This year, Gwinnett's Chamber of Commerce isn't just taking a role in state politics. For the first time, the business organization has created a jobs agenda for the federal government.
With a focus on creating and retaining high-wage jobs in Gwinnett, the agenda takes on issues from taxes to trade, labor, infrastructure, energy, healthcare and even immigration reform.
"Federal issues have a direct effect on businesses within our local economy, both small and large," said Jann Moore, the Chamber's vice president of public polic. "It has become increasingly critical for the local business community to become proactive in federal issues. We need to be a part of a real plan of action to restore opportunity and a brighter future for the region."
In April, a delegation from the business community will go to the Capitol, with a smaller group slated to go to Washington in the winter.
"During a meeting last January, a chief of staff mentioned that they rely on the Chamber to provide feedback on specific implications and unintended consequences on businesses in their districts," Moore said in a press release. "Chambers across the country are becoming more involved at the federal level. Chambers provide a reliable source of information and are conveners of stakeholders and decision-makers."
Michael Cully, a member of the group's public policy council talked about the need.
"For small and grassroots businesses to multinational corporations, the issues are the same -- free enterprise in this country is under extreme pressure," said Cully, vice president of governmental affairs at Duluth-based AGCO. "Now is the time to reassert ourselves as the clear leader in the world market."
Along with a state jobs agenda focused on the General Assembly, officials said the work represents the key concerns of businesses that represent more than 70 percent of the Gwinnett workforce.
"It's all about bold Chamber leadership -- it's hard but necessary," Moore said. "It is a terrific responsibility and a privilege to represent Gwinnett and regional businesses. With the right leadership and political will, we can have comprehensive tax and entitlement reform."
Political Notebook appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.
Camie Young can be reached via email at email@example.com.
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