FloridaTrend.com, the Website for Florida Business

Tuesday's Daily Pulse

5G cell towers could be coming to your front yard and Florida cities can't stop them

The next generation of wireless cellphone technology, known as 5G, will allow for much faster wireless internet speeds that could unlock new economic potential, but the technology also means hundreds of new small cellular network antennas going up across Pensacola — sometimes right in people's front yards. And because of a new Florida law, local governments have almost no say in where or how those new antennas can be placed. [Source: Pensacola News Journal]

Florida Trend Exclusive
Walt Disney World's political spending

Disney’s political spending has grown to more closely match its size. Since 2010, Disney has ramped up its political spending to make sure it doesn’t get outpunched by its rivals. During the 2010 election cycle, the company spent $2.1 million on state elections in Florida, including donations to candidates, state parties, political committees and constitutional amendment campaigns. That was as much as the company had donated in the three previous election cycles combined. [Source: Florida Trend]

Where Florida can prove its autonomous vehicle chops

Florida's public roads have hosted some of the more noteworthy and novel self-driving tests. Now companies looking to further probe the limits of their self-driving technology will have a dedicated proving ground in the state. In weeks, the Florida Department of Transportation and Florida's Turnpike Enterprise will open SunTrax, a 475-acre operation between Orlando and Tampa that gives manufacturers and tech companies a closed course to run repeatable tests. [Source: Automotive News]

FPL seeks state approval to slash energy-efficiency goals

Florida homeowners could lose out on discounts for more energy-efficient air-conditioning units and other energy-reduction programs if the regulators allow Florida Power & Light Co. and other state utilities to slash energy-efficiency goals, critics say. With the state’s major utilities proposing goals at or near zero proposed this year, that could mean fewer energy-efficient programs at Florida utilities that help consumers save money. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

Hurricane season life hacks: Floridians share their most unconventional storm survival tips

Now that El Niño has faded, scientists are predicting more hurricanes than normal this year. Preparation is key as the season ramps up, especially since 95 percent of Atlantic hurricanes appear between August and October. Where do you find batteries after all the big stores run out? Where can your dog pee when it’s pouring outside? Seasoned Floridians share their secrets for getting through storms. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]


› Orange County sheriff wants pawn shops, gun stores to lock up guns at night. Some business owners are hesitant.
After a string of overnight burglaries at gun stores and pawn shops that resulted in the theft of 55 firearms last month, Orange County’s top cop is calling for legislation that would require those businesses to lock up the weapons in safes at night. Sheriff John Mina, who is on the legislative committee for the Florida Sheriff’s Association, plans to work with local politicians to research the feasibility and effectiveness additional laws could have to curb the thefts.

› Bookkeeping is a headache. Fort Lauderdale-based Xendoo seeks to provide relief
Small business owners have to plenty to worry about as they start and grow their businesses. Lil Roberts wants to ensure that they at least don’t have to worry about bookkeeping. Roberts, a South Florida native and serial entrepreneur, started the Fort Lauderdale-based online accounting service Xendoo in 2017 with co-founder Steven Gelley. Xendoo aims to simplify accounting and bookkeeping for small businesses with less than 20 employees, regardless of revenue.

› Visit Jacksonville looks to new hire to expand sports tourism
Visit Jacksonville wants to expand its sports tourism market. The local tourism agency has hired a longtime expert in the business of sports. Tom Norton joined Visit Jacksonville Monday as a new National Account Manager, focusing on sports tourism. Norton started his career at the U.S. Soccer Federation where he spent two years as coordinator.

› Orlando’s Creative Village could spark growth in video gaming companies
A push for high-wage digital media jobs at Creative Village in downtown Orlando has some video game industry leaders dreaming big and wondering aloud what it would be like to lure top studios to Central Florida. Leaders of the region’s largest game maker Electronic Arts said last week the company is in the “midst of real estate planning” after being asked about Creative Village.

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› NBA Experience tips off at Disney Springs with basketball stars, Iger on hand
Walt Disney World and the NBA have teamed up for an interactive basketball-themed attraction. The NBA Experience opened to the public at Disney Springs on Monday. The attraction, built in the West Side neighborhood of the shopping and entertainment complex, features about a dozen hoops-driven activities that either simulate the big-league experience, improve skill sets or tweak normal basketball play.

› Two South Florida hotel spas listed among ‘10Best’ in U.S.
If you live in or are visiting South Florida, you can relax at two of the best hotel spas in the nation. Two local spas made the USA Today’s “10Best Readers’ Choice Awards” hotel spas list for 2019: Acqualina Spa in Sunny Isles Beach and Eau Spa in Manalapan.

› Florida’s Plunge At The Gas Pump Continues
If you’ve had to fill up lately, you’ve probably been pleasantly surprised by the plunge at the pump. Last week Florida gas prices declined nearly a dime, as global demand concerns kept downward pressure on the price of crude.

› Volunteer Florida Foundation opens applications for recovery grants
The Volunteer Florida Foundation recently announced the availability of Florida Disaster Funds for organizations engaged in Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Michael recovery efforts. The Florida Disaster Fund is the State of Florida’s official private fund established to provide financial assistance to qualifying organizations meeting disaster-caused needs in Florida with a focus on support for disaster response and long-term recovery activities.