business and development

two pillows on a bed near a window
Nik Lanús / Unsplash

Florida’s Emergency Response Team is collaborating with the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association to gauge how hotels could help with the state’s response to the coronavirus. The organizations are polling hotels owners to find out whether they would be willing to house first responders and people wishing to self-quarantine. Officials are also looking into the option of asking hotels to open up beds for Covid-19 patients should a shortage arise in hospitals.

WCOT television

Tallahassee and Leon County’s intergovernmental agency Blueprint 2000 has approved a local stimulus package for small businesses.

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Tallahassee and Leon County’s intergovernmental agency, Blueprint 2000, is holding a meeting Wednesday afternoon at 1 p.m. to discuss how local government can help small businesses amid closures brought on by COVID-19. Restaurants, bars and gyms are among the establishments that have been either severely restricted, in the case of restaurants to takeout or delivery only, or outright closing.

Black and white close up of a Wall Street traffic sign
Rick Tap/Unsplash

As the stock market plummets amid coronavirus fears, retirement accounts have also plunged.

Certified Financial Planner Terri Jackson has seen 30 years of economic roller coasters. As president of Jackson Financial Group in Tallahassee, she’s handling many clients who want to buy into the market now that stocks are available at deep discounts.

shallow focus photography of red and white for hire signage
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The COVID-19 pandemic is creating unprecedented demands for help on virtually every government service in Florida. At the top of the list is the state unemployment assistance program, which is widely regarded as one of the stingiest of any state. 

Ripe City Urban Farm

Local farmers are struggling to cope with changes brought on by Covid-19. For some, business is booming, but for others, the outbreak is a nightmare.

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Over the weekend Tallahassee residents participated in Rally for Tally, a campaign to support curbside pickup at local restaurants during the coronavirus pandemic. Restaurants have been one of the harder hit industries. 

Valerie Crowder

Residents and tourists are searching for alternatives after Bay County shutters its beaches. The move follows similar closures up and down Florida's nearly 1,400 miles of coastline.

Man in tee and shirt stand next to giant bus.
Robbie Gaffney / WFSU-FM

Small businesses in Tallahassee are already facing financial impacts from efforts taken to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Ryan Dailey / WFSU-FM

Governor Ron DeSantis issued an executive order Tuesday closing bars and nightclubs statewide for 30 days. WFSU spoke with one bar owner who’s grappling with the uncertainty of her employees’ livelihoods.

Steve Cannon / AP Photo

Controversial legislation mandating public employers use E-Verify, with a carve-out for private employers to use other means of verifying employee’s citizenship status, has passed the Florida legislature. After numerous changes, the measure is a far cry from what some GOP backers wanted.

skyscrapers, palm trees, and sky full of clouds.
Chalo Garcia / Unsplash

For the first time in more than a decade, the Florida Legislature will not take money away from an affordable housing trust fund. This comes as the state faces what some call an affordable housing crisis.

a check out counter with a display of cup cakes, and a chalkboard wall
Kayla Gallagher / WFSU News

The South Monroe, or “SOMO” corridor has added another business: Lucky Goat Coffee. The shop's new, South Adams Street location represents a partnership between two coffee connoisseurs: Lucky Goat and Catalina Café.

Capitol building at night with glowing lights of city.
Erich Martin

A bill that would require public employers to check the immigration status of new hires through E-verify got its first hearing in a House committee Thursday. The issue is a priority of Governor Ron DeSantis but some are questioning why it’s been allowed to languish in the House for so long.

A bearded man wearing an apron smiles at the camera
Tally Mac Shack / Fiore Communications

The Tally Mac Shack got a shout out this week from Florida U.S. Senator Marco Rubio. Rubio declared the comfort-food crafters as the U.S. Small Businesses of the week. The business has grown since its creation in 2017. It’s now got multiple locations and about 30 employees in the city.  

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Who’s going to serve as the local arts agency going forward? That’s one of the issues to be discussed at the upcoming Leon County Commission meeting this coming Tuesday. 

Florida is planning a major expansion of its highways with a series of toll roads that would open new parts of the state to development.

Exactly where the roads will go hasn't been announced yet, but opposition to the highways is growing in rural areas such as Jefferson County in North Florida. Mike Willis' family has lived there since before Florida became a state. He likes to refer to it as "the other Florida."

"Most people think of Florida as palm trees, white sandy beaches," he says. "We have rolling clay hills and beautiful pine forests."

Gundolf Renze / Adobe Stock

If you’ve ever streamed music or browsed the internet during a road trip in Florida, you might have noticed the service can be spotty. Now lawmakers are looking into a plan to increase broadband access for rural communities.

Sen. Ben Albritton (R-Bartow) lives in a rural area and frequently deals with poor internet service.

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Rep. Michael Grant’s bill allowing the state to usurp local governments on licensing for certain jobs is heading to a vote by the full House. Meanwhile, Democrats in the chamber are taking a fine-tooth comb to the measure.

Western Union

Florida lawmakers want to repeal a 113-year old regulation on telegraph companies. Lawmakers say it's long overdue, considering the nation's last official telegraph service closed in 2006.

Black News Channel's Studio
Victoria Dominguez / WFSU

Tallahassee is now the home of a brand new, 24-hour television network. The Black News Channel officially launched Monday and could reach millions of households across the nation.

Ryan Dailey / WFSU-FM

When a child is born, the first months spent with parents can be crucial for development. A bill in Florida’s House and Senate looks to give parents with a newborn paid time off from work – but not everyone is sold on it.

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When someone dies without a will, their land typically goes to family. It becomes so called “heirs' property.” However, if relatives can’t decide what to do with it, families could wind up in court, and the judge could place the land up for auction. Rep. Loranne Ausley (D-Tallahassee) says often this results in families losing their property. So, she’s backing a bill to give courts a framework when dealing with these cases.

Erin Cramer / CollegeTown FSU

It’s been seven years since Tallahassee’s College Town broke ground. Since then, the area has become a weekend hangout and game day destination for students and alumni. But nearly a decade later, was the $100 million project worth it?

Victoria Dominguez

Visit Florida is fighting for its existence after last year’s legislative session brought devastating budget cuts to the tourism agency. However, its pleas for survival aren’t swaying one powerful lawmaker- House Speaker Jose Oliva.