I’ve been a member of the Grand Junction Chamber’s Governmental Affairs Committee for a long time…longer than I’ve been on the board actually. And as we meet at 7:00 AM every other Tuesday this winter to discuss and cuss about bills being introduced and moving through the Colorado General Assembly, I am reminded once again of a famous quote by Will Rogers, “Never blame a legislative body for not doing something. When they do nothing, they don’t hurt anybody. When they do something is when they become dangerous.”
That sure is the case in Colorado as we look at bills to unionize state employees, force employers to provide paid family medical leave, cap health care provider reimbursements and tax Airbnb properties as commercial enterprises. It certainly feels like the business climate in this state is not just at risk but under attack. This isn’t about being a Democrat or being a Republican, this is about being a job creator and staying in business as public policy wonks under the Dome in Denver strive to add layer upon layer of costs and mandates to our world. Being the voice for business, as the Chamber is, in these challenging times is increasingly difficult to do because of the sheer volume of bad bills being proposed. As one of our board members quipped recently, we in the business community feel like we are playing “whack a mole.” Just when one bad idea is stopped another one or two or three surfaces.
Now imagine this very same legislative environment without the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce where in addition to running your business YOU have to digest the 700 plus bills that are being introduced. YOU have to drop everything to run to Denver or CMU to provide testimony and perspective on why something is or is not good for business. YOU have to write all the letters to lawmakers and make all the phone calls (not just the occasional one that the Chamber asks you to do). Would you still have time to run your business?
Being your voice, your advocate, is something that most of us take for granted with our Chamber membership because most days we are oblivious to what threats are out there. But the Chamber IS there. And we ARE watching. And we ARE pointing out how policies can impact the business community. For that reason alone, every local business should be a member of the Chamber. Through the advocacy work we do at all levels of government we have your back. And that should help you rest a bit easier.
Click here to download the full version of the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce March 2020 Newsletter.