Press Releases

Greater Greer Chamber Releases its 2011 Legislative Agenda


January 4, 2011

The Greater Greer Chamber of Commerce has finalized its 2011 Legislative Agenda.  The agenda, which will be delivered to the SC General Assembly in the coming weeks entails all of the major issues that will help Greer, Upstate and state businesses be more competitive. 

The creation of the 2011 Legislative Agenda began with a survey that was sent out to the entire Greer Chamber membership, which asked them to rank issues pertinent to making their businesses more competitive. The results of the survey were then delivered to the Greer Chamber’s Legislative Committee, where it offered recommendations to the full Chamber Board, based on the survey results.  The Chamber Board then deliberated on those recommendations and survey results before finalizing the 2011 Legislative Agenda.

“This agenda clearly demonstrates our members desire for government to help not hinder economic recovery.  I’m proud of the fact that this agenda is member driven, member approved and will hopefully move our elected officials to endorse policy that is critical for member prosperity,” stated Greater Greer Chamber President and CEO Allen Smith.

The following is the Greater Greer 2011 Legislative Agenda:

Business Regulatory Reform
The Chamber recognizes that regulatory and tax policies have an enormous impact on the cost and affordability of doing business in South Carolina and the Upstate. 

The Chamber Supports:
• Achieving business-friendly, comprehensive tax reform (sales, property, income, fees, etc.)
• Achieving comprehensive tort reform, including non-economic damage caps, limit on appeals, bonds and seatbelt admissibility
• Bringing more predictability to state spending by creating a state spending cap with a budget stabilization fund
• Stream-lining the state regulatory process to save state dollars and to allow smooth progression with business expansions

Economic Development
The Chamber is an advocate of developing and implementing comprehensive statewide economic development plan that focuses on creating jobs of the future, business retention, and incentives for high-growth companies.

The Chamber supports:
• Continued port expansion, including dredging and a dual rail access solution
• Incentives for attracting new business, for existing business expansion and for encouraging private investment in high-impact start-ups
• Upstate tourism and the creation of a comprehensive SC State Tourism Plan
• Continued efforts to ensure SC remains a right-to-work state
• Dedicated funding and stable revenue for the maintenance and repair of SC roads and bridges

Education and Workforce Development
The Chamber believes that life-long education is a driver of economic development. By striving to create a workforce that has the knowledge and skills necessary to meet the business needs of the Upstate, education will become the dynamic force behind business in the Upstate.

The Chamber supports:
• Legislation that provides stable, equitable, and adequate K-12 funding
• Legislation that will increase school choice within the public school system (such as charter schools)
• Initiatives that will help to increase early childhood education and graduation rates, which will provide a more skilled workforce for business and industry in SC
• Creating a seamless process for adult learners and workers that connects education, training, and careers in the knowledge economy (such as WorkKeys)

Energy and Environment
The Chamber understands that steps need to be taken to ensure new, innovative ideas are being developed for energy use and consumption that can be utilized without causing unnecessary harm to the environment because the energy supply of our country simply does not meet the growing demand of the population.

The Chamber supports:
• Development and expansion of nuclear capacity in the Upstate as a critical need for business and industry
• Offshore energy exploration and production off South Carolina’s coast that takes into consideration tourism and the environment
• Initiatives to insure compliance with EPA air quality standards that promote development without compromising quality of life
• Long-range planning to ensure the protection of the Upstate’s water resources

Healthcare
The Chamber recognizes that health insurance affordability and access continues to be an issue for business, especially small businesses. 

The Chamber supports:
• Legislation that ensures employers are able to provide affordable and sound health insurance to employees
• Overturning the part of the current federal healthcare legislation that creates individual mandates, requiring South Carolinians to purchase health insurance or face taxes and/or fines

 
The Greater Greer Chamber of Commerce is a voluntary, non-profit organization that represents approximately 590 businesses in the Greer area. The mission of the Greater Greer Chamber of Commerce is “To Champion Economic Prosperity for our members and the greater Greer community.”  For more information on the Greater Greer Chamber of Commerce, call 864-877-3131 or visit www.greerchamber.com.

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