Creating an Inclusive Policy Agenda

The Friday 5
August 11, 2017
We’re listening; and we want to hear from you!
August 16, 2017

Creating an Inclusive Policy Agenda

This article was published in the August edition of Greenville Business Magazine.

Government moves, business changes, and the economy moves 24 hours a day. That means public policy work never ends. As soon as the Upstate Chamber Coalition puts a ribbon on the legislative session, we begin work on the next agenda.

The Greenville Chamber and Upstate Chamber Coalition use an intentional process to gather information from anyone who is a stakeholder in our policy work. We are mindful that while we represent our nearly 10,000 investors, our Coalition’s work benefits every business and resident in the Upstate.

The Upstate Chamber Coalition is committed to creating an inclusive agenda that will benefit everyone in our region, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, class, religion, age, party affiliation, and business size. By bringing in voices from across the spectrum, we strive to build a non-partisan agenda that is focused on our community.

Make no mistake: We are focused on what’s best for business. However, the policies that enable businesses to create jobs and improve our community will always make the Upstate a better place to live, work, and play. Government policy that allows people and businesses to thrive no matter your gender, color, or creed is truly the “tide that will lift all boats” – as politicians frequently say.

This month, we’ll begin work on our 2018 agenda. There are a number of items left over from 2017 that we need to bring home in the second year of the two-year session.

We know that in 2018, we’ll focus on expanding our workforce by making it easier for people who had a non-violent run-in with law enforcement to clean up a criminal record. We’ll work to preserve the tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs that drive our regional economy by protecting long-standing manufacturers from nuisance lawsuits. We’ll continue support for a better education system from kindergarten through our four-year colleges. We will make it easier for ambitious entrepreneurs to find the funding they need to become the next great Upstate employer. We’ll support our smallest businesses by fighting for a new, streamlined business licensing system.

But we can’t advocate for anything if we don’t know the challenges and opportunities that face your business. So whether you’re opening a new store on the revitalized main streets in Spartanburg or Gaffney, you’re looking to expand a small manufacturing operation in Easley or Travelers Rest so you can ship your goods around the world, or if you’re an existing employer fighting new red tape that unrolls from city hall, Columbia, or Washington, we need to hear from you.

In the coming weeks, you will see invitations from your local Chambers  about our “listening tour” across the Upstate. We’ll work with each local Chamber in our Coalition as well as meet with as many of our industry groups that we can – small businesses, manufacturers, engineering groups, homebuilders, realtors, call centers, etc.

When those meetings are over, you should receive an invitation to participate in our legislative survey in October.

If you can’t make it, miss the invitations, or just need to let us know how government impacts your business, never hesitate to email or call our team. You can go to www.upstatechamber.org to reach us.

As we’re promoting our upcoming intercommunity leadership visit, we will #gofartogether.