business

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.

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.

tampabay.com

Florida’s Senate Gaming Committee held its first public workshop recently to hear local perspectives about the future of gambling in the state as well as the potential social and economic impact expanded gaming would have on South Florida.

Early last year, state lawmakers shot down a bill to allow major casinos in South Florida. But now they’re reconsidering that decision, and possibly changing other state laws on gambling --- and that has plenty of people concerned.

Tom Hudson

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.

Karen Rundlet

The store you probably spend the most time in isn’t a boutique or a department store. I’ll bet, over the course of a year, it’s the supermarket. 

On average, supermarket customers shop for groceries twice a week and spend about $100. In South Florida, Publix is the marketshare leader – dominating with close to 250 stores. Winn Dixie is second. And then, we have Walmart and Sedano’s.

While each chain is distinct in terms of pricing and store environment, there are commonalities in how many of them are designed, said Paco Underhill, a consultant and author who studies the science of how people shop all over the world.

Last year, the U.S. government took Apple to court, charging that the company illegally drove up the price of e-books. This summer, Apple lost the case.

In France, just the opposite is happening. The French government has accused Amazon of trying to push the price of physical books too low.

Limiting discounts on books is one of the ways that France is trying to ensure the survival of its independent booksellers.

New Amazon Centers Will Add Sales Tax To Florida Purchases

Oct 25, 2013
Flickr

The confirmation by Amazon.com that it will build a pair of massive "fulfillment" centers along the Interstate 4 corridor means that sometime in the next two years Floridians will have to start paying sales taxes on purchases from the online retail giant.

But even with Amazon eventually joining other businesses located in Florida in collecting the state's sales tax, some groups will continue pushing to eliminate an exemption that has allowed out-of-state online retailers including eBay and Overstock to avoid the tax.

Peter Andrew Bosch / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

It’s entirely appropriate that Makers Square is a work in progress.

The grounds surrounding the brick-red building are covered with projects under construction, including large aquaponic planters built from pallets for herbs and fruit trees.

Nine shipping containers are being repurposed as classrooms, a pottery studio, a photography studio and rentable individual workspaces. Also in the plans: The roofs of those containers will be covered with gardens.

Cuba will end the two-currency system it has used for nearly 20 years. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Cuba has used either American currency or a peso that's pegged to the dollar alongside its national peso.

The monetary unification will phase out a system that has become a symbol of exclusivity and foreign wealth. Many products that are imported into the country can be bought only with the dollar-based convertible peso. But most Cubans are paid in the standard peso, which is worth just a fraction of the other currency.

C.W. Griffin / Miami Herald Staff

Arriving in South Florida, visitors from Spain might feel as if they’ve never left the Iberian Peninsula.

Karen Rundlet

Miami Dade, Broward and Palm Beach. All three counties beat the national average when it comes to the number of homes that have foreign language speakers.

We already know that local polling places offer ballots in English, Spanish, Creole. And that business is conducted in those three languages.

But in recent years, it’s Portuguese that has established itself as a new language of commerce.

Carolina Pinho is Brazilian. She moved to South Florida more than 20 years ago.

Port Everglades On Florida's Short List For $35M In Investment Upgrades

Oct 17, 2013
Ed Webster/Flickr

Port Canaveral, Port Everglades and the Port of Tampa are in line to receive $35 million next year to expand their facilities through a state program for strategic port investments.

As part of an effort to position the state's 15 seaports as a single global shipping hub, Gov. Rick Scott announced Wednesday he will recommend that the Legislature allocate the money to the projects. The announcement came during an appearance at the American Association of PortAuthorities convention in Orlando.

Trina Sargalski

Friday, Oct. 18, is the day diehard Trader Joe's fans  in Miami have waited for. After opining on "Bring Trader Joe's to Miami" Facebook pages or making a two-hour drive to the closest Trader Joe's location in Naples, Miami's Trader Joe's devotees now have their own store at 9205 S.

Chloe Herring

Shoe enthusiasts gathered recently at the Bank United Center on the campus of the University of Miami for SneakerCon.

The event allows vendors and guests to buy, sell and trade their “kicks.” It's also a hot place to check out the shoe scene in Miami.

Arthur Williams, 19, attended the event to buy shoes and noticed various kinds of interests.

“You’ve got ‘hypebeasts’ and people that just want to buy shoes. But me and my friend -- we’re real ‘sneakerheads.’ We’ve been in this since ninth grade,” said Williams.

Miami To NY Hedge Funds: We’re Ready For You Now

Oct 14, 2013
CARL JUSTE / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

Miami hopes to lure hedge funds out of New York with an updated twist on a familiar message: Come south for warm winters, zero state or city income tax and -- finally -- a downtown worthy of Wall Street’s elite.

“It’s really showing the maturity of our city,’’ said Nitin Motwani, a Miami developer and board member of the Downtown Development Authority. “The more people get familiar with what is happening in Miami — the real Miami — the more people are going to say, ‘I’m going to give Miami a shot.”

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