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Florida Matters is hosting a special panel discussion about veteran entrepreneurs in front of a live audience in St. Petersburg and we want you to join us.

Updated at 5:15 p.m. ET

Going into Tuesday's arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court, it looked as though the court was headed toward reversing a 50-year-old decision that barred states from collecting taxes on out-of-state purchases.

But after the arguments, it looked as though a court majority just might preserve the status quo, and that would be a huge victory for online sellers.

The case presents a multibillion-dollar dispute, and the outcome will directly affect consumers, cash-strapped states and companies large and small.

It’s been nearly five months since Hurricane Irma hit Florida. This week and next, an economic recovery workshop is traveling across the state, seeing what counties and small businesses need to help them bounce back and how to better handle the next disaster.


Two Florida lawmakers want to strengthen franchise protections for small business owners. 

Quincy J. Walters / WUSF News

It sounds like something bad is about to happen as I step into Dysfunctional Grace. As I walk into the store during it's grand opening, I'm surrounded by ominous music, skulls, artistically modified taxidermy, religious relics, vintage medical equipment, a coffin and a table of food.

Robert Wilkes, of Tampa, is a curious spectator. He's walking around with a piece of chicken on a stick. 

"Nothing's better than eating dead animals, surrounded by dead animals," he said. "It's good to be human." 

Brooke and Andrew Lee can't imagine being without health insurance.

So for the past seven years, that's meant digging deep into the earnings of their video production agency in St. Petersburg. It’s expensive, but Brooke Lee says the alternative is worse.

When Americans think of business in Cuba, they think of government-owned enterprise. And the vast majority of Cubans do work for the state.

But in recent years, private business owners known as cuentapropistas have flourished on the island.

NPR.org

We learn two things from a recent study by NerdWallet.com:

  1. Tampa is the sixth-best U.S. city for starting a business.
  2. There's a NerdWallet.com.

The price comparison website recently calculated the best cities to start a small business, taking into account loan availability, per capita income, small business-friendliness rating and other factors.

Our own Cigar City ranked at No. 6 on the survey of 42 metro areas. Here's the explanation:

A business survey of veterans who are transitioning back into civilian life reveals many would like to start or run their own business.

While the military provides rigorous training and discipline, it's not exactly the place to learn skills on how to succeed in business.

That’s the territory of an experienced businessman like Jack Grise who has created and sold two different businesses. He did a stint in the Navy when he was young and now wants to share business knowledge with veterans who want to start their own companies.