Florida Trend | Florida's Business Authority

Monday's Daily Pulse

Florida's citrus production lowest in eight decades

With the state pouring millions of dollars into research and marketing efforts, Florida’s citrus industry is approaching the end of the 2021-2022 growing season with its lowest production since around the start of World War II. The U.S. Department of Agriculture released a report Friday that estimated Florida growers will fill 44.75 million boxes of oranges, grapefruit and specialty crops during the soon-to-end season, down more than 22 percent from the previous season. [Source: News Service of Florida]

Florida leads nation in COVID deaths, CDC data shows

Florida’s coronavirus death toll rose faster in the past week than any other state, though that increase was among the state’s smallest since the pandemic started. Federal data shows the state added 262 victims since the state Health Department’s last COVID-19 report published June 3. That’s the highest seven-day increase since mid-April, but lower than most weeks. Immunity from vaccinations and prior infections, along with new antiviral treatments, have helped stop severe illness. More from the  Sarasota Herald-Tribune and the Orlando Sentinel.

Reinsurance industry surges in annual premiums

The topic of reinsurance, while it received some attention during the recent Florida Legislative Special Session for insurance reform, isn’t normally a headline grabber. But its presence in the background belies its influence on the entire insurance industry. Called "insurance of insurance companies," by the Reinsurance Association of America, the idea is to have insurers spread the risk so no one company is over-exposed to a disaster or event. And while the insurance sector in Florida lies in limbo over how new reforms will shake out, the reinsurance side of the business is enjoying a growth spurt. [Source: Business Observer]

Astra Space fails to deliver NASA’s hurricane-tracking satellites to orbit

Astra Space suffered another failure in its attempt to perform a successful launch from the Space Coast on Sunday when its second stage could not put two NASA satellites into proper orbit. While the Alameda, California-based company was able to launch its Rocket 3.3 from Space Launch Complex 46 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, the mission proved unsuccessful, the second time the company has come up short from Florida. “We had a nominal first-stage flight however the upper stage engine did shut down early and we did not deliver our payloads to orbit,” said Astra Space Director of Product Management Carolina Grossman. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]


Special session on gun issues rejected

Democratic lawmakers fell well short Friday of getting enough votes to force a special legislative session on gun violence. Only 19 Republican lawmakers responded to a formal poll on holding the session, with all of them voting against the idea. Meanwhile, 57 Democrats supported a special session. [Source: News Service of Florida]


› South Florida tourism will keep rising as U.S. drops COVID tests for international fliers
South Florida’s tourism industry got a major lift on Friday after the U.S. government pledged to drop COVID testing requirements for international travelers flying from foreign cities. The requirement called for U.S.-bound passengers to take a COVID-19 test within a day before boarding their flights. It was one of the last remaining government mandates designed to contain the spread of the coronavirus. The change is viewed by travel industry leaders as a critical move toward restoring a key missing link that had been dogging airlines, airports and cities reliant on tourism for more than two years.

› How the Radio Mambí sale escalated the fight over Miami’s Spanish-language airwaves
It was once through the microphones of Radio Mambí, Miami’s premier Spanish-language radio station, that Republican campaign operatives and personalities helped the GOP stop Miami-Dade County’s recount of the 2000 presidential election. In what contributed to the movie-like protest at the Stephen P. Clark Government Center downtown, Mambí’s anchors helped stir fears of a power grab happening right under their noses — something that could have emerged from Fidel Castro’s Cuba.

› Dunedin credit union launches bitcoin services for members
Thanks to a partnership with NYDIG, a cryptocurrency firm, Achieva Credit Union members can now make bitcoin transactions on the Dunedin-based financial institution’s mobile app. In a news release about the deal, Achieva says it’s the first Florida credit union to provide cryptocurrency trading services to its members.

› Jacksonville's century-old Federal Reserve, Baptist Convention buildings getting new life with restaurants, apartments
With patience and attention to detail, crews are painstakingly restoring the century-old historic Federal Reserve Bank Building and renovating the adjacent Florida Baptist Convention building — a project that will bring new retail, restaurant and residential space to the heart of downtown Jacksonville.

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› Darryl Shaw isn’t afraid to take risks. His biggest might be in Ybor City.
Darryl Shaw isn’t an open book. The 56-year-old is polite, but reserved. He pauses before he answers questions. Friendly, yes. A gregarious back-slapper? No. When asked why he chose Ybor City to risk the bulk of a fortune made in veterinary surgery and specialty care, Shaw talks about Ybor’s diverse, tight-knit historical community of Italians, Cubans and Spaniards who walked to work in the cigar factories generations ago.

› 67th Space Coast Honor Flight takes veterans to Washington
The journey began in the middle of the night Saturday as 30 Space Coast veterans and their guardians gathered at Wickham Park Senior Center. At 3 a.m., riding on two chartered buses with a police and motorcycle escort, the veterans left the center bound for Orlando International Airport. It was the 67th Space Coast Honor Flight taking veterans to the service memorials in Washington, D.C. The group included a 98-year-old World War II veteran, six Korean War veterans and 22 Vietnam War vets. Eight of the veterans were women.

› South Florida investors pays $38 million for eight Jacksonville buildings
The Easton Group announced June 10 it and Rialto Capital formed a joint venture to pay $38 million for a 335,000-square-foot portfolio of light industrial real estate primarily in South Jacksonville and West Jacksonville. Mac Easton, a partner in North Florida-based Pine Street Partners, and C.J. Easton, an acquisition principal with Doral-based Easton Group, arranged the off-market transaction. Mark Wainwright of Pine Street RPS brokered the deal.

› Tampa nonprofit needs help finding new home after rent spike
Local non profit Mujeres Restauradas por Dios, or Women Restored by God, has been distributing food and helping people in need for eight years. This year, a financial blow could cause an abrupt end: The landlord of the premises that the group occupies at 4310 N Nebraska Ave. has told them he could terminate their contract if they do not pay the new rental price of $3,000 per month.