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Lancaster Chamber Unveils 2014 Pro-Business Agenda
February 2014

Hello. And welcome to At the Center.

Did you know that The Lancaster Chamber was founded in 1872 by a group of business owners who recognized there was power in the collective voice of the business community? They realized that by working together, they could have a greater community-wide impact than if they went solo in their attempts to get government attention.

Today, 142 years later, The Lancaster Chamber remains poised as ever to represent business interests at the local, state and federal level.

This commitment to advocacy is perhaps best represented by the development of our annual pro-business agenda – a road map of priority issues geared toward creating a better business climate.

For 2014, we have organized our Agenda around five key goals: tax, budget & fiscal matters; regulation; talent; sustainable communities; and, a holdover from last year, transportation.

On the fiscal matter front, we intend to continue our work toward the creation of a competitive tax climate. From what gets taxed to what gets spent, we are committed to championing an effective and efficient tax structure at all levels of government. As such, we will soon be weighing in with our reaction to the Governor’s latest budget proposal.

Regarding regulation, we consistently hear from our membership about the negative consequences and costs of over-regulation and we want to be your partner in seeking relief. Whether it be through advocating for change, testifying on the reality of current regulations or simply offering programs to help you navigate the regulatory landscape, we are committed to working on your behalf.

Talent is an issue that is becoming an increasing concern for members as more and more of you get back to the business of growing your workforce. In this area, we want to be intentional about maximizing the link between business and education. We want to promote career exploration and professional development for those who need it and we want to advance education reforms that allow for more flexibility at the local level. It goes without saying that we all win when all of our residents are trained for the employment opportunities that are available and, we believe, we can help bridge the gap.

Sustainable Communities is a priority that we have taken on in recent years in response to the distressed fiscal status of many of our local governments. From advocating for changes in binding arbitration to championing pension reform at the local level, we are committed to making sure our local governments have the resources they need to operate, while not being overburdened by dictates from the state on how they can spend it. Again, this is all about building a positive business climate –one that includes essential local government services.

And, finally, transportation remains a major area of focus for the coming year. While we were thrilled to celebrate the passage of a major transportation bill last year –and, again, we thank our entire local delegation for their support – we now want to be sure that the money generated from the bill gets spent as wisely as possible. In that regard, we will keep fighting for all types of transportation improvements throughout Lancaster County.

Our agenda is an aggressive one, and it simply cannot be done without your active support and engagement. Please help us realize the full impact of a collective business voice….Participate when you see a Voter Voice email come across your desk; participate in our annual trips to Harrisburg and Washington DC; volunteer on any number of our issue advisory groups; or just stay informed and let us know what issues are impacting you.

We believe that what started us out 142 years ago still holds true today –there is great power in the collective voice of the business community. Please help us leverage that.
Until next time. Stay informed, stay engaged and stay with us…At the Center.

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