Florida Trend | Florida's Business Authority

Thursday's Afternoon Update

DeSantis calls special session to ban COVID-19 vaccine mandates for employees

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday said he would call a special session of the Legislature in November to pass laws banning local governments, agencies and businesses from mandating COVID-19 vaccines for their employees and stripping liability protections from any businesses that impose them. At a news conference in Clearwater in front of a group of people holding yellow “Don’t Tread on Florida” and red “Freedom” signs, DeSantis attacked the federal vaccine mandate for businesses with 100 people or more as “forced injections” and “forced shots.” More from the Orlando Sentinel.

Drug import plan could save $150 million

Florida could save up to $150 million in the first year that a prescription-drug importation program from Canada is fully in place, Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Simone Marstiller told a House panel Wednesday. Lawmakers in 2019 approved pursuing a plan to import lower-cost drugs from Canada for government health-care programs. More from the News Service of Florida.

Clearwater’s KnowBe4 reaches $80 milllion deal to acquire SecurityAdvisor

Less than six months after going public, Clearwater cybersecurity training firm KnowBe4 has made a major acquisition. The company has reached a deal to purchase Sunnyvale, Calif. tech security outfit SecurityAdvisor for $80 million in cash and stock, including $22.5 million in cash, 27.5 million in shares of KnowBe4 common stock and $30 million in incentives based on the combined company’s future performance. More from the Tampa Bay Times.

Hate overdraft fees? This Florida credit union spares you the cost and headache

One of South Florida’s largest credit unions has decided to stop making money off its members’ mistakes. And the company’s president and CEO believes that other financial institutions will soon follow its lead ahead of an expected federal crackdown on penalties and fees. Power Financial Credit Union, headquartered in Pembroke Pines, recently eliminated overdraft and insufficient funds penalties for its 33,000 members in 14 Florida counties. More from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Some Keys roads will flood by 2025 due to sea rise. Fixing them could cost $750 million

As the staggering price tag of elevating roads in the Florida Keys comes into focus, where exactly all that cash will come from remains unclear. Consultants tasked with figuring out which roads should be elevated above rising seas first (and how much that might cost) have estimated that raising 155 miles of Monroe County roads could cost $1.8 billion. And those are just the roads at risk by 2045. More from the Miami Herald.

Tallahassee makes plans to rely on 100% renewable energy

 Tallahassee has initiated an ambitious, long-term plan to have the town powered completely by renewable energy. Tallahassee owns and operates the 4th-largest municipal electric utility service in Florida and the 22nd largest in the United States. The utility maintains a staff of 300 and serves more than 122,000 residential and commercial customers.

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Business Profile
Fitnessmith moved from regional to national exercise equipment supplier during pandemic

floridaIn the pandemic, Boynton Beach-based Fitnessmith, a 25-year-old supplier of exercise equipment and consulting services to the commercial gym, hotel, resort and multifamily markets, turned to the home market, from single treadmills to major home workout spaces. Michael Scichilone, who became CEO in 2010, moved the company into services, including brand consulting, franchise development, finance and leasing and warranty plans and from a regional to a national provider.

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