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Florida Chamber Summit forecasts state’s economy to remain strong for next three years

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Florida’s economy is expected to remain strong for the next three years, boosted by steady population growth and healthy tourism. The good economic news for the Sunshine State came through its annual financial checkup Tuesday morning at the Florida Chamber of Commerce Insurance Summit, taking place in Orlando. Providing the update was a presentation by Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida Executive Director James Zingale, who leads the company’s research and fiscal analysis division. Introducing Tuesday’s conference was Chamber CEO…

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Tampa Bay region adds 31,000 jobs in past year, unemployment drops to 5.4%

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Gov. Rick Scott announced Friday that the Tampa area added 31,800 jobs between July 2014 and July 2015, causing a 1.1 percentage-point drop in the region’s unemployment. “With the second-highest number of jobs of all areas in the state last month, the Tampa economy continues to thrive,” Scott said in the announcement. “We will keep working to cut taxes and grow opportunities to make Florida the global destination for jobs.” The tourism industry added 14,400 jobs during the 12-month period…

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Cuba plans boating boom as U.S. luxury ships head to Havana

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A $3 million yacht left Key West this week with two barbecue grills, 250 channels of satellite TV and a just-in-case plan for rescuing stranded Cuban rafters encountered in the Florida Straits. After four hours smooth sailing, the Still Water tied up at Havana’s Hemingway Marina. The well-heeled passengers breakfasted on smoked salmon and pastries, then boarded an air-conditioned Cuban government bus for a day of touring the city. The Cold War made the Florida Straits into a stage for…

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Gov. Scott visits Clearwater Aquarium to highlight record tourism 

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tourism

During Thursday’s visit to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, home of Winter the Dolphin, Gov. Rick Scott took an opportunity to highlight Florida tourism, the state’s largest industry. In the current state budget, $74 million is set aside for VISIT FLORIDA, the quasi-governmental corporation tasked with attracting more tourists to the Sunshine State. In 2014, Florida had a record of 98.9 million visitors, who spent $73 billion overall. As the “best tourist destination for families,” Scott cited data that shows 85…

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Tourists flocking to Cuba ‘before the Americans come’

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Bookings to Cuba jumped 57 percent for one New York tour operator in the weeks after Washington said it would renew ties with Havana. In February, they were up 187 percent; and so far this month, nearly 250 percent. The boom is just one sign that the rush is on to see Cuba now — before, as many predict, McDonald’s claims a spot in Old Havana and Starbucks moves in on Cubita, the island’s premium coffee brand. The sense that…

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Video: Charlie Crist: ‘We need to ban oil drilling off Florida’ — and the color of that shirt is called salmon

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Calling the spill that has released millions of gallons of oil onto four Gulf States “a devastating, catastrophic event,” Florida Gov. Charlie Crist said he wants an end to oil exploration off his state’s coastline. In addition to plugging the leak at the site of BP’s destroyed Deepwater Horizon rig, Crist said this morning that “We need to stop offshore oil drilling in Florida. “I would like to have a special session to ban it here in the Sunshine State,”…

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Video: Charlie Crist: ‘We need to ban oil drilling off Florida’ — and the color of that shirt is called salmon

in Statewide by

Calling the spill that has released millions of gallons of oil onto four Gulf States “a devastating, catastrophic event,” Florida Gov. Charlie Crist said he wants an end to oil exploration off his state’s coastline. In addition to plugging the leak at the site of BP’s destroyed Deepwater Horizon rig, Crist said this morning that “We need to stop offshore oil drilling in Florida. “I would like to have a special session to ban it here in the Sunshine State,”…

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