Florida Trend | Florida's Business Authority

Tuesday's Daily Pulse

Florida tourism improves in early 2021 but still struggles

Florida’s tourism industry saw improvement during the first three months of 2021, but the number of visitors was still down 14% from a year earlier as the state continued to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic. Travel-industry officials can envision bluer economic skies ahead as businesses scale back mask requirements and other social-distancing rules imposed to combat the virus that has killed more than 36,000 Floridians. [Source: News Service of Florida]

Florida Trend Exclusive

Report card: Florida's roads and bridges

In many parts of the country, the words “roads” and “bridges” are almost always coupled with some reference to “crumbling infrastructure,” but Florida’s roads and bridges are in much better shape. A 2019 study by the public policy think tank Reason Foundation found that Florida ranked third in the nation for the condition of its bridges, fifth in urban interstate pavement condition and sixth in rural interstate pavement condition. [Source: Florida Trend]

Starting a business in Florida: The ultimate step-by-step guide

There are plenty of entrepreneurially minded Floridians asking the same question: What goes into starting a business in Florida? And since the answer is unique to where you live, it’s worth exploring what the startup process is in the southeastern-most U.S. state. It’s clearly a popular query: Florida has the second-highest density of startup businesses in the U.S., with more than 100 startups per 1,000 total firms. Plenty of new entrepreneurs either flock to or crop up in the state. [Source: Nerd Wallet]

Seminole Tribe tries to ease concerns about gambling deal

As lawmakers prepare to decide whether to approve a $2.5 billion gambling deal with the Seminole Tribe of Florida, the tribe is trying to assuage concerns about part of the agreement that could open the door to the legalization of online betting in the state. Lawmakers are holding a special session this week to consider the complex deal, signed late last month by Gov. Ron DeSantis and Seminole Tribe of Florida Chairman Marcellus Osceola Jr. In part, the deal would allow the Seminoles to have control of sports betting throughout the state. Pari-mutuel operators would be able to conduct sports betting through revenue-sharing agreements with the tribe. [Source: News Service of Florida]

Carnival Corp. gets 7 of its lines back to business for summer while Carnival Cruise Line awaits US approval

While Carnival Cruise Line hopes to dip its foot into sailing from U.S. waters this summer, its parent company is ramping up sailings on seven of its sister lines. Carnival Corp. announced plans to continue or begin sailing from either Europe or the Caribbean on Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Cunard, Costa Cruises, AIDA Cruises, P&O Cruises UK and Seabourn. [Source: Orlando Sentinel ]


› Job fairs go virtual thanks to Florida firm’s software. It’s good enough for the Army
Steve Edwards, an army vet, FIU grad  and owner of Premier Virtual, has created software for virtual job fairs and other recruiting events. It offers an all-in-one solution to organizations for putting on their events. The platform went live in March 2020, just before the pandemic arrived. When the world changed overnight, “we went from ‘we’re just starting to ramp up’ to everybody calling us and saying ‘hey, let us run our events on your platform,’ ” Edwards said.

› Tiger Woods’ golf entertainment centers coming to Tampa, Orlando
Tiger Woods is expanding his chain of golf entertainment centers — called PopStroke — that include high-concept putting courses, dining and playgrounds. Orlando and Tampa are getting storefronts in the next few years. PopStroke Entertainment, co-owned by Woods and Wall Street veteran Greg Bartoli, has announced that new property agreements have been signed for seven locations in Florida, Arizona and Texas. A Wesley Chapel location at Cypress Creek Town Center is expected to open by the summer of 2022.

› Movers in Southwest Florida are seeing business increase
Ricardo Burgos says moving isn’t easy, even for a professional mover like himself. “You might think it’s simple but it’s time-consuming. It’s a constant call, it’s a constant demand and we are here to provide it,” said Ricardo Burgos, Owner, and Operator of SGL Moving LLC Burgos says being a small business owner he is trying to keep up the flood of people moving in and out of Southwest Florida.

› COVID-sniffing dogs, masks, smaller crowds: South Beach food festival prepares for the pandemic
CNN’s cameras will be watching when guests arrive for the first food festival in America during a pandemic. Dogs trained to detect COVID-19 symptoms will be sniffing the tens of thousands of guests entering the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, which runs for four days starting on May 20. And a massive staff, including 1,500 Florida International University hospitality students, will be checking temperatures, enforcing masks and continuously sanitizing as they volunteer during a festival that will draw an estimated 20,000 people to South Beach this week.

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› Black-owned Miami wine company gets boost from alcohol giant
The Miami-based La Fête du Rosé has caught the attention of Miami Beach hotels, Target and Trader Joe’s. Now, the wine label will partner with beverage behemoth Constellation Brands, which announced Thursday it would acquire a minority stake in the company. La Fête du Rosé launched in 2019 to debunk tired tropes about rosé wine and who drinks it, said its founder and CEO Donae Burston.

› New Orlando ghost kitchen thinks inside the Doshibox
Doshirak is a Korean word for “packed meal.” Like a Japanese bento, it’s a way of bringing together several items in one container with partitions for its components. It’s often compact. Doshibox, however, is not. Prices may seem high — they range between $16.50 and $20 each — but it’s at least two meals’ worth of scratch-made food. And man, is it fun.

› Sarasota golf club community reports strong start to year 
The Founders Club, Sarasota, has continued to see strong sales and member momentum including 13 lot sales since January that amounted to nearly $2.75 million. The club, located east of I-75 on Fruitville Road, features luxury home builders London Bay, AR Homes, John Cannon Homes and Lee Wetherington Homes through its Builder Program. The program gives homebuyers access to various architectural styles and customizable floor plans.

› Grammy winner Darius Rucker to headline Tampa’s Pig Jig
Grammy winner Darius Rucker will headline the Tampa Pig Jig in Julian B. Lane Park on Oct. 23, organizers announced Monday. It’s the biggest headliner yet for what has become one of the biggest philanthropic events in the area. The Pig Jig combines live music, games and a silent auction, along with a barbecue competition to raise money for NephCure Kidney International, which supports research seeking the cause of potentially debilitating kidney diseases.