Business Brief

Mondays during Morning Edition

Every week, WJCT News Director Jessica Palombo talks with Modern Cities co-founder Ennis Davis about the latest business and development trends affecting the First Coast. 

Barnett exterior
Steve Atkins

Jaguars owner and investor Shad Khan is suing the developer of downtown’s Barnett Tower over money he lent to help develop the still-empty building, as first reported in the Florida Times-Union.

In this week’s Business Brief, analyst John Burr shares why the suit against Steve Atkins also calls into doubt his planned development of other historic buildings called the Laura Street Trio. 

American Advisors Group / Flickr

In this week’s Business Brief, analyst John Burr shares updates WJCT News Director Jessica Palombo on the real estate market in Northeast Florida. Burr says it's a seller's market, but that shouldn't stop people who are interested in buying a home.

Photo credit: "House Sold" by American Advisors Group is used under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Michael Rivera / Wikimedia Commons

A disagreement over expanding Medicaid in Florida is blamed for the Florida House of Representatives’ going home without passing a budget last week.

In this week’s Business Brief, analyst John Burr shares with WJCT News Director Jessica Palombo why private insurance companies are rooting for the expansion of government health care in the Sunshine State.

You can follow Jessica Palombo @jessicapubradio.

Meredith Fordham Hughes / JAXPORT/Flickr

The Jacksonville City Council is considering financial incentives for local businesses that increase their exports through JAXPORT. In this week’s Business Brief, analyst John Burr shares with WJCT News Director Jessica Palombo what’s behind the export push.

You can follow Jessica Palombo @jessicapubradio.

 A coalition of business groups has sent a letter to Florida Governor Rick Scott and legislative leaders. The businesses, including Jacksonville-based Florida Blue, are pleading for a law banning workplace discrimination against LGBT people.

In this week’s Business Brief, analyst John Burr shares with WJCT News Director Jessica Palombo how the issue has been playing out in the Jacksonville mayor’s race.

Ilya / Flickr

As natural gas is expected to fuel more vehicles, it’s also expected to help fuel the economy on the First Coast.

man and women at conference table
Kompentenzzentrum Frau und Beruf via Flickr

At today's Generation W Women’s Leadership Conference, WJCT Business Analyst John Burr moderated a panel discussion about women in business leadership.

In this Business Brief, he tells News Director Jessica Palombo how the experience changed his view of what it means to be a feminist, what men should do to encourage equality at work and what it means for a business' bottom lines. 


Tuesday, March 24 is Election Day in the Duval Unitary First Election. In this election, incumbent Democratic Mayor Alvin Brown is facing three contenders for his current job: Omega Allen with no party affiliation and Republicans Lenny Curry and Bill Bishop.

In this week's Business Brief, analyst John Burr and WJCT News Director Jessica Palombo talk about the Jacksonville mayoral election. Burr shares which of the four candidates is getting the most support from Jacksonville's business community.


Jacksonville’s Downtown Investment Authority Board is considering two proposals for developing the vacant riverfront property known as the Shipyards. The latest—from a luxury yacht company—imposes little cost on the city, though the company is asking to purchase the land at well below market value.

Equality Florida

Same-sex marriages have been performed in Florida since early January. A study from UCLA predicts Florida business owners will reap the benefits of additional weddings to the tune of $182 million over the next three years.

WJCT Business Analyst John Burr says, in Northeast Florida, St. Augustine is especially well-positioned to capitalize. That’s because, Burr says, business owners there have been marketing to the LGBT crowd for years.

Scott and auto workers
Office of the Florida Governor

The Florida Legislature begins its 2015 lawmaking session Tuesday in Tallahassee. Above all, lawmakers are responsible for passing a budget that determines how much taxpayer money is spent on what.

In this week’s Business Brief, business analyst John Burr and WJCT News Director Jessica Palombo talk about the spending plan put forth by Governor Rick Scott, which includes corporate income and manufacturing equipment tax cuts. 

walkways and buildings
Populous via Shad Khan

Jacksonville is buzzing about plans unveiled this week by Jaguars owner Shad Khan to transform Downtown. It’s a massive entertainment, residential and business district along the North Bank of the St. Johns River.

Khan’s is far from the first proposal for the former shipyards property, and most have failed. But Jacksonville Business Journal Editor John Burr says he’s optimistic this time will be different.

Dollar bill heart
Thomas Hawk via Flickr

Job seekers and business owners should both be breathing sighs of relief these days, with the economy in the best shape in five years. That’s according to  Jacksonville Business Journal Editor John Burr. 

In this week’s Business Brief, Burr shares the rosy outlook with WJCT News Director Jessica Palombo.

Jeff Wright / Flickr

Some Downtown Jacksonville residents remain without power after part of Liberty Street collapsed into the St. Johns River last weekend. Jacksonville Business Journal Editor John Burr says the road collapse is part of a larger problem.

“Despite all the cheerleading for redeveloping downtown, the city itself has not put the resources into doing much, certainly not as much as anywhere close to what is needed to really a spark a renaissance," he says. 

CBRE Group

An apartment complex on the Intracoastal Waterway sold for nearly $60 million dollars yesterday, making a huge profit for the owners who bought it just a year earlier. Jacksonville Business Journal Editor John Bur says the Seagrass Apartments sale is an example of the apartment boom happening in Northeast Florida.