We ADVOCATE for Business...
As the recognized voice of West Anne Arundel County on issues like Odenton Town Center development, infrastructure, and transportation, the West County Chamber is an active advocate for area interests. Chamber leaders meet regularly with public officials to discuss policy issues of concern to our membership, and are often found testifying at County Council and General Assembly sessions.
In 2009, the Chamber formed the Odenton-NOW Coalition, which was instrumental in the negotiations leading to capital appropriations for new sewer and water lines to support the development of the Odenton Town Center. Those projects are now underway, and construction is occurring throughout the Odenton Town Center. Subcommittees of the Chamber's Economic Development Committee are now exploring issues such as cooperative efforts to maintain public amenities in the Town Center and creation of a mechanism to ensure impact fees collected in the Town Center are spent on local needs.
The Chamber's Legislative Committee annually reviews over 100 bills affecting Maryland business and provides feedback to the Maryland Chamber's Legislative Committee and our representatives to the General Assembly. 2012’s budgetary challenges offer an additional risk for new taxes to be imposed on business owners, and the Chamber will be watching closely for any that will impact our members. Annually we prepare a brochure highlighting the Chamber's Priority Issues, which is distributed to local officials. We also provide testimony on issues of direct concern to our members, including transportation funding, minimum wage increases, stormwater management, septic tank limitations, and expansion of prevailing wage laws to private projects. The Chamber often hosts local elected officials so members can share their concerns on business issues.
Chamber Action Network
There’s strength in numbers, and the West County Chamber works through the Chamber Action Network, a grassroots coalition of nearly 50 Chambers of Commerce throughout the state representing over 22,000 employers, to ensure the voice of business is heard. The CAN website delivers public policy information in new and interactive ways, including:
- Issue pages on important public policy topics, as well as priority legislation. These pages provide simple summaries, useful resources, news links, in addition to more detailed policy positions.
- A frequently-updated Blog managed by Maryland Chamber staff, and updated by state lobbyists and staff from the other CAN partner organizations.
- Video updates from Maryland Chamber lobbyists in Annapolis, as well as video interviews with policy experts, lawmakers, and business people from across the state.
- Grassroots tools to help business people identify and communicate with their legislators.
- A calendar of business-related public policy events from around the state.
- Polls and surveys to seek feedback from business people like you.
We hope you’ll visit the CAN website frequently and encourage your employees and colleagues to do the same. Get involved in our advocacy efforts. Tell us how proposed legislation will impact your business. Use the site’s grassroots tools to communicate with your elected officials. Comment on blog posts that pique your interest. In short, get involved. Your participation will make our pro-business advocacy efforts stronger.