• November 2020

Members direct Chamber's advocacy work

By Debra Owen
Greater Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce

The Greater Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce is an effective influencer to all levels of government on major issues affecting business. Our team regularly attends local government meetings, along with having "boots-on-the-ground" in Pierre during the legislative session. At the federal level, the Chamber is a convener of conversations between our members and our congressional delegation.

Most importantly, our work is directed by Chamber members.

It is privilege to serve as the voice of business in these forums. Our advocacy efforts often place the Chamber at the center of public policy issues and allow us to be a partner in shaping the future of our community.

Most importantly, our work is directed by Chamber members. The Issues Management Council (IMC) bears the responsibility of making recommendations to the Board of Directors on myriad public policy issues. The Council meets monthly and is tasked with carefully analyzing the impact of public policies on our business community. A recent example is the presentations on the three ballot questions voters were presented with on Election Day. The effort is challenging, but IMC members are thoughtful and committed to their work.

Each year, IMC reviews the Chamber's policy statements. This document is foundational to our advocacy efforts and guide activities throughout the year. The policy statements represent a set of core beliefs rather than specific actions or initiatives. As such, policy statements tend not to change drastically from year to year. Instead, they are edited for context, outdated sections may be removed, or new sections may be added if necessary.

As they stand today, the Chamber's policy statements include the following section titles: Quality of Life; Taxation; Development Incentives; Business Climate; Education; Infrastructure; Environment; Government; Visitor Industry; Housing; Workforce; Diversity and Inclusivity; Business Development; Agriculture; and Health Care.

This year saw no major changes to the policy statements, and last month the Board of Directors approved the recommendations from IMC. Later this month, IMC will provide input for our work in Pierre through the Legislative Platform. Both the policy statements and the Legislative Platform are key to our advocacy efforts at all levels of government.

The complete policy statements and legislative platform can be found on the Chamber's website under the advocacy tab, at siouxfallschamber.com/policy-statements.cfm. I encourage you to review them, as all of the advocacy work begins with these member-driven documents.

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