The local legislator Braynon, Oscar II (35th District) is responsible for the following committees and legislative commitments: appropriations, Subcommittee on the Environment and Natural Resources, ethics and elections, banking and insurance, regulated industries, and Joint Legislative Budget Commission. State legislators are Richard Corcoran (Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives) who is responsible for regulating Senate debates and Joe Negron (President of the Florida Senate) responsible for the appointment of committees and chairs. Federal legislators are Bill Nelson (Chair of the Senate Aging Committee) and Marco Rubio (a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee).
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The approved initiatives include pay raise for state employees (Bill 7022), assessment of lowest-performing elementary schools, and creation of the Schools Excellence Program (HB 7069), tax relief for various families in Florida (HB 7109). The pending initiatives include medical use of marijuana (SB 8-A), sale and delivery of firearms under a certain license (SB 10-A), and economic programs that rely on state funds to support small, rural, minority, etc. businesses (SB 2-A).
Letter to the Senate President
Dear Mister Negron, it was surprising for me to see that SB 2-A or the bill that targeted the enhancement of small local, rural, minority, or agritourism business was laid on the table (“SB 2-A: Economic programs”, 2017). In my opinion, the recent emergence of multiple start-ups, conducted by persons of different gender, age, and race, indicates that small business aims to develop despite the existing barriers (e.g. entry barriers in the sign occupied tourism industry, monopolist companies, and organizations, etc.) (Lofstrom, Bates, Parker, 2014).
The establishment of the Targeted Marketing Assistance Program would provide local businesspersons with the opportunity to start, promote, and support their business in rural areas of the state or provide tourist services for minorities and those interested in agritourism. The importance of small business in rural areas should not be underestimated: it creates jobs (often lacking in remote areas), directly addresses the problem of poverty, is capable of partially resolving it (via new places of employment), and attracts more tourists in remote areas due to the presence of tourist services provided by small business owners.
According to Jasra, Khan, Hunjra, Rehman, and Azam (2012), small and medium-sized enterprises “contribute significantly to the provision of productive employment opportunities, the generation of income and, eventually, the reduction of poverty” (p. 275). Without state support (including the development of assistance programs and distribution of funds), small businesses in the tourism industry will be unable to compete with bigger and well-funded corporations and organizations that have occupied the industry.
Furthermore, since more prominent organizations are oriented on providing quality but standard services for tourists, visitors of the state or the country are unable to get familiar with the local culture because they are not introduced to it. The development of rural businesses has the potential to attract more attention to the culture of local communities that include minorities interested in promoting and making tourists aware of their culture.
I would like to draw your attention to the problem of minorities. People of color, LGBT+ persons, and other representatives of minorities can have even more difficulties in establishing and supporting their business than non-minority owners of small businesses. If we strive to provide equal opportunities for all citizens of the state, we need to acknowledge the need to support these people have. If the proposed initiative is ignored once again, we cannot be sure whether equality is indeed the goal of current legislators.
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Jasra, J. M., Hunjra, A. I., Rehman, A. U., Azam, R. I., & Khan, M. A. (2012). Determinants of business success of small and medium enterprises. International Journal of Business and Social Science, 2(20), 274-280.
Lofstrom, M., Bates, T., & Parker, S. C. (2014). Why are some people more likely to become small-businesses owners than others: Entrepreneurship entry and industry-specific barriers. Journal of Business Venturing, 29(2), 232-251.
SB 2-A: Economic programs. (2017). Web.