The Sunshine Economy

The Sunshine Economy
10:42 am
Mon September 23, 2013

The Sunshine Economy: Health Care & Hurricane Insurance

Credit Freedigitalphotos.net

A top hospital CEO promises to say how much his hospital gets paid for procedures. The top hurricane insurance boss warns about his firm’s ability to pay.

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The Sunshine Economy
5:07 pm
Fri September 20, 2013

The Sunshine Economy: Homemade Guacamole

Guacamole made with Florida-grown avocados is on the left.
Credit Tom Hudson

Modern society has separated many of us from our food source. Sure, there are local field-to-table efforts and farmer’s markets, but it’s awful hard to know where all your food comes from.

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The Sunshine Economy
6:00 am
Thu September 19, 2013

The Sunshine Economy: Urban-Rural Dividing Line

An example of the land value differences thanks to the Urban Development Boundary (UDB), according to Jeff Onsted of FIU.
Credit Jeff Onsted / FIU

Two pieces of land in real estate development-hungry South Florida. They are less than two miles apart but more than 10-times the difference in assessed values (see photo above).

The reason: the Urban Development Boundary (UDB) in Miami-Dade County.

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The Sunshine Economy
12:48 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

The Sunshine Economy: Tomato Trade War

Tony DiMare is vice president of DiMare Companies, one of the largest growers of tomatoes in Florida.
Credit Tony DiMare

The juicy red tomato has been the target of an international trade war since the mid-1990s. It pits U.S. tomato growers, including DiMare Company of South Florida, against growers in Mexico.  

RELATED: The Sunshine Economy: Agriculture

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The Sunshine Economy
10:48 am
Thu September 12, 2013

The Sunshine Economy: Underemployed In South Florida

Jay Pellis
Credit Jay Pellis

Jay Pellis is among the thousands of South Floridians who are underemployed. After 18 months of being counted among the unemployed, that's improvement. This week, Pellis began a part-time job teaching GED classes to teenagers and young adults leaving the foster care system. It is the type of work he's done before.

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The Sunshine Economy
11:58 am
Wed September 11, 2013

The Sunshine Economy: MBA But Unemployed, 4 Years And Counting

Ian Kramer
Credit Tom Hudson

Odds are Ian Kramer should be working. He has a MBA from USC. He has experience in the cut throat  world of Miami real estate development. The unemployment rate for someone with his education is half that of the overall level. And real estate is rebounding with several residential high rises sprouting from once dormant stretches of land.

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The Sunshine Economy
11:13 am
Tue September 10, 2013

The Sunshine Economy: The Incredible Shrinking Florida Paycheck

Credit freedigitalphotos.net

Half of the paychecks of Floridians are smaller today than they were in 2004. Thanks to a wicked combination of fewer working hours and the financial erosion of inflation, the median hourly wage in Florida is $0.63 less than what it was eight years ago, according to a recent study by the Research Institute on Social and Economic Policy at Florida International University.

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The Sunshine Economy
12:08 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

The Sunshine Economy: Jobs

Credit Tom Hudson

Ian, Jay and Sal. That's them in the photo on the right. Each of them is an unemployment statistic with a story.

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The Sunshine Economy
6:00 am
Fri August 30, 2013

The Sunshine Economy: Luxury Retail, From Head To Toe To Stomach

Credit Tom Hudson

Jimmy Choo at Sawgrass Mills. Hermes in the Design District. Even Marky's Caviar in Miami Gardens. South Floridians are welcoming luxury retailers with open arms just like Britto's "Welcome" sculpture greets shoppers near Dadeland Station in the photo on the right.

Luxury retailing in South Florida is expanding beyond its traditional glitzy locations and stretching to include not just shoes and accessories, but also shoppers’ appetites.

RELATED: The Sunshine Economy: Retail

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The Sunshine Economy
6:00 am
Thu August 29, 2013

The Sunshine Economy: The Fight For Your Spending

Credit freedigitalphotos.net

Of course you shop online. You're a digital consumer. You're on the Internet right now. You are a savvy shopper, looking for the right product at the right price and you want it fast and easy. Point, click, buy.

But you're in the minority. The vast majority of retail sales across the nation take place at brick and mortar stores. While Americans spend about $1 trillion per quarter in the retail industry, only a nickel of every dollar is spent online. But in the fight between online and in-store retailing, online spending is growing faster, much faster.

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The Sunshine Economy
12:30 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

The Sunshine Economy: The High Price of Luxury In South Florida Retail

Credit Tom Hudson

One square foot is not a lot of space. You can fit a pair of shoes in one square foot. But, if you are a luxury retailer at Bal Harbour Shops in Bal Harbour, you sell $2,800 worth of merchandise per square every year. That's six times what the average shopping center generates in the same amount space.

RELATED: The Sunshine Economy: Retail

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The Sunshine Economy
11:59 am
Tue August 27, 2013

The Sunshine Economy: From Water Beds To Today

In the 1970’s it was water beds. In the 1980’s, Keith Koenig sold dinette sets. Now it’s couches and entertainment centers.

Koenig and his brother began what would become City Furniture in 1971. He has seen plenty of cycles in the South Florida economy, as well as how consumer tastes impact his business. Housing booms and housing busts. A growing population. And wicker. Koenig has a unique perspective at the intersection of two industries: real estate and retail. His outlook?  Very positive.

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The Sunshine Economy
6:00 am
Sat August 24, 2013

The Sunshine Economy: Investing In Classrooms

Florida public school teachers will get about $250 dollars this year to spend on classrooms supplies.

RELATED: The Sunshine Economy: Education

Teachers have gotten an annual stipend for more than a decade, helping make up for some of the money teachers spend out of their own pockets for student supplies.

WLRN's Sunshine Economy spoke with several teachers about what they spend and why.

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Business
11:03 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Sawgrass Mills Mall: A Powerhouse Retail Property Expands

According to Sawgrass Mills Mall General Manager, Luanne Lenberg, the mall rents more Smart Cartes than Miami International Airport.
Credit Karen Rundlet

This week, Sawgrass Mills Mall announced that it will add the Jimmy Choo name to its lineup at the Colonnade Outlet Malls.

RELATED: The Sunshine Economy: Retail

Jimmy Choo is a new-to-market retailer.

Business reporter Karen Rundlet visits the mall to find the well documented "suitcase shoppers."

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The Sunshine Economy
6:00 am
Fri August 23, 2013

The Sunshine Economy: Superintendents Have Little Faith In School Grades

A letter grade can be one of the clearest methods to communicate quality. The USDA uses it for meat. S&P uses letter grades for credit ratings. The state of Florida uses it for public schools.

RELATED: The Sunshine Economy: Education

But the leaders of the two largest public school districts in the state have little or no confidence in the current letter grading system used by Florida.

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