Chamber to serve as voice of local businesses

Tonia Stephenson Chamber Chat

March 25, 2014

Are you familiar with the Chamber’s Governmental Affairs Committee? It is a group of businesspeople, government officials, and elected officials who meet on a regular basis to provide a “Voice for the Business Community.” This group of individuals collectively is concerned about what the government is doing on a local level, state level, and national level.

If you enjoyed coming to our State of the Community Breakfast or listened to it on WLNC or if you attended the State of Education last fall or if you have come to our State Legislature breakfasts or learned from one of our Candidates Forum, then you have taken advantage of one of the events this committee has sponsored in the past. Our committee has also organized a group to attend the North Carolina Business and Economic Summit (formerly Chamber Fly-In) in Washington, DC each year. All of these are ways our committee has kept the communication between elected officials and the business community open. Each event and activity has proven to be a good opportunity to share ideas and concerns and ensure that our elected officials know what we are concerned about throughout Scotland County.

In the recent past, our chamber has not been one to look at local issues, make a stand and communicate our beliefs as a unified “Voice of Business.” This is something that our Governmental Affairs Committee has discussed, as well as our Board of Directors and it was a consensus that your chamber should be looking at these local issues and weighing in on them when it has a potential to affect the entire business community. Since our current leaders do want to truly be the “Voice of Business” at all levels, you will probably be hearing more about issues in the future and what would be the best decision to have a positive impact on our business community.

If you hear of something or you think there is an issue that our committee should investigate and discuss, please feel free to talk to me about that concern and I will take it to the committee for consideration. We strive to be the “Voice of Business” because that is a major part of a Chamber of Commerce and we want to provide for Scotland County, the best chamber we can.

Tonia Stephenson is president of the Laurinburg/Scotland County Area Chamber of Commerce.