The power of any chamber of commerce stems from a grassroots level, where engaged businesses participate. It is in our communities where the “voice of business” is first heard. You’re the ones who experience issues of critical importance to your businesses, and your chamber is here to rally support for the positions/policies that can make a real difference. The Strait Area Chamber is proud to have a highly engaged membership, which has directly contributed to our ability to improve policy development and accountability by governments at all levels.
How It All Works
Advocacy on issues such as government budget releases, taxation changes, and regulatory requirements are responded to in a collaborative and open process that invites comments from the general membership. To ensure the integrity of our advocacy, the Strait Area Chamber of Commerce has a rigorous process for taking a collective position on issues affecting the business community. Our Policy Committee is comprised of Past Presidents, and chaired by a current Board Member. This committee proactively seeks policy development ideas from the Board and General Membership – seeking input on far-reaching and broad-based matters that are important to the growth and prosperity of our members, and of the region as a whole.
The Policy Committee meets 3-4 times per year (sometimes more frequently should pressing issues arise), and uses information from a variety of sources in their deliberations, considers pre-existing approved Chamber positions, consults with members of other relevant Chamber Committees, and delivers a recommended policy position to the Board of Directors. It is the responsibility of the Board of Directors to review the information and then vote to approve, reject, or request additional information on the recommended policy position as presented by the committee.
Another critical component of our advocacy process is our ongoing partnership with the Atlantic Chamber of Commerce (Policy Advisory Committee) and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce; these organizations inform our policy development at the local level, and they often act as conduits to ensure that a strong voice from the Strait Area is heard at the regional and national levels.
Our three advocacy streams include:
- Policy Alerts let our members know about hot-button topics that are time-sensitive in nature.
- Our Policies are longer-term in nature; they form the foundation of our work in creating a Strait Area that is one of the best regions in which to invest, live, work and conduct business.
- Thought Leaders blogs capture topics from celebrating success to idea generation to advocacy with regular contributions from past presidents and other guest writers across the region.
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