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  • 12 Aug 2022 9:00 AM | Eric Hoppenbrouwer (Administrator)

    BREVARD, FL (August 11, 2022) – Business Voice Political Committee of Florida’s Space Coast announces several endorsements for critical races in Brevard County following interviews, extensive analysis, and a deliberative review process. The endorsements were determined based on candidates demonstrated leadership qualities and support for pro-business polices.

    Business Voice Endorses:

    • County Commission, District 2 – Tom Goodson
    • County Commission, District 4 – Rob Feltner
    • School Board, District 1 – Misty Belford
    • School Board, District 2 – Gene Trent
    • School Board, District 5 – Katye Campbell
    • Florida Senate, District 8 – Tom Wright
    • Florida House of Representatives, District 30 – Robyn Hattaway
    • Florida House of Representatives, District 33 – Randy Fine
    • Florida House of Representatives, District 34 – Robert Brackett

    “The endorsement of these candidates expresses the dedication Business Voice makes to supporting candidates both at the state and local level who are open and understanding of business community’s needs,” said Business Voice Chairman, Tom Brandon. “Our Board believes each of these candidates will work to represent the best interests of the citizens on the Space Coast and its business community. We look forward to participating in this election cycle to support all our endorsed pro-business candidates.”

    The membership also expresses support for incumbents and unopposed candidates for the offices listed below:

    • Port Authority, District 1 – Jerry Allender
    • Port Authority, District 3 – Fritz VanVolkenburgh
    • Port Authority, District 5 – Wayne Justice
    • Florida Senate, District 19 – Debbie Mayfield
    • Florida House of Representatives, District 31 – Tyler Sirois
    • Florida House of Representatives, District 32 – Thad Altman

    Business Voice Political Committee • PO Box 360822 • Melbourne, FL 32936 • www.BusinessVoicePAC.org

    Business Voice Political Action Committee, Inc. is a political committee organized and existing in accordance with Chapter 617, Florida Statutes, and is an independent, autonomous organization not affiliated with any political party or political organization.

    Business Voice engages businesses from across Brevard County and the Central Florida Region to provide a cohesive voice in political advocacy at the State, regional and local levels. Business Voice is operated on a non-partisan basis to promote pro-business candidates and a pro-business legislative agenda.


  • 11 Feb 2022 9:00 AM | Eric Hoppenbrouwer (Administrator)

    Melbourne, FL: The Board of Directors of the Business Voice of Florida's Space Coast voted to install their 2022 officers during their annual meeting in January. The committee is proud to announce the election of Tom Brandon, President of Brandon Development Enterprises, Inc., as Chairman.


    Reflecting on the current business environment as he takes over, Brandon noted, "Both challenges and opportunities confronting Space Coast businesses are unique to our time in history and our area." He cited rising costs of materials, shortages of available labor, and booming space industry as factors at the forefront of the region’s economic landscape.

    Joining Mr. Brandon on the leadership team is:

    - Chair-elect: Shirley Buchanan, Marketing Manager at Victory Cruise Casinos.

    - Treasurer: Tammie Watts, Government Affairs Director at Space Coast Association of Realtors.

    - Secretary: Al Taylor, Coldwell Banker Coast Realty

    - Immediate Past-Chair: Dawn Mays, Chief Executive Officer, Call One, Inc.

    Eric Hoppenbrouwer, Business Voice Executive Director, shared his thoughts stating, "The Space Coast is a top destination in the country for companies and workers to relocate. As our community continues to grow, infrastructure needs and workforce development will be major priorities." The committee is steadfast in its commitment to support and promote growth and quality-of-life initiatives that keep the Space Coast a wonderful place to live, work, and play.

    ###

    Business Voice is a diverse assembly of business leaders from across the Space Coast, including small businesses and some of the area's larger employers. View their full membership at www.businessvoicepac.org. The group is committed to supporting the most qualified candidates who will best serve the region and local job creators' interests.

