Chamber Chat - Legislative Agenda Part II

May 06

By Meg Moss


The Sanford Area Growth Alliance (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.

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.

In last week’s Chamber Chat article, we took a look at a portion of the Sanford Area Growth Alliance – Chamber of Commerce’s Legislative Agenda. The areas focused on marketing Lee County; education, workforce development and leadership development; retention and expansion of businesses; and small business and entrepreneur development. This week, I’ll detail out the remaining five areas of the Legislative Agenda:


New Business Recruitment. We will advocate for policies that will enhance our ability to recruit and land large, medium and small businesses, as well as nonindustrial projects to include large commercial and retail projects and support large residential developments.


Develop Visitor Services. We will seek to raise funding for visitor services through an increase in the occupancy tax.


Enhance Quality of Life. The overall goal of sustainable economic development is to enhance the quality of life. Lee County enjoys an outstanding quality of life today, yet there are opportunities to enhance amenities. The recent City of Sanford bond referendum is one example of investing in amenities that will enhance quality of life. Directly related to economic development goals, more amenities will attract more people to live in Lee County which will change the demographics which will attract more business development.


Product and Infrastructure Development. Product development is one of the foundational building blocks to economic development. Businesses must have a place in which to locate. We need to form public and private partnerships to develop, qualify, and certify sites as well as to have an adequate building inventory to market.


Agriculture Development. Agriculture has an important role in the Lee County economy, not only in traditional farming but in agri-tourism, alternative energy, small business and entrepreneur development. NC Cooperative Extension is the lead agency for agriculture development; however SAGA will play a strong supporting role and lead specific agri-business initiatives. Helping agriculture have a voice at the local and state level is a role we can play here.


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.

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