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Monday's Afternoon Update

Orlando-based engineering and modeling firm scores $31M defense deal

Orlando-based engineering and modeling company Applied Vision Technology Inc., also known as AVT, secured a $31 million defense contract, the Department of Defense recently announced. The company, which employs 98 people in Orlando, will deliver virtual trainers for construction equipment to the U.S. Army. Work on the contract will finish by Jan. 29, 2025. More from the Orlando Business Journal.

Sales and Marketing Advice
What channels do you tune into?

Not long ago it was easy to watch television and listen to the radio. You knew which of the dozens available channels worked best for you and could tune them in quickly. Wow, what a difference a handful of years can make! Now, it takes a little work to find what you like as a consumer. There are thousands of channels and what seems like an infinite amount of content to discover. Read Ron Stein's full column.

Another one? Earth Fare announces grocery chain shutting down in Florida

Two weeks after Lucky’s Market announced all but one Florida store would close this month, Earth Fare, another niche grocer revealed Monday it is also exiting the market. Natural and organic grocer Earth Fare recently opened four stores in Central Florida, in Orlando, Lake Nona, Ocala and Rockledge. As part of a company-wide liquidation, all four of those stores and the rest of the Earth Fare locations in the Eastern U.S. will close, according to a news release. More from Click Orlando.

After shunning Medicaid expansion, Florida Republicans see the political power of tackling health care

House Speaker Jose Oliva’s push for changes to the hospital and pharmaceutical industries may help Republican candidates, including President Trump. Backed by a scorched earth attack on Big Pharma and the “health care industrial complex,” House Speaker Jose Oliva is promoting wide-ranging changes to the state’s medical landscape. But some think Oliva’s proposals are more about messaging than reform. More from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

Fight refueled over gas pump stickers showing Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried’s office would have to replace stickers that display her smiling face on gas pumps by mid-September under a House budget proposal. The directive is tied to the House’s proposed $91.37 billion budget that was released Thursday. The budget also would require placing in reserves more than $19.7 million for other programs until plans are offered to replace the stickers, a process that Fried’s spokesman said is already underway. More from WPTV.

Pup Protection
Legislature to consider ending puppy mills for good

Legislature to consider ending puppy mills for goodSB 1698 and HB 1237, known as the “Florida Pet Protection Act,” would set up licensing requirements for pet stores to ensure they don’t engage with breeders who have been flagged by the USDA for violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act.The bills, sponsored by Sen. Manny Diaz and Rep. Brian Avila, would also require pet stores to adhere to standards aimed at fostering a safe, clean and comfortable environment for their animals.

More from Florida Politics.

 

Out of the Box
The best and worst of Super Bowl ads

floridaHyundai and Jeep scored with whimsical humor by poking fun at Boston accents and reuniting the “Groundhog Day” cast, Punxsutawney Phil included. During advertising’s biggest night, Super Bowl Sunday, marketers battled it out to bolster their brands and promote new products. Advertisers paid up to $5.6 million for 30 seconds, and almost 100 million people tune into the big game.

» Read more from the Tampa Bay Times.