Building Regional Stewardship in SC
Earlier this month, the North Myrtle Beach (SC) Chamber of Commerce, along with support and sponsorship of a diverse group of public and private sector organizations and institutions from South Carolina's Horry and Georgetown counties, presented the state's and region's First Forum on Regional Sustainable Development.
“This was a good first step in building regional stewardship towards developing a positive, long-term growth agenda for Horry and Georgetown counties . . . Regions are the building blocks of the economy and the platform from which to tackle issues of sustainable development,” commented Marc Jordan, president and CEO of the North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce/CVB. The forum featured national and regional speakers on the economy, social equity and the environment, including Ted Abernathy Jr., CEcD, executive director of the Southern Growth Policy Board.
Find out the challenges and opportunities identified by speakers and panelists as obstacles to long term sustainable development for the two-county area by clicking here: http://www2.scnow.com/news/2010/oct/18/public-transportation-education-and-literacy-tappe-ar-978799/
Sending "Thanks" This Veterans Day in Pike County, IL
This coming Veterans Day, as many chambers of commerce are helping to fund and run parades and memorial services for the veterans who have served our country, one chamber found a unique way to express its gratitude on this holiday. Thanks to the idea of an anonymous veteran, the Pike County (IL) Chamber of Commerce is distributing 7,500 postcards free of charge to residents across the County, asking only that they attach a stamp, send it to a veteran in Pike County, and say "thanks for your service." Says Pike County Chamber's Executive Director Kaye Iftner, "It's not just limited to mailing them to veterans. We want to mail them to families who have a serviceman who has passed away or is serving active duty to say thanks to them too."
Read more about the "Let's Say Thanks" program here: http://www.whig.com/story/news/pike-postcard-program-102610
Friends Blogging about Friends
Today our friends over at Market Street Services wrote a blog post about our friend Kelly Miller at the Asheville (NC) Convention and Visitors Bureau. Kelly, a graduate of the ACCE Ford Foundation Regional Sustainable Development Fellowship, was a featured speaker at a recent C2ER regional conference that was held in Asheville. He presented on a successful state legislative effort to raise the bed tax in Asheville by 1% to create a funding source for key tourist development projects.
Ranada from Market Street provides a great recap about a strong program. It's worth a read.
A Creative Approach to Leadership Exchange
Who says you have to go out of state to talk about issues affecting the nation and your region? In an attempt to include more people in their popular Leadership Exchange program, the Denver (CO) Metro Chamber is planning a new way to bring thought leaders together. Their approach is designed to allow more people to participate and to help save them money. Read more here: http://www.denverpost.com/business/ci_16423649
Experts on Manufacturing
Our friends at the Southern Growth Policies Board recently asked a panel of experts to explain why is manufacturing suddenly so popular among policy makers. Their responses about the importance of manufacturing to overall economic health should be news to anyone in the chamber profession, but their perspectives may help you make the case.
Click to read: Ask the Experts - Manufacturing
Here are a few select quotes:
- "Manufacturing can be a driver to speed recovery and build economic stability."
- "...data show that manufacturing jobs pay 20 percent more than service-sector jobs"
- "...if manufacturing experiences an upturn, we will certainly see the economy improve."
Why You Should Care About State Politics
Besides general interest in politics, why should you care about the outcome of gubernatorial and statehouse races in states other than your own? Simple – redistricting.
As a result of the 2010 census, next year 18 states, including New York, Ohio, Florida, and Texas, will gain or lose representation in the House of Representatives. In total 24 seats will change. The outcome of next week’s state races will play a big role in the balance of power in the House of Representatives for the coming decade.
Read more in this article from CNN - Why it matters: Elections outside your state can affect you
To discuss this issue and the numerous other ways national politics impact local policy and vice versa, join the ACCE Government Relations Division for a conference call this Thursday at 11am eastern. Click here for more info on this Peer-to-Peer Conference Call - 2010 Election Politics and State/Local Policy
Chamber Office Receives Makeover, Pumpkin-style
The Schuylkill (PA) Chamber of Commerce has put in place an innovative plan with a surprising yield -- pumpkins! Over 90 gladiator pumpkins (approximately the size of basketballs) were delivered to the Chamber, covering the floor of an entire office. The pumpkins are the fruit of an alliance between the Chamber and the Schuylkill Conservation District. The Chamber instituted the Adopt-an-Acre program to educate the business community about “the ups and downs” of farming. Click here for details on how the plan works:
Chamber President Goes to the Principal's Office
Bruce Katz on Metro Regions and the Next Economy
Watch the Brookings Institution’s Bruce Katz in a video for Time explain how metros must leverage their assets and invest in infrastructure to prosper in the globally competitive 21st Century economy. This is gut check level stuff.
Some salient quotes:
“There is no national economy… national economies are just networks of metropolitan economies.”
“For metropolitan areas to succeed then need to know who they are in the global market. They need to know what makes them distinctive.”
“If we want to compete in this century we have to build an economy that is driven by exports.”
Regional GR in NC
I’ll stick my neck out and pose two assertions this Friday morning:
- Advocacy is an essential chamber function, but many smaller chambers lack the professional staff horsepower to drive a robust government affairs program.
- Whether in your state house or on Capitol Hill, there is strength in numbers – provided that members of the group are all on the same page.
Hopefully you’ve been nodding along so far so I don’t need to make a stronger argument for chambers joining together to forge a regional advocacy alliance.
Regional advocacy is an issue I like to talk about because it makes so much sense for so many chambers. In fact, I wrote about this topic for the summer 2010 issue of ACCE’s Chamber Executive magazine – check out Joining Forces for Effective Advocacy.
Now I can add a new regional advocacy alliance to my growing list – Eastern North Carolina. While they are still developing a legislative agenda, the seeds of government affairs cooperation have sprouted among chambers in a predominantly rural, 13 country region between Raleigh and the Outer Banks.
Read about the blossoming regional coalition in this article: Region's chambers setting legislative agenda
Learn more about the region and the alliance here: http://www.nceast.org/ccncer