FloridaTrend.com, the Website for Florida Business

Monday's Afternoon Update

U.S. Supreme Court hearing Florida-Georgia water war case

In the latest chapter in years of battling between Florida and Georgia, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments Monday in a dispute about divvying up water in a river system shared by the states. Florida filed a lawsuit in 2013 arguing that Georgia is using too much water from the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint river system, which starts in northern Georgia and ends in Apalachicola Bay in Franklin County. Florida contends that the situation has caused damage to the Apalachicola River and Apalachicola Bay’s signature oyster industry. More from the News Service of Florida and Bloomberg Law.

Massive winter storm causes gas prices to soar in Florida

Drivers in Florida are paying more to fill up their gas tanks following last week’s massive winter storm in Texas. According to new numbers released Monday by AAA, gas prices in the state jumped 15 cents per gallon last week. Drivers are now paying $2.61 per gallon, up from $2.46 last week. Officials with AAA say that is the highest daily gas price average since July 2019. More from WKMG and the Orlando Sentinel.

As Canadian snowbirds wrap up Florida trips, they now face tighter border rules back home

Canadian snowbirds now visiting South Florida will face new layers of COVID-19 rules upon returning back home. Effective Monday, those who fly back to Canada will have to stay in a government-approved hotel at their expense for three days to await the results of a newly required COVID-19 test. People who drive back must show evidence of a negative test when they reach the U.S.-Canadian border. The tough new COVID screening measures created hard choices last week for people visiting Florida and other U.S. tourist spots, travel experts say. More from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Pfizer to open new business hub in Tampa’s Heights Union

One of Tampa’s biggest development projects has secured a major new tenant. Biopharmaceutical giant Pfizer is opening a new business hub in Tampa’s Heights Union, an office complex next to Armature Works. The Fortune 100 company will lease more than 100,000 square feet, said spokeswoman Pamela Eisele, for a mix of relocated and newly hired employees. More from the Tampa Bay Times and the Business Observer.

Seminole plans to spend millions buying parcels, businesses to spiff up area near old Orlando Jai-Alai fronton

Seminole County plans to spend nearly $3.5 million to buy a dozen parcels — including a convenience store and a small shopping center — near Oxford Road as part of its long-sought efforts to transform the blighted area around the old Orlando Jai-Alai fronton into a vibrant community of shops, offices and apartments. “That whole area has needed a face lift for quite some time,” Commissioner Amy Lockhart said. “And I think it’s time that that area is redeveloped.” More from the Orlando Sentinel.

Business Profile
Raw Sugar Living

 When other companies had sold out of hand sanitizer, liquid hand soap and other items early in the pandemic, Raw Sugar Living managed to keep those items on store shelves. The Sarasota-based personal care products company maintained its ability to deliver needed items to retailers because it had stocked up on raw materials. “We took a gamble, and it worked out for the general public because we were able to give liquid soaps, bar soaps and hand sanitizers to Target,” says Ronnie Shugar, the co-founder and CEO of Raw Sugar Living.

» More from the Business Observer.

 

Out of the Box
Step right up and see the carnival’s history

floridaFor nearly a year, the lights stayed off, the Ferris wheel sat still, and a warehouse of wonders waited to delight and terrify guests in Riverview. The International Independent Showmen’s Museum closed, like the traveling shows it celebrates, because of the pandemic. But it exists because a few people spent years, raised millions and refused to let the fascinations of the carnival fade away. Ivan Arnold was one of them — a carnival lifer.

» Read more from the Tampa Bay Times.