By Doug Loon, President, Minnesota Chamber of Commerce
Local chambers represent economic vitality in their communities. The Minnesota Chamber Federation unites and amplifies the voice of local chambers by advocating for policies to advance business in every corner of the state. Federation partners represent more than 43 local chambers representing 75 communities and more than 21,000 businesses across Minnesota.
They have worked together to promote pro-growth policies to the Legislature for more than a decade, helping ensure that state lawmakers understand the needs and interests of Minnesota’s diverse and successful local business community. Each year, Federation members work together to develop a set of policy priorities that matter most to their members, and the business community as a whole.
The obvious priority heading into this Legislative Session is to support employers and their employees throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The impact of COVID-19 on the statewide economy and many sectors of the business community will have lasting impact and the legislature must first “do no harm” and instead pass measures that spur recovery and economic growth. Businesses cannot sustain additional tax and fee increases, mandates, regulatory burdens and other measures that will further impede business recovery.
“Business recovery from the pandemic is crucial for statewide economic success. Hospitality businesses have taken the brunt of the economic pain from government closures and restrictions, and all businesses are dealing with the challenges that Covid-19 brings to the workplace,” said Brad Meier, President and CEO of the Owatonna Area Chamber of Commerce.
“Putting the Minnesota Chamber Federation focus on economic recovery makes sense. The decisions being made at the state government level will be key in how our economy recovers from this pandemic,” he added.
The Federation supports:
Recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic is top-of-mind in Burnsville, too. According to Jennifer Harmening, President of the Burnsville Chamber of Commerce, “The top 2021 priority for the Burnsville Chamber will be addressing the impacts of COVID-19 closures on our local businesses. We appreciate that the Federation priorities are addressing several aspects of the recovery.”
Although support for businesses throughout the remainder of the pandemic is still needed from lawmakers, it’s not the only important aspect of economic recovery. The Federation also supports maintaining benefit flexibility for employers, ensuring high quality, affordable health care and reliable, cost-effective energy and environmental sustainability.
At the Minnesota Chamber, we appreciate the Federation’s efforts to advocate on behalf of policies that can move Minnesota toward long-term prosperity. No one understands local economies better than local chambers. We look forward to standing together on behalf of all businesses in the state this legislative session.