The Lancaster County Chamber of Commerce is the community’s leading advocate and champion for business. Its primary objective is to create a climate of growth and success in our community. The Public Affairs Division will work at all levels of government to evaluate, recommend and promote initiatives that focus on the critical priorities of the community.
The Lancaster County Chamber of Commerce is a respected and trusted resource organization that influences, informs and educates on behalf of the business community. To effectively compete, the Chamber believes Lancaster County needs to have a strong commitment to developing a competitive workforce and the necessary infrastructure. To achieve these goals, the Public Policy committee along with input from the Chamber membership and final approval by the Board of Directors, has identified and developed the following list of Legislative Priorities to help enhance the business climate in Lancaster County. Primary areas of focus for the 2013-2014 Agenda include a Competitive Workforce, Infrastructure, Tax Reform, Healthcare Reform and Economic Development.
The Chamber believes that life-long learning is a key driver of economic development. The Chamber believes our community and state needs a focused and comprehensive effort to develop a competitive and skilled workforce that has the knowledge and skills necessary to meet the needs of our employers today and into the future, and to enable our local citizens to compete in today’s workforce.
South Carolina's population has increased by more than one million over the last two decades and Lancaster County has ranked in the top five counties over the past five years in population growth. Additionally, port volumes are expected to double to more than two million containers a year by 2025. At the same time, the tourism economy continues to expand with more visitors traveling to the Palmetto State each year. These, and other factors, have overextended the state's infrastructure, including our roads, railroad system, water/ sewer system and energy delivery. In order for South Carolina and Lancaster County to meet the needs of business and citizens, a long range plan to adequately fund infrastructure improvements is critical to maintain good economic health.
Tax policy is critical to existing business and potential companies deciding to open, expand or locate in South Carolina and Lancaster County. Decisions are based largely on competitiveness, predictability and sustainability. South Carolina’s current tax system needs to be restructured to become more balanced and equitable for both businesses and citizens. Legislators need to be open to consideration of reforming any and/or all existing tax policies to achieve a tax system to make our state more competitive for business that supports a vision of long-term economic prosperity, including mechanisms for funding critical needs such as education and infrastructure.
The Chamber recognizes that health insurance access and affordability continues to be an issue for businesses throughout the state, especially small businesses. The Chamber is focused on monitoring the decisions of our government bodies, encouraging decisions be made to keep our nation competitive and educating our members on any new and existing policies that require their attentions.
Economic Development (Energy, Regulatory Reform, Tort Reform, Tourism)
The Chamber is an advocate of developing and implementing a comprehensive statewide economic development plan that focuses on creating jobs of the future, business retention, and incentives for high-growth companies. Locally, the Chamber supports our local municipalities and Lancaster County Economic Development Corporation to recruit new businesses and develop a policy that encourages local business expansions.
- Additionally, the Chamber understands that steps need to be taken to ensure new and innovative ideas are being developed for energy use and consumption that can be utilized without causing unnecessary harm to the environment.
- The Chamber believes our state should continually monitor and review regulatory policies to create a competitive economic climate without causing harm to our environment.
- The Chamber also believes that tort policies should continually be reviewed to avoid a system that encourages unnecessary lawsuits and offers businesses a competitive economic climate.
- The Chamber supports local entities focused on enhancing tourism opportunities that encourages more people to visit Lancaster County.
recognizes that regulatory policies have a massive impact on the cost and affordability of doing business in South Carolina and supports:
- Streamlining and combining of agencies and different departments within the state to improve government efficiency.
- Continued efforts to ensure SC remains a right to work state.
- Continued repayment of federal UI loan while providing adequate relief to all SC businesses.
The Chamber supports initiatives to improve the viability of the following local entities that enhance tourism in our region:
- Andrew Jackson State Park
- USCL’s Native American Center
- The Carolina Tread trail
- The Olde English Tourism District
Lancaster County Chamber Public Policy Committee
The public policy committee is the clearinghouse for all legislative and Chamber positions of the Lancaster County Chamber of Commerce.
This committee is responsible for reviewing issues of public/business concern on the local, state and national level, and developing and recommending Chamber positions on these issues for Board approval. Other committee actions include developing a list of Legislative Priorities, Legislative E-Voice Updates, and Call to Action Alerts
2015 PUBLIC POLICY COMMITTEE
Susan Rowell, Chair
The Lancaster News
Nutramax Laboratories, Inc.
Founders Federal Credit Union
Dr. Walter Collins, III
James K. “Ken” Davis
Thompson & Davis, CPAs
State Farm Insurance
Lancaster & Chester Railroad
York Technical College
Carolina Public Relations
Dr. Gene Moore
Lancaster County School District
J. Marion Sims Foundation
Walter “Skip” Pawul
PCI Group, Inc.
Lancaster County Natural Gas Authority