Business

Business news

Florida Congressman Vern Buchanan's twitter

More citrus farmers could be in for tax breaks when they replace trees damaged by citrus greening. That’s under a bill that passed in the U.S. House Wednesday.

Kate Payne

The Florida Chamber of Commerce announced its legislative priorities for the 2016 session Tuesday. The group is putting economic expansion at the top of the list.

Janice Fee

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi is asking for a full appeals court hearing, after a panel ruling that would let Creek Entertainment in Gretna begin operating slot machines. Bondi’s office calls the move a “jaw dropping” expansion of gambling. And Florida Horsemen are raising their own concerns about the ruling.

Class Gives New Biz Owners Crowdfunding Kickstart

Jun 11, 2015
Steven Depolo Via Flikr

With the new legislation passed this year, crowdfunding is taking another step forward. The University of West Florida and the Florida Small Business Development Center are working to help new business leaders learn to harness the power of the people.

Uber Preps For State Regulation

Mar 9, 2015
Yellow Car with Uber Plate
Monika Hoinkis

The ride-hailing app, Uber, has been operating in the state for the better part of 2014 despite statewide concerns over safety, insurance coverage and legality. While a patchwork of regulation has begun to develop on the local level,  state lawmakers are eager to settle the issue once and for all.

The most valuable tech start up in the world does not want to be legally defined as a car service alongside taxis and limos.

parking space
Benny Lin Via Flickr

Trying to find gainful employment when you’re disabled can be varying degrees of frustrating, depending on the nature of your disability. But the Florida legislature is moving to alleviate some of those headaches.

Governor Rick Scott’s latest budget proposal allocates 8 million dollars to move people with disabilities off of a waiting list for, and onto, a Medicaid Waiver program. Melanie Mowry Etters, spokesperson for the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, says the program provides disabled people with extra services both during the job hunt and after they’re employed.

Florida Senate

A plan to review economic development zones could directly impact the Big Bend.  Sen. Jeff Clemens (D-Lake Worth) wants to renew the program and keep the more than 60 economic development zones from expiring this year. He says the current way the state encourages businesses to move into depressed areas, needs to be revamped—if the program hopes to survive.

Construction workers
University of Salford Press Office's photostream

Florida’s unemployment rate has dropped by a tenth of a percent since October. But some question if the downward trend in the unemployment rate will continue.

At 6 percent, unemployment is the lowest it’s been since June of 2008. Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Director Jesse Panuccio says he thinks the state’s economic policies are encouraging business owners to open up more jobs. 

Uber Jacksonville website
Uber

A plan that would negate local transportation rules in major Florida cities didn’t get through the legislature this year, but supporters of the deregulation made big waves in the process.

Uber—an app that summons luxury rides —wants to become a major player in Florida. But right now, it’s largely on the sidelines, offering services only in Jacksonville. At the center of the conflict is how local governments regulate the limo industry. Cities like Miami, Orlando, Tampa and Fort Lauderdale have strict rules in place when it comes to wait times and minimum fares.

The push to legalize some forms of medical marijuana is gaining traction after a bill approved by the Legislature is on its way to Gov. Rick Scott's desk.

The bill would allow doctors to prescribe medical marijuana to patients who suffer from epilepsy, seizures or severe muscle spasms. The strain of marijuana in the bill is known as “Charlotte’s Web.”  It has less THC, the ingredient that causes users to feel high, and more of a non-euphoric compound called CBD.

orlandocitysoccer.com

Florida lawmakers have approved a plan that would steer state tax dollars to fund stadiums for privately-owned sports teams. The move is a reversal from last year, when stadium funding for the Miami Dolphins died on the last day of session.

LHatter / WFSU News

Over the past several years Governor Rick Scott has touted Florida as a refuge from “burdensome regulations” and has made it a goal to promote job creation in the state. But as Florida’s unemployment rate has fallen below the national average some groups argue the state continues to over-regulate businesses—and one group is targeting several industries it says are prime for de-regulation.

LHatter / WFSU News

The Florida Retail Federation is gearing up for the 2014 legislative session by throwing its support behind a series of proposed sales tax holidays and proposals to expand the duties of pharmacists.

Vice President Randy Miller says the group is behind a 10-day back-to-school sales tax holiday pitched by Governor Rick Scott.

