The Sunshine Economy

The Sunshine Economy
10:30 pm
Sun February 23, 2014

Big Sugar's Influence Stretches From South Florida To Washington

Sugar companies get money from taxpayers through the U.S. Farm Bill. In turn, those companies pay a privilege tax to help clean up the environmental damage caused by sugar farming.
Credit africa/freedigitalphotos.net

Sugar is one of the biggest special interests in Tallahassee. More sugar comes from Florida than anywhere else in the country. 

It’s grown in a 700,000-acre region between Lake Okeechobee and the Everglades known as the Everglades Agricultural Area. (Actual farming acreage, which includes other crops, is 470,000 because of conservation areas and other projects.) 

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Sunshine Economy
5:48 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

From College Dropout To Multimillionaire: 5 Questions For CEO Don Peebles

Credit Courtesy of Don Peebles

 

When he was visiting South Florida in the winter of 1996, developer R. Donahue Peebles read an article in the Miami Herald about a rundown hotel on Miami Beach called the Shorecrest. Over the next several years, Peebles would combine that property with one next door and create the Royal Palm, the first convention-class hotel on Miami Beach owned by an African-American.   

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The Sunshine Economy
2:47 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

5 Questions For Invizio's Kevin Michael: South Florida 'Fiercely Competitive'

Invizio co-founder Kevin Michael says South Florida is not all fun-in-the-sun and is more competitive than some might think.
Credit Tom Hudson

 

In our 5 Questions series, we ask local entrepreneurs and CEOs how they got where they are and what they think of the business community in South Florida.   

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The Sunshine Economy
11:41 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Learning At The Cash Register: 5 Questions For CEO Suzan McDowell

Suzan McDowell, President and CEO of Circle of One Marketing, tells us about lessons she's learned in her career.
Credit Tom Hudson

As a regular digital feature of the Sunshine Economy, we'll be asking local CEOs how they got where they are and what they think of the business community in South Florida.  

Suzan McDowell is the President and CEO of Circle of One Marketing, a public-relations and community-outreach firm. A Jamaican-American, Suzan was named one of South Florida’s top 50 Most Powerful Black Business Leaders of 2013 by Legacy Magazine and the Miami Herald.

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The Sunshine Economy
6:30 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Doing Business While Black

South Florida business owners: (from top right) Felecia Hatcher of Feverish Pops, Adrian Foster of Foster Construction, Suzan McDowell of Circle of One Marketing and Kevin Michael of Invizio
Credit Tom Hudson

The quartet pictured above own and operate their businesses.  Some may consider them black businesses.  Some may not.  But they all operate in a commerce climate in South Florida that has been partially shaped by an economic boycott 24 years ago. In 1990, South Florida’s tourism industry was boycotted by blacks for three years.

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Sunshine Economy
8:07 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Staring Into The Sunshine Economy: Tourism And Business In South Florida

South Florida's two ports expect trade and tourism to pick up the pace in 2014
Credit Tom Hudson / WLRN

The dawn of a new year brings with it new promises and old challenges.  

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The Sunshine Economy
6:33 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

What Don't You Like About Yourself?

At the intersection of religion and science. Plastic surgeon Dr. Michael Salzhauer in his office on Bay Harbor Islands. The Orthodox Jew attracted controversy after producing a video mocking Jewish stereotypes.
Credit Tom Hudson

Between our finances, fitness, beauty, working -- even our souls. We can spend thousands of dollars on making ourselves better. The self-help business is booming: from personal trainers to plastic surgery, how are we spending money to help ourselves?

Americans spent almost $12 billion on the self-help industry in 2012, according to independent market research firm MarketData.  Diet, exercise, motivational speakers, help-yourself books and other strategies are aimed at making us feel better, eat better, be better.  It is the business of better.  And business is good.

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The Sunshine Economy
2:46 pm
Mon December 23, 2013

The Reality Of Retail

Owner Lauren Reskin of Miami's Sweat Records.

This program originally aired on Aug. 26, 2013.  

If you've wandered the hallways of the Dadeland or Aventura Malls or walked down Lincoln Road in Miami Beach on a Sunday afternoon, you know shopping in South Florida can be a full contact sport.

