We know influencing legislative decisions is a tough task. Albert Einstein once remarked, “politics is far more complicated than physics.” Here in California, where a recession still looms large, state legislators recently introduced more than two-dozen legislative items that could impose costly workplace mandates, establish regulatory burdens and eliminate lifelines to help keep employers afloat.
There are more than 3.3 million small businesses in California, and 95 percent of all businesses in San Diego are small businesses. The importance of the local business voice speaking on policy issues is a powerful tool that cannot be ignored by decision makers.
The San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce’s new interactive legislative action webpage is one-stop shop that allows businesses to directly engage elected officials about important local, state and federal legislation.
Business owners work tireless hours meeting the demands of customers, clients and investors. It can prove difficult for a business to advocate for the long-term public policy solutions while struggling to keep the lights on and the doors open.
The Chamber Action webpage plays a critical time-saving role for business owners. The San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce’s policy experts manage legislative priority lists, conduct the research and track the progress of issues that impact the business community. Chamber Action webpage visitors can read short briefings about each item and utilize tools to communicate directly with legislators.
While we could debate the pros and cons for each of these legislative proposals until rain falls again in San Diego, the reality is that the demanding business climate in California is forcing businesses to find greener pastures outside the Golden State.
For example, in 2011, 254 businesses moved out of California to other states – nearly five per week. This is a 24 percent increase over 2010. Notables included Dunn-Edwards Paints, eBay Inc. (which will add 1,000 high-paying jobs in Austin, Texas, after receiving government incentives to locate there), the new owner of Claim Jumper and Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., and Hyundai Capital America. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. Our state needs to focus on recruiting 254 new businesses every year into California, not drive them out.
NST’s role on the public policy committee continues our long history of activity with the chamber and ensures our clients have a well-informed opinion about new laws, policies and regulations that impact the interests of the business community. The ultimate goal for the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce is to improve the economic climate of the San Diego region. NST will continue to play a role in this effort.
My four-month tenure on the chamber’s public policy committee has provided an eye-opening glimpse into their robust operations to influence legislation for the betterment of San Diego businesses.
While we may not be able to ever completely understand the “physics of politics”, the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce will continue to provide a great platform for discourse.