As the voice of business in the Charleston metro region, the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce is committed to keeping our region competitive and improving the business climate. One of the best ways we can achieve this goals is through the legislative process
Each year the Chamber identifies top legislative priorities that we will pursue on a local, State, and Federal level. To learn more about the Chamber’s process for developing and implementation the Legislative Agenda please download the Overview of the Process and our Guiding Principles. The Chamber is proud to work on behalf of our members to advocate policies and legislation that contributes to the growth and prosperity of our region.
Below are the general position statements on the Chamber’s top legislative priorities. For more information please download the Complete 2012 Legislative and Public Policy Agenda.
Business Creation, Recruitment, Retention, and Expansion
The Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce supports legislation that will support the region’s efforts to attract quality business, industry and jobs to the area and to expand existing business and industry. In particular, the Chamber supports the expansion of growth clusters including the maritime and port industry, the hospitality industry, defense and homeland security and the development and expansion of knowledge-based business.
Education and Workforce Development
Mobilizing the resources and leadership necessary to achieve excellence in academics and career preparation is one of the top priorities of the Chamber. Public Policy will advocate the changes necessary in primary and secondary schools to prepare all students for the careers of the future.
Environment and Energy
The Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce must work to ensure that environmental regulation encourages and supports a growing economy while balancing and protecting the region’s quality of life. Environmental legislation regulation should not unnecessarily increase the administrative burden, resulting in unnecessary regulations, project delays or become cost prohibitive to business.
The rising cost of healthcare directly impacts business. One of the contributors to rising costs is the increased cost to the state’s Medicaid system for providing healthcare to the uninsured. The Chamber will work to reduce healthcare costs for business.
Visitors are a multi-billion dollar business in the Charleston region and provide thousands of jobs – both directly and indirectly. In 2009, there were an estimated 4 million people who visited the region, contributing an estimated $3 billion to the local economy. As one of the region’s key economic engines, the continued vitality of the visitor industry is critical to support the thousands of hospitality-based businesses operating in the region. Additionally, the industry indirectly supports thousands of non-hospitality-based businesses through business and employee spending on goods and services.
Military Base/Federal Facilities Retention and Expansion
The Chamber’s Military/Federal Facilities Policy Council works closely with the entire South Carolina congressional delegation on retaining the 22,000 jobs associated with the region’s military facilities. The Policy Council also works to expand the region’s $4.67 billion military/federal presence by seeking additional missions and expansion opportunities.
The Chamber advocates for a business climate that is conducive to business expansion. The regulatory environment of the state must be balanced and not burdensome for business.
Transportation and Infrastructure
Modern, up-to-date infrastructure must be maintained for the region to effectively compete in the global marketplace. Without the ability to move goods and services to customers, businesses cannot compete and succeed.