South Florida is home to both the biggest outlet mall in the United States (Sawgrass Mills) and the shopping destination generating the highest sales per square foot in the world (Bal Harbour Shops.) The reality of retail is a reflection of two of our most important industries; real estate and tourism.

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The Sunshine Economy
2:20 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

ENCORE: The Sunshine Economy On Agriculture

Credit Tom Hudson

Click play to hear Tom Hudson host this episode of WLRN's ongoing radio and online series, The Sunshine Economy, airing Mondays at 9:00 a.m. on WLRN 91.3 FM.

Squeezed between South Florida's neighborhoods and the Everglades is a multi-billion-dollar-a-year industry. Tomatoes, beans and avocados all sprout from the rocky South Florida soil along with one of the largest nursery industries growing trees, shrubs and other landscaping plants.

Agriculture generates a direct $700 million dollars a year in Miami-Dade County alone. The economic impact of the plowing, growing and picking of those crops is much larger.

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Books
8:15 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Creating The Public Library For The Future

Credit Miami Book Fair International

Miami-Dade County Public Libraries have a big financial hole to fill. In order to stave off closing branches and laying off dozens of employees, the Miami-Dade County Commission this year raided the library's reserve fund. That will leave an estimated $20 million deficit in the next fiscal year. In order to generate ideas for the library of the future, library director Raymond Santiago has gathered together a task force with "everything on the table." That means the possibility of higher taxes to support public libraries.

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The Sunshine Economy
10:29 pm
Sun December 1, 2013

High-Priced Art Is Booming: The Business of Basel

Credit Christie's

  

Sale 2791. Lot 8A. "Three Studies of Lucien Freud." $142.4 million.

On the evening of Nov. 12 at Rockefeller Center in New York City, the 1969 oil painting on canvas by Francis Bacon set a record price for publicly auctioned art. Its auction price may bode well for those hoping the upcoming Art Basel Miami Beach will lead to big business. But even if there are no nine-figure sale prices, a rebounding housing market and rallying stock market are expected to lift the spirits, and possibly prices, of the business around Basel.

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The Sunshine Economy
3:40 pm
Mon November 25, 2013

Buy And Borrow: Books And Libraries In South Florida

Credit Chloe Herring / WLRN

Only a few months ago, several public libraries in Miami-Dade County were targeted for closure. They were spared thanks to some last-minute financial rearranging of the county's annual budget. But the threat and budgetary maneuver sparked outrage first and now study of the role of public libraries in our modern-information society.

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The Sunshine Economy
8:11 am
Thu November 21, 2013

Philanthropy In Education: Help Getting Started

Donor May Jean Wolff meets Thamara Jean, a recipient of Broward College's Wolff scholarship.
Credit Tom Hudson / WLRN

Giving for educational purposes is a popular choice. It's second only to religious donations. According to Giving USA, Americans donated $41.3 billion to educational institutions in 2012. That is a 7-percent increase from the previous year.

May Jean Wolff and her husband Lou have been part of the Fort Lauderdale community since the 1950s. As Lou's career as an architect flourished, the two wanted to give back. They started by donating money for scholarships to Broward College.

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The Sunshine Economy
7:54 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Underwater Real Estate

This chart from NOAA shows the monthly mean sea level in Miami Beach. The data does not include the regular seasonal fluctuations due to coastal ocean temperatures, salinities, winds, atmospheric pressures, and ocean currents. The long-term trend lines are designed by NOAA to indicate a 95% confidence level of the trend.

  

The dream of South Florida real estate is beachside.  The marquee properties along our beaches attract global attention and eye-popping prices.  But as studies from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration have found, sea levels in South Florida have risen about nine inches in the past century.  Today's beachside may be the next century's underwater property.

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The Sunshine Economy
6:30 am
Mon November 4, 2013

Joanna's Team Holds Their Own Against Grocery Goliaths

Two generations of Ledermans running Joanna's Marketplace in Miami.
Credit Tom Hudson

Late August 1992 was going to be a memorable time for Joanna Lederman, her husband Alan and sons John and Michael. They had spent the spring and summer getting ready to open a new independent grocery market.  After all the product testing, tastings, employee training, inventory stocking, marketing and other work to get a new business off the ground, they were all set.  

Joanna's Marketplace was going to open for the first time on South Dixie Highway in Miami on August 24, 1992. Then Hurricane Andrew hit South Florida.

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