Chamber Chat - Legislative Agenda Part I

Apr 29

By Meg Moss


The Sanford Area Growth Alliance (SAGA) Chamber of Commerce appreciates the opportunity to work closely with the Lee County Board of Commissioners, City of Sanford Councilmen, Town of Broadway Commissioners, North Carolina General Assembly, and Congressional Leaders in Washington DC to accomplish mutually beneficial goals and objectives for the economic prosperity of Sanford-Lee County.


The SAGA Chamber of Commerce represents 580+ member businesses. Together with our members, we advocate to protect and influence policy that supports businesses and a prosperous business climate for our entire region.


In 2015, The Lee County Economic Development Corporation and Sanford Area Chamber of Commerce merged into the Sanford Area Growth Alliance, a public-private organization. The organization is guided by the following mission:

Expand and diversify the economic base of Lee County and raise overall prosperity through comprehensive economic, infrastructure, and workforce development strategies that support existing businesses and encourage new business recruitment.


To guide SAGA’s work, a Steering Committee was formed, and via surveys, focus group meetings, and planning workshops, a Program of Work was developed with nine key areas of focus.


This article is the first in a two part series that discusses the SAGA – Chamber Legislative Agenda. Over the past year, the Chamber Small Business Advocacy Committee, led by David Caplan of Lee County Farm Bureau, created a Legislative Subcommittee, headed up by John Ramsperger of Sanford Real Estate. Along with a group of committed Chamber members, a Legislative Agenda was developed. It was recently approved by the Chamber Board of Directors, and the SAGA Executive Committee. The mission of the Chamber Legislative subcommittee is to monitor proposed or current legislation in determining whether it enhances or detracts from the SAGA Program of Work and legislative agenda of the Chamber of Commerce.


Our areas of advocacy will fall within the nine goals of SAGA’s Program of Work. This week we will focus on the first four areas.


Market Lee County. Marketing both internally and externally will be critical to Lee County. Internal marketing is needed to inform stakeholders about the organization’s goals, strategies, and progress. External marketing is needed to recruit new businesses and people to Lee County. We will advocate for the need for funding to develop a marketing program to build both an internal and external marketing plan.


Education, Workforce Development and Leadership Development. Across the state and well beyond, the ability to attract, train, and retain talent is the number one concern of business. We will be an active and engaged partner in advocating for policies and programs that will support this mission.


Retain and Expand Business. Existing businesses account for up to 75% of all new investment and job creation in a community. To capture these opportunities, we will advocate for a proactive Business Retention and Expansion Program.


Small Business and Entrepreneur Development. We will advocate for the needs of small and locally grown small businesses as the needs arise. Additionally, as entrepreneurship is on the rise, we will listen to the needs of the start-ups and advocate to help them start their businesses.


This Legislative Agenda is a “rolling agenda” and serves as a base document that will constantly be monitored for purposes of updating or adding issues of importance to the Sanford-Lee County community.

The Chamber encourages you to get involved in the political discussion. We encourage you to contact us, and your elected officials on issues of importance to your business.

The Sanford Area Growth Alliance Chamber of Commerce believes that if something impacts your business and the growth and success of Sanford-Lee County, then it’s our business too.

Next week, we’ll take a look at the five additional segments of the Legislative Agenda, which correspond to the SAGA Program of Work.

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