Citing Osceola County’s general creditworthiness, the strong regional economy and the stability of the pledged revenue stream, S&P Global Ratings issued an A+ rating for a refunding of an $11.85 million issue of 5th cent Tourist Development Tax bonds.

The county is moving forward with the refunding in order to take advantage of better rates resulting in a savings of more than $1 million dollars over the remaining life of the loan.

 The rating incorporates the strength and stability of the pledged revenue stream as well as the “obligor’s creditworthiness,” S&P analysts wrote. The A+/A1 rating signifies that the County has stable financial backing and ample cash reserves with a very low risk of default for investors.

“The rating agencies that review our creditworthiness continue to issue positive statements about the fiscally responsible manner in which Osceola County government operates,” said Commission Chairwoman Cheryl Grieb. “This is directly attributable to the sound management principles we have embraced. Positive ratings are earned – not given, so the public should take comfort in the confidence and praise financial professionals use to describe our practices and overall financial position.”

 The outlook is stable – reflective of “S&P Global Ratings’ expectation that the county will maintain DSC (debt service coverage) at levels we consider at least strong over the near term. The county’s expanding economy and growing hotel and short-term rental base further support the outlook. We do not expect to change the rating within the two-year outlook horizon,” analysts wrote.

 Going beyond TDT revenue, S&P assesses the county’s general operations because it views overall creditworthiness as a key determinant of the ability to pay all of obligations.

 “Our assessment of Osceola County’s general creditworthiness reflects its solid finances and very strong financial management framework that is somewhat offset by an economic base with below-average resident incomes and property wealth. However, recent economic growth in the county is strong, and we believe participation in the Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford MSA will contribute to stability in this regard over the near term.”   They went on to say, “Given stable economic growth and a demonstrated track record of maintaining strong finances, we anticipate general credit stability for Osceola County over the near term.”

 Ratings such as those issued by S&P Global are important because they are an independent, unbiased analysis of the credit quality and fiscal management of the County over an extended number of years. S&P provides international financial research on bonds issued by commercial and government entities. The company ranks the creditworthiness of borrowers using a standardized ratings scale.

Family Dollar announces grand re-opening in Kissimmee

 Family Dollar, a leading small format and convenience retailer, has announced plans for a renovated store’s grand re-opening in Kissimmee.

In addition to providing everyday low prices and a broad assortment of  necessities, the renovated store will now include $1.00 Dollar Tree merchandise, additional freezers and coolers and an expanded selection of food, beauty and essentials, household products, and seasonal items.  

 There will be a grand re-opening celebration for the community from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 6. The event will feature gift basket raffles, giveaways, free samples and family fun entertainment. In addition, the first 50 customers on Saturday will receive a gift card and reusable shopping bag.

 “Family Dollar is proud to be a part of the Kissimmee community and we are excited to welcome existing and new customers to our newly renovated store,” said Jim Van Slyke, Family Dollar spokesperson. “The refreshed store will provide even greater values and convenience to our shoppers.”

 Stores typically employ six to 10 associates. Interested applicants can apply online at or by visiting the store location.

 Family Dollar stores are open seven days a week and offer everyday items for the entire family in an easy-to-shop neighborhood location. The store is located at 102 S. John Young Parkway.

Central Florida’s unemployment rate at  2.9 percent for May  

The unemployment rate in the CareerSource Central Florida region (Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, and Sumter counties) was 2.9 percent in May .

This rate was 0.2 percentage point lower than the region’s year ago rate of 3.1 percent. The region’s May 2019 unemployment rate was 0.2 percentage point lower than the state rate of 3.1 percent. The labor force was 1,391,142, up 24,763 over the year. There were 40,028 unemployed residents in the region.

The unemployment rates for the five counties that comprise the Central Florida region were: Lake County (3 percent), Orange County (2.8 percent), Osceola County (3.1 percent), Seminole County (2.8 percent), and Sumter County (4.6 percent).

 In May 2019 non agricultural employment in the Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford MSA was 1,330,900, an increase of 40,600 jobs (+3.1 percent) over the year.

The Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford MSA had the highest annual job growth compared to all the metro areas in the state in professional and business services (+14,700 jobs); leisure and hospitality (+11,600 jobs); manufacturing (+3,200 jobs); and government (+1,900 jobs) in May.

The Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford MSA had the second fastest annual job growth rate compared to all the metro areas in the state in information (+0.4 percent) in May.

The Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford MSA had the second highest annual job growth compared to all the metro areas in information (+100 jobs) in May.

The Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford MSA had the third fastest annual job growth rate compared to all the metro areas in the state in manufacturing (+6.9 percent) and professional and business services (+6.4 percent) in May.

The Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford MSA had the third highest annual job growth compared to all the metro areas in the state in mining, logging, and construction (+3,000 jobs) and financial activities (+1,200 jobs) in May.

The manufacturing (6.9 percent); professional and business services (6.4 percent); leisure and hospitality (4.4 percent); government (1.5 percent); and information (0.4 percent) industries grew faster in the metro area than statewide over the year.