Tuesday Afternoon Update – Florida Trend

‘Floridians are generous’: In 2021, most residents donated to charity, about half volunteered

Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, nearly 70% of Florida households made charitable donations in 2021, according to a new study. By spending more time at home and hearing about the economic impacts of the pandemic, people have become more aware of their neighbors, their needs and the nonprofits that can help them, said Dean Una Osili. Associate for Research and International Programs at Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, who led the “Giving in Florida” study. More information on the Florida Times-Union.

JaxPort to Host Fourth Annual Small Business Appreciation Day

The Port Authority of Jacksonville has announced that it will host its fourth annual Small Business Appreciation Day on May 24. The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 9810 August Drive in North Jacksonville. JaxPort said purchasing managers from across the region will participate in a roundtable discussion about business opportunities at the Port and other City of Jacksonville agencies. More from the Jacksonville Daily Record.

Florida-based Hertz will buy up to 65,000 electric vehicles from Polestar

Car rental company Hertz plans to buy up to 65,000 electric vehicles from Swedish premium electric car maker Polestar over the next five years, in a bid to increase its electric vehicle rental fleet. Financial terms were not disclosed. The vehicles are expected to be available in Europe in the spring and in North America and Australia later this year. More South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Neal family legacy expands as development in Manatee and Sarasota counties moves east

The Neal family’s impact on the community spans generations, and for 52 years the local residential developer has built thousands of homes between Manatee County and Naples. Pat Neal runs the family’s flagship business, Neal Communities, and following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, he has been building homes in Southwest Florida since 1970. His son John grew up in the family business, and today his company Neal Land & Neighborhoods is at the helm of the North River Ranch in Parrish, the largest development project the Neals have undertaken. More from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

OPD wants to expand program that sends mental health professionals on some 911 calls

Orlando police officials want to expand a program that sends mental health counselors on some 911 calls instead of cops, citing a year-long successful test and a chance for more impact. The Orlando City Council held a workshop Monday morning to discuss and evaluate the program, which has seen councilors respond to 956 calls since the pilot was launched last March. Those encounters ended with 133 people showing up for mental health counseling appointments and 197 people being involuntarily committed under Florida’s Baker Law. More Orlando Sentinels.

American Stage in the Park returns to St. Petersburg with ‘Footloose – The Musical’

After being postponed for two years, American Stage in the Park returns to Demens Landing Park in St. Petersburg with Footloose – The Musical on April 6. It runs until May 8. Based on the 1984 film, the Broadway musical adapted by Dean Pitchford and Walter Bobbie follows Ren McCormack, a big-city teenager who moves to a small rural town where dancing has been banned. Feeling out of place, he inspires other teenagers to rebel against the strict rules put in place by the local reverend.

» More from the Tampa Bay Times.

He made it with celebrity cars, and now his Polish vodka is taking off in Miami

FloridaSometimes a drama gives rise to a business. And that business sometimes amounts to a family heirloom, one worthy of leaving to children and grandchildren. In 2019, Cuban-American entrepreneur Alex Vega was shot three times in his driveway in southwest Miami-Dade. After the shoot, Vega, owner of The Auto Firm, known for customizing the “most expensive toys” of the rich and famous, made a promise to himself: to leave his family a business, and the financial security that comes with it, at the beyond his role as automotive guru.

» Learn more from the Miami Herald.

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