FYI Miami: September 10, 2015
Below are some of the FYIs in this week’s edition. The entire content of this week’s FYIs and Insider sections is available by subscription only. To subscribe click here.
PATENT/TRADEMARK SATELLITE: County commissioners will urge the US Department of Commerce and the US Patent and Trade Office to establish a patent and trademark satellite office in Miami-Dade. With its advances in new business creation and entrepreneurship, commissioners say this county would be ideal to host a satellite office to facilitate the technology industry and assist start-up businesses, intellectual property services and job-growth accelerators. Since 2004, the resolution states, Miami-Dade has remained among the top US communities for business creation; in 2012 it received the highest entrepreneurial index in the US, and was 1.5 times greater than the national average in 2013. The US Patent and Trademark Office, an agency within the Department of Commerce, examines and issues patents nationally. Headquartered in Alexandria, VA, it has satellites in Dallas, Denver, Detroit and Silicon Valley.
RICKENBACKER TOLLS SOAR: Traffic on the Rickenbacker Causeway linking the mainland to Virginia Key and Key Biscayne rose 5% in the first eight months of the current fiscal year, but toll revenues from the mainland rose 22.5% as the county restricted the ability to buy annual causeway passes, Fitch Ratings reported as it rated bonds for causeway debt ‘BBB’ with a stable outlook. The report notes that causeway traffic is roughly half discretionary and leisure trips and half commuting by keys workers, residents and students. The $31.6 million in bonds were issued last year to reimburse the county for its expenditures to replace the superstructure and rehabilitate the substructure of the West and Bear Cut bridges on the causeway. A toll increase of 50 cents is targeted for 2018, Fitch says, but the agency assumes that the county will stick with earlier patterns and raise the toll only 25 cents then.
AGRIBUSINESS INNOVATION: County commissioners last week unanimously urged the legislature to fund a Miami-Dade innovation center for businesses that farm, process, manufacture, package and distribute agricultural products. The resolution states that agribusiness innovation centers help improve agricultural products, enter new markets and develop products; provide market opportunities and information, financial management skills and access to financing, technical information and training, and mentorship; and assist with regulations, standards and compliance. Partnering with Florida International University and the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and Tropical Research and Education Center, Miami-Dade plans an agribusiness innovation center for which state funding is called critical.