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PA Chamber Meets with Local Chambers to Discuss Business Issues

By Jon Anzur, Vice President, Public Affairs, PA Chamber of Business & Industry

From left: Bob Garrett, President/CEO, Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce, Luke Bernstein, President/CEO, PA Chamber of Business & Industry, Bob Carl, President/CEO Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce, meeting host Fred Gaffney, President/CEO, Columbia Montour Chamber of Commerce.

There’s leadership through partnerships. Local chambers of commerce prove this every day.

The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry values and trusts our local chamber allies to communicate their members’ top issues and challenges so we can advocate for their best interests in Harrisburg and Washington, D.C. After all, local chambers of commerce are closest to the small businesses in their communities and deeply understand the issues affecting them.

PA Chamber President and CEO Luke Bernstein and our entire team have prioritized engaging with local chambers statewide to understand what knits each community together and determine ways we can work as one to move Pennsylvania forward. We celebrated the enactment of this year’s comprehensive tax reform package with visits to local chambers of commerce and economic development groups, touting our collective success in reducing the Corporate Net Income Tax in half (from 9.99 percent to 4.99 percent by 2031) along with other small business tax reforms that are making Pennsylvania the most competitive it has been in decades.

Even more recently, our team has held meet-and-greets with local chamber leaders in every region of the state. On Friday, October 30th, Luke was in Bloomsburg to meet with representatives of the Columbia Montour, Greater Susquehanna Valley, Schuylkill, and Williamsport/Lycoming chambers of commerce. Workforce funding, business leadership, and the upcoming elections were among the issues discussed.

And this is just the beginning. As we continue to travel our great Commonwealth, the PA Chamber’s leadership through partnerships philosophy is focused on how we can continue forging relationships with local chambers and work together to make Pennsylvania the best place for investment, job growth, and economic opportunity.

We’ve worked together when it counts and achieved real results for Pennsylvania’s business community. Consider, for instance, our recent success in advancing legislation that will help a group of employers avoid an unfair increase to their unemployment compensation taxes. This issue arose when a local small business contacted the Schuylkill Chamber, who in turn notified the PA Chamber, allowing us to engage our elected officials in Harrisburg. Within three months, legislation reached the Governor’s desk fixing the issue – underscoring the effectiveness of local businesses and chambers working with the PA Chamber to advocate for pro-business legislation. Together with our statewide local chamber partners, we were able to advance legislation that will help many of our small businesses facing what would have been an imminent tax increase.

The PA Chamber is committed to working with our members, elected officials from both parties, and pro-growth advocates statewide to advance additional

policies that will build on our past accomplishments. There is so much opportunity to make progress on policies that will boost our competitiveness; make our infrastructure safe, modern and efficient – not just roads and bridges but future-forward projects like autonomous vehicle development and broadband expansion; harness our natural resources so we can provide low-cost, low-emissions energy to the world; and ensure that everyone has access to the training and education they need to prepare them for the jobs that will keep their kids and grandkids in Pennsylvania for generations to come.

To do that, we need people at the local level to get involved and stay involved – and that starts with the great work being done at our local chambers. Now is our time. As we have already proven, when we put the best interests of Pennsylvanians first and work together, anything is possible.

As we commit to working with our local chamber partners, we take to heart the words of former U.S. House Speaker Tip O’Neill – “All politics is local.” The PA Chamber is dedicated to keeping local chambers’ needs top of mind as we move forward with the shared mission of creating the strong, safe, and economically vibrant communities we all deserve.

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