By Dan Keppen, President
Chair, Klamath County Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Committee
The Klamath County Chamber of Commerce in recent years has pledged to find ways for members of our local business community to further realize tangible results from being a member of the Chamber. Towards this end, the Chamber’s Government Affairs Committee (GAC) has been increasingly active in recent years to monitor, engage in, and influence government policies that affect local businesses.
Small businesses are the key to the economic health of our community. Unfortunately, business owners face a number of significant challenges, including laws and administrative policies that emanate from Washington, D.C., Salem and local city and county governments.
As the voice of business in Klamath County, the Chamber is committed to keeping Klamath County competitive and improving the business climate. One of the best ways we can achieve this goals is through the legislative process. The Chamber’s GAC, created at the direction of the Chamber Board to advise and take action on legislative issues, is proud to work on behalf of the membership to advocate policies and legislation that contribute to the growth and prosperity of Klamath County.
The Klamath County Chamber of Commerce advocates for a business climate that is conducive to business retention and expansion, and believes the regulatory environment must be balanced and not burdensome for business. The Chamber wants to give its members a bigger bang for the bucks they contribute. Our merchants face enough challenges running their own businesses, let alone worrying about whether new rules and regulations will bring new hurdles and uncertainty into their operations. On the other hand, there are countless activist groups – many with budgets in the tens of millions of dollars- who are doing everything in their power to influence policy makers to make decisions with negative consequences for businesses.
The GAC includes interested Chamber business owners who coordinate with state and national Chambers of Commerce and local elected political officials to keep our members up to speed on policy matters that affect them. The Committee coordinates with our members and the Chamber board of directors to set priorities and engage where required.
Because the GAC believes the business community wants to see real change and a move away from what they perceive as government dysfunction, the GAC five years ago fleshed out policy priorities and vetted those with Chamber leadership. The government affairs agenda is organized into the following categories:
- Business Creation, Retention, Expansion and Recruitment
- Education and Workforce Development
- Environment, Energy and Regulation
- Kingsley Field Retention and Expansion
- Transportation and Infrastructure
Under each category, the GAC has summarized state, federal and local priorities, which are updated on a regular basis.
The involvement of our membership is vital to our organization. If you are interested in receiving GAC updates or participating on our committee, please contact Chip Massie at the Chamber (phone: 541-884-5193, or via email.