  • 27 Apr 2021 9:30 AM | Eric Hoppenbrouwer (Administrator)

    Eric Hoppenbrouwer Guest Columnist

    It has been a little over a year since the novel coronavirus was officially designated a pandemic. Governments the world over responded to this new strain of a respiratory illness in very different ways. Effects of the virus and responses by governments have shaped changes to our way of life that will be felt for years to come. Lockdowns, social distancing, occupancy restrictions, and new sanitization standards most likely saved lives. Unfortunately, they also hampered the economy.

    Our community is fortunate that the Board of County Commissioners moved decisively. They quickly put CARES Act funding in the hands of needy businesses and nonprofits on the Space Coast, minimizing the economic effects of COVID-19.

    Eric Hoppenbrouwer is the executive director of Business Voice Political Committee.

    According to publicly available data, the global gross domestic product (GDP) declined by 4.5 to 6 percent from 2019 through 2020. During the same period, the US GDP decreased by 2.3 percent, and the Florida economy contracted by 6 percent. The big question is – how did the Brevard County economy fair in 2020? While GDP data is not tracked at the local level, the unemployment rate is a suitable way to evaluate a local economy’s current health. To date, Brevard’s unemployment rate of 4.5 percent has fared better than at the state (4.8 percent) and national level (6.3 percent). Since the peak in April of 2020, the total number of unemployed people in Brevard has fallen by approximately 60 percent - according to The Florida Chamber of Commerce’s Florida Scorecard. Putting these employment numbers into context Volusia, the Florida county closest to Brevard in population, has a higher unemployment rate (5.1 percent), and more unemployed people than Brevard, with 48,000 fewer residents.

    Brevard Commission approves 29% effective fire fee hike, stalls 24-hour alcohol sales

    One good reason the Space Coast’s economy performed well over the last year is undeniable. Brevard County’s small business and nonprofit economic relief grants helped with challenges linked to the state and federal COVID restrictions. CARES Act funding has been distributed to 1,351 small businesses and nonprofit organizations – totaling $12.4 million awarded in up to $10,000 grants. In addition to the initially allocated grant funding, Commissioners Curt Smith and Bryan Lober committed up to $2.5 million each in two separate programs.

    Commissioner Smith’s program supplements the initial $10,000 grants with up to an additional $20,000. This program helps small businesses and nonprofit organizations demonstrating a negative economic impact above the initial $10,000 grant related to the COVID-19 public health emergency. As of April 12th, Commissioner Smith’s program has approved 118 additional grants totaling $2.49 million. Commissioner Lober’s small business and nonprofit program provides funds of $5,000 to organizations, with owners living in Brevard County that qualified for the initial grant of $10,000. Under his program, 346 small businesses and nonprofits have qualified for the additional funding. Commissioner Lober’s plan has distributed $1.825 million to date.

    Here's what your city or town will be getting from the COVID-19 stimulus bill

    The business community has showed incredible toughness during the coronavirus pandemic. We should applaud the Board County Commissioners and Brevard County government for their integral role in supporting our small businesses and nonprofits. As restrictions are lifted across the country, the Space Coast is primed to continue as a national leader economically. This claim of economic leadership is not just an unsubstantiated opinion. The Space Coast is on the Milken Institute’s “Best-Performing Cities” index at number two for 2021 – jumping eight spots from 2020. Plus, a report from the Florida Chamber of Commerce last year ranked the Space Coast as the second most industrially diverse County in Florida.

    The community would not be in a favorable position today – over one year into this public health crisis - without the massive efforts from our local leaders. The Board of County Commissioners demonstrated steady and strong leadership at a critical time when our local businesses, and the public-at-large, needed it the most.

