Monday, August 15, 2011

Two in One Day

Today the Chamber provided opportunities for businesses to speak with two United States Senators in one day—a historic event that highlights an important Chamber service: representing business interests with the government.

“We are honored to host both U.S. Senators here in Pierce County - meeting with businesses and looking at how we can work together to create jobs,” said Tom Pierson, Chamber President & CEO.

The Chamber hosted an advocacy breakfast held at the Pacific Grill Events Center with U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell and then an afternoon session for a small group of business leaders with U.S. Senator Patty Murray at the Chamber office.

At the advocacy breakfast attended by about one hundred people, Senator Cantwell spoke on priorities such as access to capital under the Small Business Jobs Acts and expanding infrastructure improvement lending for roads and freight while highlighting accomplishments like the Asarco cleanup and airborne tanker jobs. Sen. Cantwell also took questions from the audience.

During the Q & A portion of the breakfast, Linda Remsberg, CEO of NoteWorld, asked about the regulatory burdens of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act bill. Sen. Cantwell responded that she felt Congress needed to focus on solving the actual problem rather than creating hundreds of pages of new, complex regulations. She looked forward to discussing the detailed impacts to Remsberg’s company later.

At the Chamber’s afternoon advocacy session, Senator Murray largely listened to comments from a group of business representatives. Sen. Murray asked about the business climate. Points raised included not losing sight of the multiple deficits in education and a skilled workforce while working on options for people who have lost jobs but are starting new businesses.

As President of Go Local, a local business advocacy group, Patricia Lecy-Davis pointed out that there are over 5,000 locally owned businesses in Tacoma. “Many new local startups are people who recently lost their jobs. As new business owners, many don’t know what tools are available to them.”

Senator Murray, a recent appointee to chair the U.S. Congress’ Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, looked forward to having a comprehensive discussion with other legislators on how best to put people to work and support businesses of all sizes.

View photos from today’s advocacy events at the Chamber’s facebook page.

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