business and development

Tallahassee City Commissioners and MetroNet officials posing for a picture.
Blaise Gainey / WFSU-FM

WiFi speeds in Tallahassee could soon get a boost. MetroNet is spending $75 million dollars to install fiber optic technology to provide Internet, TV and more in the capital city.

Valerie Crowder

Hundreds gathered in Mexico Beach on Thursday to celebrate the community’s resiliency one year after Hurricane Michael decimated the small coastal town. 

lines of downed trees as seen from above
Gerald Herbert / AP Photo

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried says hemp farming in the Panhandle could bring relief from the billion and a half dollar hit to the region’s timber industry. She joined WFSU’s special Perspectives program this week, broadcast from Mexico Beach, on the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Michael that left millions of acres damaged.

Ryan Dailey / WFSU-FM

Following Hurricane Michael’s destructive path through Florida’s panhandle, headlines painted a grim future for timber, a major industry in the region. The losses were huge – valued at $1.3 billion. Yet not all was lost, as some lumber and paper mills in the region are still going strong.

Steve Cannon / AP Photo

Following California’s lead, Florida recently became the second state to introduce legislation pushing to allow collegiate athletes to profit from their name and likeness. Ryan Dailey spoke with House Minority Leader Kionne McGhee, who filed a bill to do just that – and it’s got the attention of much of the sports world.

Picture of the sunset at Cascades Park
Erich Martin

The creators of restaurants including Madison Social and Happy Motoring are setting their sights on a new project.

A woman sits at a wooden bench outdoors. She's holding a tablet in her hands (undated)
@rawpixel / Unsplash

October is National Cyber Security Awareness month and it comes in the wake of attacks on local and state governments that have cost millions to fix. Now business and state leaders are urging Floridians to get smart about their online protection.

Ryan Dailey / WFSU-FM

E-scooters will keep zipping around Tallahassee, for at least the next six months. The City Commission has voted to extend its initial pilot program. It would have ended in mid-October, but will now last until March of 2020.

Tom Flanigan

Tallahassee City Manager Reese Goad says the local airport has just received a $1.77 million grant from the Federal Aviation Administration.

Ryan Dailey / WFSU-FM

The Florida Blockchain Task Force held its inaugural meeting Monday. Blockchain technology is a means of recordkeeping for online transactions through distributed record sharing. That makes the transactions more impervious to tampering.

Cannabis farm

The rise of CBD has taken the state by storm. It’s being advertised on storefronts, billboards, and online, in lotions, drinks, and candies. It comes from Hemp, which was made legal in Florida with the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill.

A sign inside a shop says "Come in, we're open."
Richard Balog/Unsplash

Florida is among the worst states for companies being sued, according to a new Harris Poll.

The 2019 Lawsuit Climate Survey ranks the states on how business executives feel about the fairness of state court systems – and Florida ranks 46th.

Gillian Flaccus / AP Photo

Florida’s Cannabis Director Holly Bell says permits for growing hemp could be issued at the start of the coming year.

In this Wednesday, July 24, 2019 photo, the container ship Hansa Augsburg is shown docked at PortMiami in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Wilfredo Lee / AP Photo

Florida’s top economists are anticipating an economic slowdown in 2020, but that doesn't mean a recession is on the horizon.

AR-15's on a wall rack.
Blaise Gainey / WFSU-FM

A proposed assault weapons ban would prohibit all semi-automatic shotguns and rifles that are capable of holding more than 10 rounds. State economists say that would affect around 71 percent of rifles and half of shotguns. Charlie Strickland, CEO of Talon Training Group, says it’d be a big hit to his business.

Young woman holding an iphone. She has light nail polish and a silver watch.
Photo by Paul Hanaoka on Unsplash

The 850 area code is expected to run out of phone numbers by 2022. Now, state officials are meeting with experts to decide what’s next. North American Numbering Plan Administrator oversees numbers for the United States, Canada, and some Caribbean countries. The group’s Heidi Wyman says the community will need a new area code.

Ryan Dailey / WFSU-FM

Legislators representing Wakulla County heard from its residents on Tuesday about their priorities for the coming legislative session. One of the hot issues of the night was the creation of an airport authority.

Inside of a mall with very few shoppers.
Marcin Kempa/Unsplash

Analysts say chances are increasing that Florida will enter a recession soon.

“Currently, Florida’s probability of being in a recession in the next 9 months is 34.2%,” says Florida Chamber Foundation Chief Economist Jerry Parrish.

The number is from The Florida Scorecard, the chamber foundation’s online tool that identifies and tracks key metrics important to Florida’s economy.

Ryan Dailey / WFSU-FM

A lawsuit has been filed against the City of Tallahassee, claiming it didn’t follow its own procedure for closing two public roads.

Parking Garage and construction site of proposed Washington Square building.
Robbie Gaffney / WFSU-FM

The Washington Square project should be back underway soon after the city of Tallahassee officials approved a settlement with the developers.

Tom Flanigan

A big part of solving the homeless problem is simply having more low-cost housing available. Now an old Tallahassee apartment complex has been reborn with that mission in mind.

domi station
Lydell Rawls

When it comes to awards, people who start and grow their own businesses are often overlooked. A Tallahassee new business incubator now aims to change that.

Parking Garage and construction site of proposed Washington Square building.
Robbie Gaffney / WFSU-FM

Companies invested in building Tallahassee’s first and only four-star hotel may back out if construction doesn’t start back up soon. The development of Washington Square started in August of 2018 and was expected to be finished by September of 2020. The project is stalled because Fairmont Tallahassee LLC, the projects landowner is in disagreement with the City of Tallahassee over a parking easement.

The paper mill is in the background of the image. Smoke rolls off the mill's tower toward a giant field in front of the plant.
Robie, Ray W. / Florida Memory Project

Big changes are coming to North Port St. Joe and not everyone is onboard.

Ryan Dailey / WFSU-FM

Gadsden County officials say the expansion of a new wood treatment facility represents new jobs and an influx of new revenue. The county’s development council courted the company with incentives.