Florida Trend | Florida's Business Authority

Wednesday's Daily Pulse

Wedding industry booming in Florida as pandemic nears end

You might be seeing some wedding invitations in the mail again. The industry behind the big events is making a comeback and Florida has become a hot spot as restrictions have eased. Raffi Grosz is the owner of Petal Productions in Miami. He said that business has been so good, but some items are in short supply - and it’s not just flowers. “As time is going on, things are coming back strong. We are finding the industry here is really picking up," Grosz said. "You can’t find hotels to have an event in for the next week. You can’t find a party planner to do your event with.” [Source: NBC Miami]

How new changes to Florida’s SunPass and E-ZPass can make road trips easier this summer

Planning to take a road trip this summer? If you are, there are some new changes to Florida’s roadways that could make traveling to and from other states easier. SunPass can now be used in more than a dozen other states. E-ZPass, another electronic prepaid toll collection program, has also expanded its services and can now be used across Florida. [Source: Miami Herald]

Pre-owned business jet shortage drives sellers' market, demand for new luxury planes

A shortage of newer-model business jets is driving up prices of second-hand aircraft, a trend that is expected to deliver a windfall for luxury planemakers as new affluent buyers enter the market. After a turbulent 2020 due to COVID-19, the rush toward private transport is so marked that some buyers are snapping up second-hand planes before fully inspecting the wares as the market shifts toward sellers, lawyers and brokers said. [Source: Reuters]

Costs and benefits of underground power lines in Florida

When the massive power of a hurricane whips through, underground power lines could keep the lights on. Some estimates say massive power outages, as Florida saw with Hurricane Irma, can cost $1 billion a day, not to mention the health and safety risks. The Florida Legislature passed a bill in 2019 requiring power companies to put lines underground. Opponents warned it will drive up power bills. It’s not easy or fast. Burying power lines can cost as much as $600,000 to $1 million a mile, according to industry estimates. [Source: FOX 13]

Florida asks for more time on potential Medicaid boost

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration is asking the federal government for additional time “to consider the potential impacts” of drawing down hundreds of millions of dollars in additional federal Medicaid money for home- and community-based services. In an email to the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Karen Williams of the state Medicaid office said Florida wants a 30-day extension, which would give the state until July 12 to submit a plan to the federal government. [Source: News Service of Florida]


› Business travel in Tampa Bay area  is slow to bounce back, contrasting tourism's overall recovery
Leisure travel and tourism in Tampa Bay are bouncing back from pandemic lows, but hotels and airlines say business travel is a different story. “Hotels dependent on business travel continued to struggle” in recent weeks, though occupancy levels are in the 80-90% range overall due to “robust leisure travel activity,” according to the Federal Reserve’s June 2021 report on U.S. economic activity for the Sixth District, which includes the state of Florida.

› Equity firms acquire pair of homegrown Sarasota tech companies
In separate deals, private equity and asset management firms have acquired a pair of Sarasota homegrown tech companies that specialize in online affiliate and pay-for-performance, or clicks, marketing. Notably, one company sold, Revcontent, started as a unit of the other acquired company, Perform[cb]. Perform[cb] was originally named Clickbooth when it was founded in 2002.

› An unemployment 'loophole' is stifling hiring? Some Panama City-area restaurants say yes
With federal and state unemployment benefits still available, the general manager of a local restaurant says he is struggling to find and keep new employees. Cody Ward, general manager of Wine World and The Craft Bar in Panama City Beach, said he has hired about 30 people during the past three months who quit shortly after getting the job. He's also received many applications that never panned out.

› Fort Lauderdale boatsetter pivots to luxury boat charters  
Fort Lauderdale-based Boatsetter is taking on the growing market for luxury boat charters. On Monday, the peer-to-peer boat rental startup officially launched Boatsetter Lux Charters after rolling out an early version of the service in January. The rollout ultimately contributed to the company's record 300% revenue growth during the first quarter of the year.

Go to page 2 for more stories ...

› Two pickleball courts planned for Toon Town in Talleyrand
Pickleball, the quickly growing racket sport, is coming to the Toon Town building in Talleyrand. Jax Pickleball and European Street Cafe owner Andy Zarka, along with three business and pickleball partners Ricky Thais, JT Rhodes and Richard Parkes, propose adding two pickleball courts in the warehouse at 444 Talleyrand Ave. near TIAA Bank Field.

› Orlando City announces training facility naming rights, partnership renewal with Orlando Health
Orlando City renewed its long-standing partnership with Orlando Health on Monday, bringing new features to the longest corporate partnership in the club’s history. The new agreement includes naming rights to both teams’ training facilities. The Lions currently train at Osceola Heritage Park while the Pride train at Sylvan Lake Park.

› St. Petersburg’s Rod Wave sets U.S. tour dates, including Tampa concert
Fresh off his first No. 1 album, SoulFly, St. Petersburg-born Rod Wave announced this week that he’s headed out on his biggest tour to date, including a stop close to home in Tampa. The singer and rapper will play the MidFlorida Amphitheatre on Sept. 11 as part of a U.S. tour stopping in 36 cities this summer and fall.

› Gunmaker Dark Storm Industries relocating from New York to Titusville, bringing 50 jobs
New York-based gunmaker Dark Storm Industries LLC has decided to move its headquarters to Titusville, after multiple states in the South sought to lure the company with financial incentives. Dark Storm plans to bring 50 jobs to Titusville, after Brevard County and city governing boards combined to approve $1.08 million in economic incentives for the company.