The Sunshine Economy

9 a.m. and 7 p.m. Mondays

The Sunshine Economy, takes a fresh look at the key industries transforming South Florida into a regional powerhouse. From investments in health care, storm preparedness, international trade, real estate and technology based start-ups, tune in to learn more about one of the worlds most vibrant and diverse economies.

Tom Hudson
Credit WLRN

Tom Hudson

With record tourism comes big business, but you won’t find a front desk at one of the largest lodging groups in the state - Airbnb.

The home-sharing network has almost 33,000 hosts in Florida, generating millions of dollars for it and the hosts, basically property owners who rent a room, home or a condo for a few days to a visitor. The company calls it a short-term rental and insists it is not in competition with the hotel business.

The traditional hotel business is growing in South Florida. Here's what 2016 looked like for hotels in Miami-Dade and Broward counties:

Tom Hudson

South Florida home prices continued climbing in 2016 even as the pace of sales slowed, especially for condominiums.

Tom Hudson

As the 2017 state legislative session approaches, lawmakers and Gov. Rick Scott already have been talking about their shopping lists of new ideas about how to spend taxpayers' money. There’s a laundry list of big issues legislators will need to address during their session: the death penalty, concealed carry, gambling. But there is no larger issue than the budget. It’s an $82 billion-plus document that dictates how the state spends money.

AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

 

"We need to keep as many weapons out of the airport as possible."

Emilio González knows about weapons at airports. He's a military veteran. He's a concealed weapons permit holder. And he's the boss at Florida's busiest passenger airport -- Miami International Airport.

 

data: Florida Legislature Office of Economic and Demographic Research (Dec. 15, 2016)

The Florida economy may be humming along, but there is a budget problem looming for state lawmakers. In about a year and a half, the state is forecast to see a $1 billion difference between what it collects in taxes and fees and what it spends.That is a $1.3 billion budget hole. Legislators will start tackling the anticipated budget shortfall in their next session before the red ink starts.

Associated Press

What started with a phone call two years ago may end in a tweet early next year.

The changes in the relationship between the U-S and Cuba have been dramatic and quiet, slow and significant since Dec. 17, 2014 when President Barack Obama began a new strategy of engagement with Cuba.

Tom Hudson

If you walk through the right breezeway on Worth Avenue in Palm Beach and into a small courtyard, you’ll see on your right a spiral concrete staircase. It’s painted pink. You can’t miss it. It leads to a single doorway. Inside is about 2,000 square feet split into four rooms. This is home the Gavlak Gallery.

Sarah Gavlak began her gallery in 2005 and was chosen to show works at the next Art Basel (2006) in a shipping container on the beach. She has been back every year since, including the fair that wrapped up this past Sunday.

Tom Hudson

Fidel Castro may be dead, but his shadow lurks over the Cuban economy even as it absorbs -- oftentimes resists -- the biggest changes in its relationship with the U.S. in more than a half century. At the same time, a new American president-elect has promised to extract more freedoms and restitution from Cuba if the new economic engagement is to continue. The Sunshine Economy looks at this double challenge in the economic dealings between South Florida and the island.

 

 

Tom Hudson

During the Great Recession, the cruise industry canceled or postponed building and introducing new cruise liners trying to conserve cash as passenger traffic was hurt by the sour economy. Now, those ships are entering the oceans and many of them have South Florida ports of call.

 

While America has experienced a peaceful transition between presidents 44 times, there has never been a president-elect quite like Donald Trump.

 

For his supporters, including the 4.6 million Floridians who voted for him, Trump represents a change. Not just a change in which political party controls the White House, but a repudiation of decades of the political class on both sides of the aisle.

 

Like mangoes, snowbirds and hurricanes, even health insurance has a season and this is it -- open enrollment season. This is the time many companies give their employees a window to check out any changes to health care insurance plans, including how much more it will cost. It’s also the time Obamacare health insurance plans open on the federal government’s Healthcare.gov site for the 28 states using it, including Florida.

 

courtsey: Donald Goldberg

An adult aedes aegypti mosquito measures about six millimeters. That’s roughly a quarter of an inch. Yet for weeks this summer, it looked to threaten a $26 billion a year industry that underpins the South Florida economy -- tourism.

The bug remains a big public health worry -- so much so the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still recommends that pregnant women stay away from all of Miami-Dade County -- but it in its early months, hasn’t hurt tourism.

Brutal

But try telling that to Donald Goldberg, manager of the Wynwood Diner.

The Sunshine Economy: Haiti, Help And Hurricane Matthew

Oct 24, 2016
Rowan Moore Gerety

Drive down on Lucy Street in Homestead, take a right at a school painted pink, then a left at the stop sign and you will find yourself surrounded by Haitians in a horseshoe-shaped apartment complex. They've come to Homestead, most of them from Southern Haiti, the same mountainous peninsula that was hit by Hurricane Matthew Oct. 4.

Tom Hudson

Through all the tawdry talk, accusations and innuendo during this election American voters have been consistent in saying the economy is their big issue.

 

The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, which includes South Florida in its territory, quizzed 200 companies throughout the region. One out of three of them said the election was having an effect on their business decisions such as investing in their companies or hiring new workers.

 

athrasher/flickr

Floridians are anxious. Even after several years of job growth, most are worried about the economy. Two out of three Floridians say they are financially stressed. For those with a child at home, or living in South Florida, odds are even higher.

Pages