FL Gov. Rick Scott touts commitment to small business during campaign stop in Tampa
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05/30/14 Janelle Irwin
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Tags: Rick Scott, Charlie Crist, Carlos Lopez Canterra, Florida, small business, Let's Get to Work

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Florida Governor Rick Scott touts commitment to small business at a Tampa Spanish market.


photo by Janelle Irwin


Florida Governor Rick Scott swung by a locally-owned Spanish market in Tampa Friday to tout his commitment to small businesses. The campaign stop doubled as a commercial shoot.

The immigrant-owned M&D Market on West Hillsborough Avenue has about five aisles, a meat counter, a small refrigerated section and a whole lot of produce. Scott filed into the store to a boom of cheers from Cuban, Venezualan and Mexican-Americans. He started his speech in Spanish.

“We’ve cut taxes about 40 times. We have cut about 3,000 regulations. In my plan going forward, we’re going to cut filing fees. We’re going to continue to cut taxes every year. My goal is to continue to cut taxes every year. I want to have small business people do better in Florida than business people anywhere.”

Even though Scott’s stop at the market brought business practically to a halt for about an hour, the tiny shop will be a backdrop for Scott’s reelection campaign theme – Let’s Get to Work. Scott’s Lt. Governor, Carlos Lopez Canterra, says Scott has made it easier for entrepreneurs to get started.

“When Charlie Crist was governor, it took over 40 days to get a professional license in Tallahassee and today it takes only two. That’s a big deal.”

Bashing Democratic gubernatorial candidate and former governor Charlie Crist has become something of a theme on the Scott campaign trail.

“And the alternative, well, you don’t know what you’ll get there because I don’t think even Charlie knows who he is. He can’t decide what he wants to be when he grows up.”

Crist was governor during the Great Recession. His administration saw record job losses as the economy tanked. Scott’s campaign and his newly appointed Lt. Governor are using that as ammunition against Crist who is Scott’s likely opponent in the November election.

“When he took office, the unemployment rate of this state was 11.1%. Today it is 6.2%.

But Scott is keeping his focus on jobs.

“We’ve added 600,000 jobs in a little over 3-years. And that’s from the prior 4-years under Charlie Crist, the state lost 832,000 jobs.”

Scott is also trying to relate to voters. He spent tens of million of his own money on his 2010 campaign. But he didn’t always have such deep pockets.

“I grew up in a family that struggled for jobs. Small businesses create a lot of jobs. The chamber says about 80% of the jobs in our state are working in small business. I want families like mine growing up, to have a job everyday.”

Scott also stopped in Lakeland for a similar campaign event Friday afternoon. He’ll be back in Tampa for the second day of the Republican Party of Florida’s quarterly meeting Saturday.

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