned about potential price increases on their products as the tariff war between the United States and China heats up. Businesses are stocking up to prepare for potential price spikes due to the 25% tariff on Chinese imports. If prices do increase, businesses have two options: they can either absorb any price increase or pass it on to their customers. [Source: WPBF]

See also:
» Trump’s tariffs on China: What you need to know
» New tariffs on Mexican tomatoes could help farmers, hurt others in Southwest Florida
» A new tariff on Mexican fresh tomatoes starts Tuesday. Get ready for prices to skyrocket.

It’s one of the worst jobs in America. Would you do it for $13 an hour?

A company that operates prisons and detention centers is increasing what it pays for a job considered one of the worst in America. The starting pay for corrections and detention officers at The Geo Group has increased to $13 an hour. It will rise to $14 in 2020 and $15 by 2021. The company, based in Boca Raton, has been getting more detention center contracts to house illegal immigrants as the numbers crossing the country’s southwest border has swelled. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

John Morgan fuels minimum wage push in Florida

With the proposal awaiting a review by the Florida Supreme Court, prominent Orlando attorney John Morgan last month continued funneling money to a ballot measure that would increase the minimum wage. The Morgan Firm PA contributed $474,371 in April to the political committee Florida For A Fair Wage, which is chaired by Morgan, according to the state Division of Elections website. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Impact of Tiger Woods’ comeback is felt in the First Coast golf industry

The golf industry started feeling the effects of Tiger 3.0 even before the final round of the Masters last month. No one’s rooting harder for him than those who make their living in the golf industry — especially the retail equipment and clothing companies that have taken among the hardest hits with the double whammies of the economic downturn and Woods’ major drought since 2008. [Source: Florida Times-Union]

Havana is already crumbling from years of neglect. Another hurricane would be catastrophic.

Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel has said improved housing is a top priority. No doubt, the threat of building collapses will rise during the Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to Nov. 30. Researchers at Colorado State University expect 13 named storms, including five hurricanes. They say there’s a 40 percent chance a hurricane will track within 50 miles of Cuba. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]


› Florida’s aerospace assets – and 29 electoral votes – keep it in running for Space Command HQ
The nascent United States Space Command’s headquarters will bring 1,200 high-paying jobs and an estimated $2 billion in direct Pentagon investment, essentially “seed” money that could generate related employment for thousands and contribute as much as $5 billion in associated benefits to the state and local economy where it is placed.

› Fort Myers retailer — in stealth mode — launches new product line
The sprawling Chico’s FAS campus in Fort Myers held a secret the past two years. Inside a war-room like design and strategy studio, tucked away and with no sign on the door, 15 people worked diligently on a new project: intimate apparel. “We called it the garage,” says Kimberly Grabel, general manager of the initiative .

› Self-driving trucks are back testing on the Selmon Expressway
The self-driving trucks will be tested by Starsky Robotics, which says it will still have a human behind the wheel as a safety precaution, according to the Tampa-Hillsborough County Expressway Authority. The self-driving software in the trucks will control its acceleration, braking and steering.

› FEMA to reimburse $1.7 million to Sarasota County for Hurricane Irma debris removal
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved nearly $1.7 million to reimburse Sarasota County for the costs of debris removal from Hurricane Irma under FEMA’s Public Assistance Program. Funding for this Public Assistance project is authorized under Sections 403 of the Robert T. Stafford Act for Florida to cover Hurricane Irma-related expenses.

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› Brevard County to require posting of fertilizer use rules at stores as way to help lagoon
New county-mandated signs will soon be popping up at stores that sell fertilizer, detailing for consumers the regulations governing use of the product. It's the latest component of a broader effort to help improve the condition of the Indian River Lagoon by reducing the amount of harmful nitrogen and phosphorus enter the water.

› Judge requires ballots in Spanish in more Florida counties
A federal judge says 32 more Florida counties must provide election materials and ballots in Spanish. An order Friday from U.S. District Judge Mark Walker expanded a temporary injunction that he granted ahead of last fall’s elections.

› Florida banking regulator suspended over harassment allegation
Florida’s top banking regulator was suspended Friday after an employee accused him of “inappropriate and uncomfortable" behavior just weeks after he took the job. Ronald Rubin, commissioner of the Office of Financial Regulation, is on paid leave while an inspector general investigates.

› Sarasota airport traffic rises 40 percent
Passenger traffic at Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport was up 40 percent in April when compared with the same month a year ago, as dividends from the addition of Allegiant Air and Frontier Airlines continue to add to the airport’s count. The increase equated to about to 183,119 passengers.