Florida Trend | Florida's Business Authority

Friday's Afternoon Update

Need a job? Florida’s state government has plenty available — too many, in fact  

While Gov. Ron DeSantis tours the country asking voters to look to Florida as proof of his results-oriented governing style, extensive worker shortages are quietly hobbling some of the regular functions of his state government. Federal data show that employees left Florida’s state government at a much higher rate in recent years than the national average and the state has significantly lagged behind in spending federal dollars designed to help mitigate the exodus. More from the Tampa Bay Timesand the Miami Herald.

Few St. Petersburg employees qualify for city rental assistance program

A rental assistance program created to help certain low-wage city employees who are required to live in the city but struggle to afford it has only served 23 employees. After the City Council approved the program last summer, it launched in October with a $1.47 million budget. It was supposed to help up to 253 employees under the residency requirement. But since then, just 11.5% of that funding has been committed to the employees it was supposed to help. More from the Tampa Bay Times.

Orlando prepares for downtown autonomous bus test

Later this summer, Orlando plans to launch a fare-free autonomous bus that will circle parts of Parramore, Creative Village and link to Lynx’s downtown bus station. Last month the City Council signed off on a funding agreement with the region’s bus service to launch the driverless pilot. The $500,000 test is planned to start in late August and run through April. The bus route is along Garland Avenue, Amelia Street, Terry Avenue and Livingston Street on what is LYMMO’s normal Orange Route. The agreement calls for Lake-Nona-based Beep to provide two autonomous buses, each holding at least eight riders. More from the Orlando Sentinel.

Jacksonville Mayor-elect Donna Deegan says infrastructure, permitting fixes would help business

In her first address to the NAIOP Commercial Real Estate Development Association Northeast Florida Chapter as mayor-elect, Donna Deegan said June 8 that neglected infrastructure and slow permitting should no longer be a barrier to private development in Jacksonville. Deegan told the private-sector development professionals at The River Club Downtown that she wants to increase the number of employees in the city’s Office of General Counsel focused on permits and contracts, as well as fix the city’s roads, sidewalks and drainage. More from the Jacksonville Daily Record.

The Messi effect: With superstar on way, is DRV PNK big enough for Inter Miami?

Now that soccer superstar Lionel Messi is coming to play for Inter Miami, some are wondering whether the team will keep on playing at Fort Lauderdale’s DRV PNK suddenly-too-small stadium. Messi, considered by many to be the greatest player of all time, is sure to bring in big crowds when he joins the team, possibly as soon as July. But DRV PNK only has 18,000 seats. And the owners of Inter Miami — who include soccer legend David Beckham and billionaire construction tycoon Jorge Mas — have yet to break ground on their long-planned, 25,000-seat stadium in Miami. More from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Business BeatBusiness Beat - Week of June 9th

Get top news-to-know with Florida Trend's headline-focused video news brief, hosted by digital content specialist Aimée Alexander.


Out of the Box
No swimming in pants? No tables on the sand? Here are some South Florida beach rules you may not know about

It seems like it should not be a challenge: Load the folding chairs into the car, head for the beach, find a place to park and set up on the sand. But beaches have an assortment of weird rules that sand lovers could unknowingly violate. No tables allowed next to your beach chairs? No business transactions in the sand? Cigars are OK, but not cigarettes? Who thinks of these things?

» Read more from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.