Chambers set agenda for statewide businesses
Chambers of commerce around the state have developed their annual Statewide Agenda for Arizona Business, and will deliver it to all legislators soon. The plan outlines in general terms the top legislative priorities. Twenty-seven chambers, including the Prescott and Prescott Valley chambers, have adopted the legislative agenda and encourage our legislators to support the chambers' positions.
The top five business priorities for 2011 are:
1) To advance tax policies that encourage job creation, attract capital investment, and facilitate Arizona's ability to attract and retain businesses in diverse industries;
2) To oppose efforts to balance the state's general fund by sweeping dedicated funds that were collected from specific taxpayers for targeted purposes;
3) To continuously improve education at all levels so that students have the necessary skills for success in the global economy;
4) To support reform of the current litigation system including tort reform and greater use of alternative dispute resolution to reduce costs to business; and
5) To support a comprehensive federal policy to properly seal our porous borders, respond to the needs of the economy, and address the issue of illegal immigrants already in the United States.
Women in Business
What chamber member has a direct economic impact of $26.4 million in the local economy? The answer: Prescott College. The college's new president, Dr. Kristin Woolever, will share this and other information about the college at the chamber's quarterly Women in Business luncheon noon-1:15 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 16, at the Hassayampa Inn. She has some ideas about expanding the college's presence in the community and is seeking public input as well. Come to the lunch and find out more. You can reserve a seat and pay online at the chamber's website, www.prescott.org, or call Sue at the chamber at 445-2000. Chamber members pay $20; non-members may attend for $25. Reservation deadline is Monday, Feb. 14.
Business Success Tools
I mentioned in last month's column the debut of a new, online, free business assistance program, Tools for Business Success. The Arizona Public Service program can be accessed through www.prescott.org. The program is designed for someone considering opening a business or for someone already in business but is looking for some new ideas. Topics include information about business survival in tough economic times, funding programs, tax incentives, government requirements, and tips on taking your business to the next level, just to mention a few. There are also specific sections on such topics as manufacturing, networking, resources for veterans, youth in business, tourism and retail trades. All of this information is free and available through this special program. If you have suggestions for improving any of the information, please let me know.
2011 Chamber Directory
The chamber's membership directory and community profile publication is now available at the chamber office at 117 W. Goodwin St. The publication is free, and Prescott residents are encouraged to use the directory and keep your spending dollars local whenever possible. The directory is always online as well at www.prescott.org. The publication will also be available on CD in the weeks ahead, and a little later in the year we will debut a chamber smartphone app with the same information.
The Prescott Chamber is pleased to welcome the following new members: A Haunting Experience; Azex Pest Control; Barbara Propes; Bearizona Wildlife Park; Cairn Financial Services; Chapter 5; D. E. S. Employment Services; Drake Cement, LLC; Gold Buyers of Prescott; Kranny; LOL PRESCOTT; MATForce; Neal Moser Guitars; Partners in Health Naturally; Prescott YMCA of Yavapai County and San Marin Travel Agency.