“This is the most wildly-popular holiday we encounter. People come out from all over, we bring people in from other states. It’s a great thing for citizens to be able to save on clothing and materials and supplies.”

Wikimedia Commons

The Florida Retail Federation originally predicted 2013's holiday shopping season would net 3.5 to 4.5-percent more sales than 2012 and officials say they’re on the way to meeting that goal – handily. Labor groups chided big retailers who pushed the sales weekend earlier to include Thanksgiving night in an attempt to maximize profits. Although overall numbers are up, Florida Retail Federation Spokesman John Fleming pointed out that whatever retailers might’ve gained by being open Thursday, they might’ve lost Friday.

Michael Miley / Flickr Creative Commons

The state’s chief economist, Amy Baker, says the state’s transportation trust fund – that’s the money pot funded with fuel, tag and license taxes, will have an extra $200-million to draw from this fiscal year. Baker says tax revenue from highway and diesel fuel sales is up but, she’s perplexed by one category that’s bucking the overall trend.

“The only one that we didn’t see reasons to believe that it’s going to meet the current estimate was the aviation fuel tax,” Baker said in a phone interview Tuesday.

Wikimedia Commons

Craft beers from microbreweries are steadily increasing their share of the alcohol market throughout the U.S. But, one lawmaker says the Sunshine State’s archaic beer regulations are holding Florida’s burgeoning craft beer industry back.

Tourism is still Florida’s number one industry with places like Disney World a crowd favorite. But Visit Florida CEO Will Seacombe says some other spots are attracting more attention these days:

“We’re doing a much better job of promoting a lot of 'off the beaten track’ opportunities to explore the original Florida. And a lot of that, in a large part this year, is due to the platform Of Viva Florida, and the 500 year anniversary of when Juan Ponce de Leon first landed", he said.

Marketplace on Each Weekday at 6 pm

Aug 12, 2013

Marketplace's website is now fully accessible from all desktop, mobile and tablet devices.  The new site features a full integration of the new brand identity and a clean, elegant design ideal for viewing on all devices.  The site also features a new HTML5 audio player for easy access to all audio content –both full shows and individual stories – via any device. 

The assumption is that having a "strong dollar” is always good for the economy, yielding low import prices, low inflation rates, and making the dollar attractive to foreign investors. But in a recession, could a weak dollar policy accelerate our recovery with low export prices that encourage foreign countries to buy more U.S. goods cheaply?

It's the American dream: move to the United States, start your own business, build a successful life. But has the United States lost its edge in attracting the best and brightest entrepreneurs?  In this month's America Abroad, we'll learn about the significant role immigrants play in creating small and mid-sized businesses. We'll hear how the American visa process could be deterring potential entrepreneurs, particularly from math and engineering-focused places like India.

A Fortune 500 company’s relocation to Southwest Florida has business groups applauding Gov. Scott for attracting new jobs to the state. The Hertz rental car company is expected to bring at least 700 jobs to Fort Myers.

On Tuesday, Hertz CEO Mark Frissora joined Scott in Fort Myers to announce the company’s planned move from New Jersey.

“It’s clear that we needed to look no further than Florida," Frissora said.

Brewster Bevis, with Associated Industries of Florida, said the move shows Scott’s commitment to recruiting companies.

A bill that makes it easier for manufacturers to get a sales tax exemption has started moving in the Florida House. Supporters of the change say it will create high-paying jobs, but some lawmakers are worried about taking away tax revenue.

Space Lobby Docks At Fla. Capitol, Hoping For More STEM Education

Mar 6, 2013
Thomas Andrew Gustafson

Wednesday is the sixteenth Florida Space Day. In the Capitol, NASA and the Florida Space Day group are presenting the current and hopeful future of the Space Industry in Florida. And both the agency and the group’s wish for more space-based education was also seen in a NASA presentation at Tallahassee’s Cobb Middle School.

Student PSA Videos Warn Floridians About Unlicensed CPA's

Jan 15, 2013
Steven Rodriguez / WFSU-FM

The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation and the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants presented prizes on Tuesday to the winners of a public service video contest. 

Today, it seems almost any random gathering of people is likely to attract at least one food truck.  Tom Flanigan reports the number of these restaurants-on-wheels is growing in Florida, as well as their impact on the economies in which they operate.

Pages