Florida Trend | Florida's Business Authority

Wednesday's Daily Pulse

Credit card debt reaches record high: How it's impacting Florida

A Federal Reserve report shows credit card debt reached a record high in the U.S. That report shows credit card debt rose nearly 5% in the third quarter of 2023 to reach a high of $1.08 trillion. That $1.08 trillion is pandemic-related debt. As people were uncertain about jobs, income, and the future of the economy, many racked up credit card charges to help them stay afloat. [Source: WFTS]

Statewide grand jury calls for ways to curb illegal immigration in Florida

A statewide grand jury has issued a 146-page report that calls for taking a series of steps to try to curb illegal immigration, saying “it will be up to Florida and other states to help themselves, at least in the short term,” as problems go unsolved at the federal level. The report, posted Monday on the Florida Supreme Court website, includes calling for further attempts to crack down on businesses that hire undocumented immigrants, probing non-government organizations and collecting fees on transfers of money from Florida to other countries. [Source: News Service of Florida]

Do you or your business have unclaimed, lost property? Search nearly $3 billion worth of assets, items

The Holiday Money Hunt 2023 is underway with a total of $2.9 billion in unclaimed property accounts in the Sunshine State. Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis announced the start of the annual initiative meant to give back to Floridians during the holiday season. Since 2017 when the CFO took office, over $2 billion in unclaimed property has been returned to its rightful owners. [Source: CBS 12]

Column: Cybersecurity is a critical, often overlooked, issue for Florida's Hispanic business owners

With Hispanic Americans being the fastest-growing demographic in the United States, it’s no surprise that they make up more than 5 million businesses around the country, adding $800 billion to the economy and serving as a significant force to U.S. economic health and prosperity. Cybersecurity is becoming one of the major threats challenging small-business owners. In fact, small businesses account for 43% of cyberattacks annually and 46% of cyberattacks were small businesses with 1,000 or fewer employees. [Source: Florida Politics]

Can you guess which Florida city is No. 2 in the U.S. for people who work from home?

Five Florida cities were among the Top 50 for people who are still working from home at least some of the time, according to a report by Rent. The report looked at how the COVID-19 pandemic changed the American workplace, reducing the number of people who go into an office every day. [Source: Florida Today]

The power of value

At Tampa Electric, value means offering our customers innovative solutions that benefit all the communities we serve with an emphasis on affordability, reliability and sustainability. We have a vision to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050. To reach this goal, we’re investing in plant modernization and renewable energy pilot projects. [Sponsored report]


› L3Harris selling commercial aviation business for $800 million to focus on defense sector
Melbourne-based high-tech and defense company L3Harris Technologies has reached a deal to sell its commercial aviation business for $800 million to an affiliate of the equity firm TJC. L3Harris said the deal is part of its efforts to focus more on defense sector and to reduce debt from previous acquisitions.

› Air taxi reality moves a step closer in Miami
Imagine business travelers taking an electric air taxi from the airport to their convention center hotel. Commuters could use them to hop over the traffic jams to get from the suburbs to downtown Miami or Fort Lauderdale. It could be popular with visitors (and locals) wanting to hit the beach or go to a concert or event. There are still many regulatory hoops to get through, but so-called Urban Air Mobility in Miami could be closer than we think.

› Tampa Bay charities struggle to retain holiday season volunteers
After the Thanksgiving food pantry donations taper off and the holiday toy drives end, the new year rolls around and people return to their busy schedules. For Thomas Mantz, president and CEO of Feeding Tampa Bay, Jan. 2 kicks off the most difficult time of year for the local nonprofit.

› South Florida ranks No. 1 U.S. region for credit card fraud, FTC data shows
South Florida has been coined the credit card scam capital of the nation this year. That's according to U.S. Federal Trade Commission data analyzed by BackgroundChecks.org that found the Miami-Port. St. Lucie-Fort Lauderdale metropolitan area ranked No. 1 for credit card fraud with about 333 credit card fraud reports per 100,000 people and 20,386 reports filed so far this year.

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› Sarasota alcohol spirits company seeks $2.5M in funding
Bushwacker Spirits has been growing since it was founded in 2019, most recently with a expansion into 10 states, added products and a $2.5 million funding round. The expansion to sell its products in other states has proven difficult, as each state has its own set of alcohol sales rules.

› 'This kind of progress the city needs': Fort Pierce business owner welcomes new commercial project
The landscape in Downtown Fort Pierce is about to change. Construction on the King's Landing development, which is located between Second Street and Indian River Drive, is about to get underway now that the permits are in, and digging is in progress. Realtor Brooke Harris is the director of sales for King's Landing. Harris said the development is one of the most exciting on the Treasure Coast and will totally change the infrastructure in Downtown Fort Pierce.

› USDA files action against Florida business for alleged PACA violations
The USDA has filed an administrative complaint against Cantero Produce Corp. for alleged violations of the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act. The company, operating from Florida, allegedly failed to make payment promptly to two produce sellers in the amount of $412,050 from August 2022 through September 2022.

› Titusville hopes to tap drinking water settlement on 'forever chemicals'
Titusville plans to test the city's wells for "forever chemicals" toward the prospect of tapping into multi-billion legal settlements involving more than 300 local governments seeking reimbursement for costs to cleanse those chemicals from municipal drinking water. It's uncertain how much Titusville might get, but other cities anticipate millions to remove "forever chemicals" from their drinking water systems.