Emily Brewer believes ‘economic development is about people’

Published 11:15 am Saturday, June 10, 2017

As the owner of a small business, Emily Brewer of Holland Borough in Suffolk is concerned with economic development on small and large scales. During her interview with the editorial staff of The Tidewater News, Brewer said that as a delegate, promoting such growth in Western Tidewater is “a supreme responsibility.” One of the reasons she decided to run for the 64th seat is that she’s been living in this area a long time, and that a lot of people Brewer grew up with have left the region. [for better economic opportunities]. Further, she’s seen the existing talent pool continually bled annually.

“And that that frustrates me. Anything we can do to create a better environment for job growth, economic development is key,” said Brewer.

One thing positive she had to say about Gov. Terry McAuliffe is that he loves economic development as well. But. in some degree he goes about it in the wrong way. That large amounts of money go here and there for large industries, but some initiatives have not rewarded small businesses. As a delegate, she would work toward legislation that “pulls out some opportunity funds earmarked for small businesses.”

The unemployment rate in Franklin, she seemed to recall, is about 5.6, and 4 percent statewide, but doesn’t think the number is accurate, noting that a lot of people drop off in seeking jobs, so the numbers could possibly be double. Brewer would like to get incentives to areas, such as Franklin, which could stimulate growth or offer startup funds.

Regarding transportation needs, she acknowledged that Route 460 has long been a problem, such as trucks heavily using the route. She suggests using easements to create a center turn lane and make a buffer zone for safer travel. This could be done in about three problem areas and would have minimal impact.

“Not every road project has to be grandiose to be successful,” said Brewer, adding that she’s not in favor of cutting up towns or make people move their businesses.

Continuing on the theme of economic development, she said that there hasn’t been a meaningful tax overhaul since 1972.

“In Virginia, we pay more in taxes than on food, clothing and shelter combined. If that doesn’t scare anybody, I don’t know what does,” Brewer said.

A “slashing” of corporate taxes and even lowering income tax to alleviate the tax burden would serve as an economic stimulus.

She would look forward to working with other Republicans in creating meaningful tax reforms, and has no problem with cooperating with Democrats.

“Economic development isn’t a party issue, economic development is about people,” she said. “I’m going to be active, passionate and work hard for everybody … helping those with the most and the least.”

Her Day 1 priority will be to sit down with every legislator whose territory touches the 64th District to discuss issues, one of which includes adoption and foster care reform.

As a way to keep in touch with constituents, Brewer has a goal of setting up an office in Isle of Wight, for example, and have hours in various other localities to meet them.

“It’s a citizen-run legislator. You shouldn’t have to be rich. People expect full-time service,” said Brewer. “I think I’m going to be the hardest-working legislator. Everyone’s vote counts the same.”

“You’ve got to work hard for the people,” she said. “You’ve got to be among the people.”

To learn more, visit her website at www.brewerforva.com.