Florida Trend | Florida's Business Authority

Monday's Daily Pulse

Storm season ends, but recovery to take time

For a second consecutive hurricane season, Florida took a direct hit from a major storm. But while the 2023 season will end this week, restoration efforts from Hurricane Idalia will continue for years in rural North Florida, particularly for people in the agriculture industry. State lawmakers are expected to see requests for more money. And further tweaks are needed to state and local storm-recovery planning. Still, the season could have been much worse for Florida. [Source: News Service of Florida]

Florida ranks No. 1 in U.S. for population migration

Florida had the highest positive net migration of any state for the second year in a row, adding over 249,000 people to its population in 2022. The state's economy boomed during and after the pandemic as more high-income households moved to the region to avoid state income taxes and find better weather. Additionally, the influx of high-income individuals and companies flocking to the region from areas like New York and California has made it the epicenter of this "great wealth migration" trend. [Source: Orlando Business Journal]

Yes, some of Florida's airports are more crowded

As the busy holiday travel season dawns, Florida airports have helped lead the way in the sharp snapback of travelers returning to the air. That rebound happened earlier in Florida as tourists sought out the sun and fewer COVID-19 restrictions in 2021 and 2022. While the rate of passenger growth has slowed considerably, more bodies continue passing through regional airports. [Source: WLRN]

3 million Floridians started college but didn’t finish. Some need a push.

Roughly 3 million Floridians have attended some college but never earned a degree or certificate. Often referred to as “noncompleters,” they make up roughly 18% of the state’s population age 25 and over, according to the U.S. Census. That might change soon. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

The Sunshine State continues to be a produce winner in fall and winter

Working in Florida historically has been an important component of the produce sector in the United States. In addition to being a major growing area, supplying items like peppers, squash, eggplant, tomatoes and berries, the Sunshine state is the perfect gateway into the U.S. for products grown in South America and Central America. Florida’s agriculture sector has more than a $132 billion economic impact across the state, while providing more than 2.2 million jobs and local sources of food. [Source: Produce News]


› Now in Florida, new cruise brand Explora hunts for place in crowded luxury space
New luxury cruise brand Explora Journeys isn’t counting on experienced cruisers to try out its first ship, Explora I. The new venture created by the people behind MSC Cruises are hunting for people who have never sailed before. “We have this space for a true European luxury brand that is like a luxury hotel or luxury resort you usually travel to, but on the ocean,” said line CEO Michael Ungerer, speaking aboard the 63,900-gross-ton ship when it arrived to Miami earlier this month to begin a winter sailing season in the Caribbean.

› Publix department managers join federal suit over unpaid work
Last month, three former assistant department managers from different states filed a federal lawsuit against Publix claiming Florida’s largest grocer did not pay them for overtime work. Now, department managers can also join the collective action suit. An amended complaint filed last week in Tampa’s federal court added hourly managers from store departments like bakery, deli, meat, produce, seafood and grocery.

› City of Pensacola sets ‘How to do Business with Local Government’ workshop
The City of Pensacola will host a free workshop for local businesses on establishing themselves with local government. It will be held on Monday, Dec. 4, from 5:30-7 p.m. at City Hall in the Hagler-Mason Conference Room. The address is 222 W. Main St. At the workshop, officials will discuss registering a business, bidding and procurement procedures, presentation of products or services, and future business opportunities with local government agencies.

› FDOT to hear from public on Brightline, SunRail corridor
The Florida Department of Transportation will host multiple public meetings tied to the proposed Sunshine Corridor. FDOT will host three meetings — including one with a virtual component — during December tied to the Transit Corridor and Alternatives Review study that is currently ongoing. The shared corridor between SunRail and Miami-based Brightline would include stops at Orlando International Airport, Orange County Convention Center and on South International Drive near Walt Disney World Resort.

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› Bank names top lending exec for Tampa, Central Florida markets
First American Bank's Tampa headquarters says the bank hired Tony Sasso as senior vice president for commercial lending. In the role, Sasso, according to a statement, will oversee business development in the bank's West Florida and Central Florida markets. First American Bank is a privately held bank with more than $6 billion in assets. It primarily serves the Chicago, Miami, Tampa and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, markets.

› Jacksonville is one of eight Tyson plant closings nationwide
Just days after Tyson Foods Inc. filed a notification of the closing of its Jacksonville meat-processing plant, the food company said it is one of eight plant closures in 2023. “We will continue to evaluate our production footprint and network to drive efficiencies,” CEO Donnie King said in a conference call with analysts after Tyson’s fiscal year-end earnings report, according to a transcript posted by the company.

› Program to teach Orange County tourism workers language skills expands
Graduates of a pilot program to teach English to hospitality workers in Orange County are raving about the impact of the lessons on their lives and jobs, encouraging supporters to offer the classes to businesses outside the tourist district. Multilingual teachers will work next year not only with hospitality workers at hotels and resorts on I-Drive but also with employees at Amazon’s fulfillment center on Boggy Creek Road and businesses inside the Orlando International Airport, said Jennifer Haddad, director of business partnerships with UCF Global, which provides the instructors.

› Nonprofits, at the helm: New execs at BEAM, Better Together, OneJax, Junior Achievement
Two Jacksonville-area nonprofits — Beaches Emergency Assistance Ministry, or BEAM, and Better Together — have new executive directors in place in time for the new year. BEAM hired Jeff Winkler to succeed the retiring Lori Richards, who had been at the helm since 2017. Winkler was formerly head of basic needs at the United Way of Northeast Florida, where he served in several positions over a 17-year career and often partnered with BEAM.