Welcome to 47 Means Business
This is a place for you to learn more about our vision to support and expand our ever-changing local economy. We will also highlight the business owners, community leaders, and advocates in HD47 who are doing this work in our community each and every day.
Anna V. Eskamani knows small business is the engine that drives our local economy. From family-owned restaurants to high-tech startups. Entrepreneurs, small business owners, and local workers are crucial elements of our community and our economy. When local businesses thrive, we all benefit.
Expanding Economic Opportunity
Anna believes that no matter who you are or where you come from, you should be able to find a job that speaks to your passions, achieve upward economic mobility, and have a strong quality of life. Access to affordable education plays a key role in this. Whether through a four-year degree, certification, or apprenticeship — Anna wants to build infrastructure and promote policy that develops and attracts a talent pool of well-trained and well-paid workers. Central Florida workers should earn a living wage, be able to collectively bargain, and have the opportunity to become managers, entrepreneurs, and business owners themselves.
Access to high-quality healthcare is just as important for community prosperity as good schools and well-maintained roads. That’s why Anna believes that we should approach healthcare as a public infrastructure issue, prioritizing policies that keep health costs low, while also pursuing public options that ensure all Floridians have access to timely, effective care. Anna has been a fierce advocate for the expansion of Medicaid and firmly believes that all health insurance plans should include coverage for birth control options and mental health care. Companies should also be incentivized to provide earned sick time to their employees along with adequate parental leave. Happy and healthy staff equate to increased productivity and improved profit margins, too.
Businesses of all sizes should be encouraged to adopt sustainable environmental practices. It’s critical that our policies enable companies to prosper without hindering other groups socially or economically. From energy-efficient buildings, to recycle bins on-site, and waste-reduction incentives — all options should be available when it comes to motivating our business community to practice green initiatives and protect our shared natural resources. This push also includes working with local vendors to reduce the use of plastic bags, styrofoam, and single-use plastics, and properly penalizing companies who violate environmental regulations designed to protect our air, land, and waterways. When applicable, businesses should be encouraged to serve local food and support agricultural sustainability, too. Though agriculture is not a major economic engine in HD47, Anna understands the value and history of agriculture in Florida, and will work with farmers and herders to lead green initiatives that protect our planet.
Small Business Growth
Government cannot ensure a business’s success, but it can foster the conditions that support the hiring of new workers by providing tax relief, cutting unnecessary red tape, and increasing the availability of Small Business Administration (SBA) resources and access to angel investors. We must work collectively to support more small businesses as they get off the ground, expand, and hire new workers. Working alongside our local chambers and the Orlando Economic Partnership to achieve these goals is important, too.
Supporting the Arts in All Forms
Anna is a passionate supporter of the arts, and was a high school thespian herself. She understands all too well the role that the arts play in building young leaders and boosting our regional economy. She will not only fight for funding that strengthens local museums, theatres, and arts programs, but she will also work across the aisle to fund initiatives that restore Florida’s film industry. This is a sector that has been neglected for far too long under the current leadership of the Florida House, and today HD47 constituents who work in the film industry are often forced to leave the state to find a good paying job in their field. That’s not good enough, and our creative class deserves better.
Promoting Technological Innovation
House District 47 is nestled between Florida’s Space Coast and N`eoCity. Just east of the district is UCF’s Research Parkway, which is home to some of the nation’s leading simulation companies. Across I-4 is Tampa, another growing tech hub. Central Florida is on the cusp of becoming the next tech capital of the world, but we still need resources to mature, infrastructure to attract investors, and a talent pool to cultivate. This requires intentional efforts to diversify our local economy, rather than rely solely on the service industry. As the Orlando Sentinel reports, Orlando is top in tourism, but dead-last in wages. That’s not how innovation is promoted and it’s not how we set up our residents to succeed. Innovation is possible through heavy investment in both infrastructure and people.
Anna believes firmly in equal pay for equal work. It’s time that we end the wage gap and pass legislation that guarantees equal earnings for all genders and races. Anna supports the Competitive Workforce Act, legislation that would ban workplace discrimination based upon sexuality and gender identity. Wages in Florida are too low; Anna has advocated for and continues to support paying all workers a living wage. We will never end poverty with starvation wages, wages that push individuals and parents to work multiple jobs, threatening their ability to ever achieve upward economic mobility. Ensuring access to affordable housing is another piece to this puzzle, along with supporting the expansion of public transit. This will help connect people with new job opportunities, improve our environmental efforts, and remove barriers that exist for those without a reliable vehicle.
When entrepreneurs thrive, so do their local economies, but building a collaborative startup community with the right resources is not easy. It requires the engagement of multiple players from multiple sectors, the identification of resources, and spaces to learn, try, fail, and share. We must support the advancement of incubator programs, co-work spaces, and organizations like Nexus Ventures which help connect investors with entrepreneurs, mentors, and tech-startups. Today’s economic currency is talent — and we need to build a better Central Florida that keeps and attracted a talented workforce, entrepreneurs included.
Responsible Leadership and Safe Workplaces
Responsible leadership means making business decisions that take into consideration not just the interests of shareholders but also the interest all other stakeholders, including workers, clients, suppliers, the environment, the community, and future generations. Anna will work with business leaders and owners to encourage responsible leadership, and those that cause damage to our environment and/or community will be held accountable. Anna also has no patience for sexual assault or harassment. She will champion legislation that reduces abuse and control in all parts of society, including the workplace. Finally, we need a workers compensation system that balances the concerns of businesses with those of hard-working Floridians. Workers hurt on the job should not have to fight for coverage, and doctors who provide high quality care should be fairly reimbursed too.
District 47 Business Profiles
If you and/or your business would like to be spotlighted on our 47 Means Business blog, please contact Anna at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be in touch soon.