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The week where Hizzoner Buddy Dyer loved the state of his city while not necessarily minding the rules of campaigning (again). Also, small business is not all business, folks. Businesses are people, too!

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“It would be nice if you could walk by a polluted lake, take a picture and all that pollution would be gone,” he laughed, adding (with all due outrage), “I think it’s reckless and irresponsible for the mayor and his staff to encourage charitable organizations and nonprofits to engage in improper activity that is against the rules.”

Pulling our head out of Dyer’s ass for a minute, on Feb. 29 a new working group formed by the perpetual hellraisers of Organize Now, called the Community Business Association, held a small press conference – so small that we were the only press there – to release a new report titled “Taking the Pulse of Florida Small Businesses.” The obvious logic behind the report is to expose the feelings of real business owners outside of the “corporate influence” of groups like the Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce. Among the findings culled from face-to-face interviews with 103 small business owners, mostly from Orlando and its surrounding communities: Most businesses want more customers, not fewer regulations or lower taxes; 70 percent agree that large corporations should pay higher taxes than the, uh, non-taxes they’re paying now; 72 percent claim that the foreclosure crisis is wrecking their businesses; an overwhelming majority support health-care reform, largely because more than half of them don’t have any health insurance for themselves or their employees at present.

“Conservatives tend to fetishize this idea of business people,” says Fred Barr, a small businessman who owns Barr Creative Services. “If we become visible and share our sensibilities, maybe some people will come out of the closet. This is a chance to depoliticize things.”

Can we just depoliticize everything now? We’re getting tired of wringing our hands.

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