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Business Brief: St. Augustine Poised To Profit From Gay Marriage

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.

"Several people explained to me, hey, when your job is drawing people in and hospitality and making people feel good, it doesn’t matter what their religion is, what their politics are, what their sexual affiliation is,” Burr said.

Burr says 24,000 gay couples are expected to marry in the Sunshine State by 2019. And their wedding-related spending is expected to create 875 jobs. 

Click "Listen" to hear Burr's entire conversation with WJCT News Director Jessica Palombo. They talked about how Jacksonville compares with St. Augustine, how wedding vendors are changing their marketing strategies to win the new business, and what Burr learned when Jacksonville held its first-ever same-sex wedding expo last month.

Jessica Palombo supervises local news gathering and production, podcasts and web editorial content for WJCT News, ADAPT and Jacksonville Today. She is an award-winning writer and journalist with bylines including NPR, Experience Magazine, and The Gainesville Sun. She has a master’s degree in broadcast and digital journalism from Syracuse University and is an alumna of the University of Florida. A nearly lifelong resident of Jacksonville, she considers herself lucky to be raising her own children in her hometown. Follow Jessica Palombo on Twitter: @JaxJessicaP