2017 State Agenda
The Upstate Chamber Coalition will make it easier to do business in the Upstate. The small businesses we represent face clear and present economic challenges that we must tackle to ensure our business community will continue to drive growth and create jobs.
With the local unemployment rate under 5 percent, tens of thousands of jobs are going unfilled — and half of those jobs do not require college degrees. We need a fully funded education system from pre-kindergarten to post-college job training so we can train workers for 21st Century jobs. We also need to challenge the status quo and look at innovative ways to expand the workforce from within.
The Upstate is the best place to locate a business with access to an expanding port and 95 million consumers within a day’s drive. That geographic advantage is slipping because we are neglecting basic government services. Our state must invest in our infrastructure if we’re to expand our locational advantage.
The Upstate Chamber Coalition will work at the state and local levels to cut red tape for small business, make our region more economically competitive, and lower the barriers to entry for local entrepreneurs.
Our state’s unfunded public pension liability is a fiscal crisis that could dramatically increase costs for the business community. The General Assembly needs to tackle the issue in 2017 with realistic assumptions that will minimize the impact on the private sector. Failure to address this crisis will mean fewer resources to apply to education, infrastructure, and public safety.
2017 Federal Agenda
Local business interests are increasingly tied to national legislation. The Upstate Chamber Coalition is staying in step with progress by galvanizing collective action on key federal issues. Our focal points for 2017 are listed below.
We support international trade deals that will expand the $19 Billion Upstate export economy. We support restoring the Export-Import Bank’s ability to finance projects of more than $10 million.
We will continue to oppose burdensome regulations from agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Labor Relations Board. We support legislation that will require immediate stays on regulations with a major economic impact pending judicial review.
We support funding, and regulatory approval, of the Charleston Port deepening project. We support efforts to pass increased and long-term funding legislation to repair our crumbling infrastructure.