The Sunshine Economy

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

Tom Hudson
Credit WLRN

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.

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The Sunshine Economy
6:37 am
Tue January 28, 2014

Bitcoin in South Florida: Real Business Taking Virtual Money

In Sunset Harbor Antonio Maldonado and Jessica Londono-Sammet are aboard one of the vessels their company, The Advantaged Yacht Charters and Sales, rents out. The business recently began accepting Bitcoin.
Credit Tom Hudson

Bitcoin may not sound revolutionary but to its supporters and users the digital global currency could be the future of payment. To regulators, it's a curiosity they're viewing with concern.  And for a growing number of individuals and companies in South Florida, it's an opportunity to experiment.  

What is it?

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The Sunshine Economy
5:21 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

'It's A New Miami': 5 Questions For Kairos CEO Brian Brackeen

Credit Emily Michot / Miami Herald staff

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.
 

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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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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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The Sunshine Economy
7:57 am
Tue December 10, 2013

Beyond Basel: The Art Market in South Florida

Artist Emmet Moore sits behind his 2013 work Numerical Control Table at Gallery Diet.
Credit Tom Hudson / WLRN

Emmett Moore is a South Florida artist through and through. He grew up in Miami and returned after college. That's when he set out to become an artist full-time. It's still early in his career but so far he's making it work: His work has been exhibited at a few art galleries, including Gallery Diet in Miami's Wynwood neighborhood.

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Perez Art Museum
6:12 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

Perez to PAMM Critics: Maybe Name Doesn't Sound As Familiar

PAMM donor Jorge Perez.
Credit The Related Group

  History was made this week on the shore of Biscayne Bay. The Perez Art Museum Miami enters the world stage with the aim of being among those known by one name: Tate, Whitney, Guggenheim, Smithsonian. The museum gets its name from Jorge Perez, founder, chairman and CEO of real estate development company The Related Group.

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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
8:06 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Giving It Away: Philanthropy In South Florida

Illustration by Tom Hudson

Wednesday is the second annual Give Miami Day. It's an effort by The Miami Foundation to focus charitable giving for local organizations. Miami and South Florida have a history of giving, though our relatively young metropolis may lack the generational giving enjoyed by older, more established areas.

Sanford Ziff, Jorge Perez and the Knight Foundation's Alberto Ibarguen are three who are working to change that.

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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
12:01 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

A Lot Of Dreams Behind New Urban Garden In Dania Beach

An assortment of peppers grown at the Dania Beach urban garden.
Credit Tom Hudson

In the movie Field of Dreams, an Iowan farmer builds a baseball diamond in a cornfield and the ghosts of the disgraced 1919 Chicago White Sox materialize from the stalks.

On a 1.6-acre plot of land in Dania Beach, there's nothing so supernatural taking place. Instead, the community, along with a public-private partnership, have joined together to build an urban garden. They grow vegetables and sell them to neighbors who otherwise have a difficult time finding fresh food near their homes.

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The Sunshine Economy
11:50 am
Mon October 28, 2013

The Sunshine Economy: The Grocery Business

Credit Tom Hudson

Click the play button above and listen to WLRN's hour-long episode, "The Sunshine Economy: The Grocery Business," with host Tom Hudson. The episode is part of an ongoing series examining key industries of the South Florida economy. The show airs Mondays at 9:00 a.m. on 91.3 FM.

Would you pay $12 for this jar of pluot jelly?

It's a combination of apricots and plums. Plenty of people are shelling out the $12 for the 10-ounce jar at independent grocery store Joanna's Marketplace on South Dixie Highway in Miami.

This jelly is just one way the small store looks to compete in an increasingly crowded grocery store industry in South Florida.

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