Florida Trend | Florida's Business Authority

Thursday's Daily Pulse

Why Florida is ending the extra $300 federal unemployment benefits early

Some states like Florida are ending the federal unemployment benefits program early, while other states are not. Michael snipes, an economics professor at USF Sarasota-Manatee, says it comes down to the debate of how does this help the economy versus how does this help the people. Another question being asked is are leaders focusing on the big numbers like GDP, growth or are they focusing on the worker? Snipes says he does think taking away the extra weekly $300 will have the intended consequence. More from WFTS and the Florida Phoenix.

Space balloon company opens up reservations for first flights from Florida

Space Perspective, the space tourism company that plans to launch a space balloon from the Space Coast is ready to take your money. After completing a successful test flight Friday, the company has opened up reservations for the planned 2024 launches of what will be its first passenger-ready balloon, the Neptune One. More from the Orlando Sentinel  and CNN.

No more birthday cards for Florida inmates — prisons propose scanning all 'routine' mail

Photos of spouses, kids’ hand-colored drawings and letters stained by tears are among prison inmates’ most-cherished lifelines to the outside world. But Florida corrections officials are moving ahead with a plan to replace prisoners’ “routine” mail with digitized versions of correspondence that would be viewed on tablet computers or communal kiosks. [Source: News Service of Florida]

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity urges Florida businesses to prepare for hurricane season

Today, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) is encouraging all businesses throughout the state to utilize the FloridaDisaster.biz website and other resources to prepare for the 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season which began on June 1st. FloridaDisaster.biz provides business owners with resources to prepare for potential disasters, critical updates during a disaster in order to stay informed, and post-disaster resources to help Florida’s businesses recover and get Floridians back to work. [Source: Florida Trend]

Your car insurance could go up $200 — or more —if no-fault system is repealed

Auto insurance premiums will increase by an average of $202 for Florida drivers — and far more for those who buy the minimum coverage — if Gov. DeSantis signs a bill that would repeal the state’s decades-old no-fault insurance system, according to a new analysis. The 40% of drivers who currently buy the cheapest coverage allowed by law will see the sharpest increases — as much as 77%, the analysis said. But those increases would be lower for South Florida motorists, where current auto insurance rates are already among the highest in the nation. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]


› Many buyers priced out as Orlando home values boom; experts have ideas to boost inventory
For homeowners, the Orlando Regional Realtor Association’s report that median home prices in the area hit $300,000 in May might sound like a boon. But for aspiring homeowners such as Robby Gibson, it means her dream is getting farther away. “I wouldn’t say it’s impossible if you have a budget over 300k,” Gibson wrote in a Facebook message. A student services assistant with Valencia, she has been house-hunting since March with a budget under $220,000.

› Bahrain looks to Miami business, PortMiami accord
Bahrain may seek a memorandum of understanding with PortMiami to promote trade opportunities and share best customer practices, the kingdom’s ambassador to the United States said here Monday. When asked about the possibility of opening a consulate in Miami, Ambassador Shaikh Abdullah R. Al Khalifa said that might be an opportunity to consider in the future.

› Midwest credit union continues promised expansion into Florida
Five years after saying Southwest Florida was going to be its second home, Lake Michigan Credit Union has bought another bank in the area. This time the Grand Rapids-based financial institution picked up Tampa-based Pilot Banchsares, the parent company of Pilot Bank and the National Aircraft Finance Co. Shareholders will get $6.25 in cash for each share in the all-cash transaction.

› Famous Florida Highwaymen paintings up for sale at estate sale
A rare artwork collection is up for sale in Central Florida this week. Sixty Florida Highwaymen paintings are being sold at an estate sale in Kissimmee. The Florida Highwaymen were a group of 26 Black artists, mostly from the Fort Pierce area, who prevailed racial barriers in Florida in the 1950s to become successful landscape artists.

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› Moishe Mana’s massive, long-dormant Wynwood project shows tiny sparks of life
Billionaire Moishe Mana’s long-dormant Mana Wynwood — a 23.5-acre project on the western edge of the neighborhood that would serve as a trade hub between China and Latin America as well as a massive center for arts and entertainment — is showing tiny sparks of life.

› Funded by Kickstarter, Jeff’s Bagel Run goes brick-and-mortar in Ocoee
Corporate America, Danielle Perera has left the building. “It had its perks,” says Perera — now manning the counters at Jeff’s Bagel Run, the spiffy, new shop in Ocoee she owns with husband, Jeff Perera — “But I didn’t wake up every day feeling intrinsically satisfied.” Now, she does. And in part, she has the community to thank.

› New limits on predictive dialers: Florida enacts its version of the TCPA
On April 1, 2021, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Facebook, Inc. v. Duguid, resolving a circuit split and establishing that in order for a dialing system to be considered an automatic telephone dialing system (ATDS) under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), it must have the “capacity to either store or produce a telephone number based on a random or sequential number generator.” However, this "win" for businesses has now been undercut as Florida's Legislature has unanimously passed CS/SB 1120. This bill updates the Florida Consumer Protection Law and the Florida Telemarketing Act and creates Florida's own version of the TCPA.

› Knight Arts Challenge grants are back. Up for grabs: $2 million for ‘your best idea’
Since 2008, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has invested $34 million in its Knight Arts Challenge, enabling artists and organizations large and solo to reshape the city’s cultural landscape. The challenge is back, this year with $2 million in grants in one of its largest ever open-call for ideas.