Written by Miami Today on October 8, 2009
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FEE FREE: Lobbyists for Miami-Dade-certified small businesses can look forward to skipping county registration fees should a measure the county commission initially approved by a narrow margin Tuesday keep momentum. Commissioners agreed in a 7-5 vote to allow any person who comes before lawmakers only to weigh in on legislation as a representative of a certified small business "without special compensation or reimbursement for the appearance, whether direct, indirect or contingent," to waive lobbyist registration fees upon request. Already representatives of non-profits and organizations such as trade associations have the same privelege. The Health, Public Safety and Intergovernmental Committee is to consider the item Dec. 10.
PARTY ON: Miami has the most attractive people in the US, according to a survey of 30 major cities. Travel + Leisure’s 2009 America’s Favorite Cities Survey showed that Miami is big on fun in the sun, but maybe not the best place to work your mind, indicating that Miami has some of the least-friendly and unintelligent people. Miami ranked in the top five in having stylish people and a diverse population, being a place to have a "wild weekend," having top luxury and boutique hotels, maintaining an active cocktail hour and singles scene, and having the best weather. Categories where it finished in the bottom five included airport transportation, public transportation, safety, culture (including classical music, theater, museums and historical sites) and as a family vacation destination. Details: http://www.travelandleisure.com/afc/2009/city/miami.
CANARY CONNECTION: A business delegation from Spain’s Canary Islands stopped in at Tuesday’s Miami-Dade Commission meeting for a photo op and to pick up "distinguished visitors certificates" from the commission. Frank Nero, who heads the Beacon Council, the county’s economic development arm, said the delegates represented 21 companies and industries. Two more delegations are on the way "in the immediate future," he said. He lauded connections to the Canary Islands as an in to West Africa and added that "Spain remains a key targeted market." An Argentinean delegation popped by later, addressing the commission mostly in Spanish through an interpreter.
FEWER OVERNIGHTERS: For the first seven months of 2009, overnight visitors to Miami-Dade were down 3.2% from the same period of 2008. Domestic visitation was down 3.4%, while international visitors were down 3%.