In a year of lawn signs and endless political commercials I’ve been reflecting on the number of ways that our Chamber advocates on behalf of its member businesses regarding state, local, and even national issues. This past January I had the opportunity to attend the annual Session Priorities dinner hosted by the Minnesota State Chamber of Commerce. Prior to the main event there were a number of breakout sessions where the staff from the State Chamber of Commerce outlined key legislative issues that would be coming up this year and how the Chamber was planning to advocate on behalf of businesses. I had my eyes opened both to how much some of these issues can affect my business in Faribault, and how much the Chamber is doing to advocate on my behalf.
Running a business in today’s economy takes total focus, and just handling customers and employees can more than fill a day. Dealing with legislative issues on any level might seem like the rules my parents used to give my brother and I on long drives for summer vacation “Stay on your own side and don’t bother each other”. The reality is there are a number of things our local and even state government can do to help our business, if not directly at least indirectly in the environment they create for us to do business. Unfortunately, there are also those things government can do to make it more difficult to run a competitive business.
As a board member, I have been able to see the many ways that our dedicated staff gets involved with legislative issues on behalf of its members. Not only do they keep themselves up to speed on what issues are being considered at city, county, and state levels, but they advocate on behalf of things that will help their members, and create a more positive business environment for businesses in Faribault and across Minnesota. These are important issues that most business owners just don’t have the time to stay on top of, but as a Chamber member you know someone is looking out on your behalf.
As with all government and legislative issues one of the most important things we can each do is to vote for representatives who will best represent our needs and point of view in the various governmental organizations. Each election year the chamber provides a number of resources to help you learn about the candidates and their views on issues important to business. Once again they are working hard to do the research that you might not have the time to do yourself. I encourage you to take advantage of these resources and opportunities to help inform yourself this election year so you can vote for those who will hopefully encourage rather than thwart business.
Working in a business that operates in multiple communities across southern MN I am continually impressed by how much our chamber does to support business in Faribault in so many ways. Hopefully you too now have a better appreciation of one area our chamber serves you. My name is Dan Hedge and I approve this message.