Florida Trend | Florida's Business Authority

Wednesday's Daily Pulse

Floridians expect slow economic recovery for the country, lowering September consumer sentiment

Consumer sentiment among Floridians dropped for a second consecutive month in September to 76.1, dropping 2.4 points from a revised figure of 78.5 in August and reaching its lowest level in almost 8 years. These levels of confidence have not been observed since October 2013 when consumer sentiment reached 69.9 points. “The decline in consumer confidence was largely fueled by growing pessimism in Floridians’ expectations about national economic conditions in the short- and long-run. In the last two months, these two components have accumulated substantial losses indicating that Floridians foresee a slower than anticipated economic recovery,” said Hector H. Sandoval, director of the Economic Analysis Program at UF’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research. [Source: UF News]

DeSantis sues Biden to force migrants to be detained, names public safety czar

Florida sued the federal government Tuesday over immigration, demanding the Biden Administration retain people who claim asylum at U.S. borders instead of releasing them to await a hearing. At the same time, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an executive order preventing any state agencies from “aiding or abetting in any way what the federal government is doing right now” and appointed Larry Keefe, a former law partner of embattled U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, as the state’s public safety czar. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

As property insurance rates skyrocket, Florida ‘insurer of last resort’ seeks to become less attractive

With hurricanes, rising sea levels and litigation driving Florida property insurance rates sky high, state taxpayers are increasingly at risk as more landowners sign onto the state’s subsidized “insurer of last resort.” When the Legislature convenes its 60-day 2022 session on Jan. 11, state officials say among priorities – in addition to addressing Florida’s distressed property insurance market – will be making Citizens Property Insurance Corp. less attractive while keeping it strong enough to support those who can’t find property insurance. [Source: The Center Square]

Where Florida's medical marijuana market is going

The medical marijuana market has remained stagnant in Florida for some time now, but that doesn't mean it always will stay that way, attorney Sally Kent Peebles — a partner at Vicente Sederberg LLP whose practice focuses on marijuana — told the Business Journal on Monday. Peebles spoke about where the market is headed and what future changes in regulation could mean for local businesses. [Source: Jacksonville Business Journal]

Florida faces challenges on sex offender registry

Florida is facing two constitutional challenges from men who live in other states and contend they have been improperly kept on public sex-offender registry lists in Florida. Oregon resident Moji Momeni filed a lawsuit Friday in Leon County circuit court alleging that his constitutional privacy and due-process rights have been violated because Florida continues to list him as a registered sex offender, though he stopped being required to register in Oregon last year. [Source: News Service of Florida]


› Sarasota EDC, amid restructuring, dramatically grows board  
The Sarasota County Economic Development Corp. has announced several new board members, part of a continuing trend. “As the EDC continues to reconnect with its purpose, we recognize that an expanded and diverse board is essential,” says Sarasota County EDC President and CEO Lisa Krouse in a news release. “Therefore we are proud to welcome some of our area’s most respected and influential leaders from business, nonprofit and higher education.”

› Downtown Jacksonville seeing more foot traffic in pandemic recovery
Visitor foot traffic in Downtown Jacksonville is rebounding from the COVID-19 pandemic, up 24% for the first two quarters of 2021 over the same period a year ago, according to the 2020-21 State of Downtown Report released Sept. 27. The Downtown Investment Authority and Downtown Vision Inc. produced the report.

› Largo’s newly formed TD Synnex projects $15B in revenues by year’s end
Less than a month after the merger that spawned it, TD Synnex, a technology distribution company co-headquartered in Largo, is projecting revenues this year that would make it Tampa Bay’s largest public company by a wide, wide margin. The company, created through a summer merger between Largo’s Tech Data and Fremont, Calif.’s Synnex Corp, estimated Tuesday that it would see revenues of between $15 billion and $16 billion in the fourth quarter of 2021, encompassing October, November and December.

› More options to shop and dine out? Booming Miami River draws new tenants
Miami River’s retail scene is blossoming with a handful of new tenants, all attracted to the nearby employment hub — the Health District. Publix Liquor and the locally based restaurants and businesses P.Pole Pizza, Carrot Express, CKO Boxing Gym and the Charter Agency signed retail leases at River Landing Shops and Residences, according to Andy Hellinger, co-partner of Urban X Group.

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› 10 Brevard County sports events in line to receive tourism grants
Ten local sports events expected to attract out-of-county visitors are in line to receive county grants, funded by a 5% tax levied on hotel rooms and other short-term rentals. The Brevard County Tourist Development Council and its Sports Committee both unanimously approved the grants, which goes before the Brevard County Commission on Nov. 9 for final approval.

› Boat retailer adds private jet company executive to board
MarineMax, one of the nation’s leading boat sellers, has elected air travel industry executive Adam Johnson to its board of directors. Johnson, a licensed pilot, is the chairman and CEO of NetJets Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway company that offers private jet travel solutions via its fleet of 760 airplanes worldwide. According to a press release, he’s been with the firm for 25 years and has held numerous senior leadership roles.

› “Disappointing.” Study finds racial disparity in St. Petersburg business contracts
City Council Chair Ed Montanari said it was like getting a report card with a big red “F” on it. On Thursday, St. Petersburg City Council reviewed the results of a disparity study it commissioned back in 2018. The council wanted to know how much business the city gives to minority- and women-owned firms.

› Curbside recycling suspended in Jacksonville so haulers can handle trash, yard waste
Jacksonville will suspend curbside recycling collection starting next week so short-staffed trash haulers can focus on picking up household trash and yard waste, Mayor Lenny Curry said Monday. The city will open 14 drop-off sites that will still take recyclable material from dawn to sundown beginning Oct. 4, but items left curbside at people's homes — including material in recycling bins — will be collected like trash on regular trash-collection days.