    This op-ed was published by Florida Today on April 27, 2021

  • 26 Jan 2021 9:00 AM | Eric Hoppenbrouwer (Administrator)

    For Immediate Release - January 26, 2021 

    Contact: Eric Hoppenbrouwer, Executive Director

    321-549-7852

    eric@businessvoicepac.com

    Melbourne, FL: The Board of Directors of the Business Voice of Florida's Space Coast voted to install their 2021 officers during their annual meeting earlier this month. The committee is proud to announce the election of Dawn Mays, Chief Strategy Officer at Call One, Inc., located in Cape Canaveral.


    Reflecting on the unanimous support by her peers, Mays noted,

    "I am honored to serve this important organization and the Space Coast business community in this capacity. Our goal is to consistently advocate for the policies and candidates that recognize the unique obstacles confronting local businesses."

    Dawn's political, business, and academic experiences being a wealth of knowledge and connections to the position.

    Joining Ms. Mays on the leadership team is:

    - Chair-elect: Shirley Buchanan, Marketing Manager at Victory Cruise Casinos.

    - Treasurer: Tammie Watts, Government Affairs Director at Space Coast Association of Realtors.

    - Secretary: Thomas Brandon, Owner of Brandon Development Enterprises, Inc.

    - Immediate Past Chair, Larry McIntyre, former President of Clear Channel Outdoor.

    Business Voice Executive Director, Eric Hoppenbrouwer, stated,

    "Each member of our 2021 board officers and executive committee represent key industries of our local economy. Their expertise is essential to any conversation about public policies affecting our economy."

    The committee is steadfast in its commitment to support and promote growth and quality-of-life initiatives that keep the Space Coast a great place to live, work, and play.

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    Business Voice is a diverse assembly of business leaders from across the Space Coast region, including small businesses and some of the area's largest employers. View their full membership at www.businessvoicepac.com. The group is committed to supporting the most qualified candidates who will best serve the Space Coast region and local job creators' interests. 

  • 15 Sep 2020 10:00 AM | Eric Hoppenbrouwer (Administrator)

    For Immediate Release  - September 15, 2020

    Contact: Eric Hoppenbrouwer, Executive Director

    321-549-7852

    eric@businessvoicepac.com

    BREVARD, FL – Business Voice Political Committee of Florida’s Space Coast announces several endorsements for critical races in Brevard County following interviews, extensive analysis, and a deliberative review process. “These candidates have demonstrated a firm grasp of the issues affecting the Space Coast business community,” said Larry McIntyre, Chairman of the Board. “At a time when there are numerous challenges facing companies of all sizes, it is important candidates know how they can help maintain an economic climate favorable for growth,” noted McIntyre.

    Sheriff

    Wayne Ivey

    County Commission

    District 1: Rita Pritchett

    District 5: Kristine Isnardi

    Port Authority

    District 4: Kevin Markey

    “Whether it’s protecting our community from crime, distributing CARES Act funding to struggling small businesses, or keeping Port Canaveral one of the busiest port’s in the world, each of our endorsed candidates is ready to get the Space Coast back on its feet,” stated Eric Hoppenbrouwer, Executive Director.

    These excellent candidates join State House representatives Rene “Coach P” Plasencia (R-50), Tyler Sirois (R-51), Thad Altman (R-52), Randy Fine (R-53), and State Senator Debbie Mayfield (R-17) as the full-slate of endorsements by the organization for the 2020 election. Altman and Fine moved onto the general election after winning their primary elections back on August 18. Business Voice is committed to supporting the most qualified candidates who will best serve the interests of the Space Coast region and local job creators.

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    Thank you to the Cocoa Beach Regional Chamber of Commerce for publishing our press release HERE.

    Business Voice Political Action Committee, Inc. is a political committee organized and existing in accordance with Chapter 617, Florida Statutes, and is an independent, autonomous organization not affiliated with any political party or political organization.

    Business Voice engages businesses from across Brevard County and the Central Florida Region to provide a cohesive voice in political advocacy at the State, regional and local levels. Business Voice is operated on a non-partisan basis to promote probusiness candidates and a pro-business legislative agenda.

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