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Chamber holds business roundtable

Posted: July 31, 2017 1:34 p.m.
Updated: August 1, 2017 1:00 a.m.

On June 28, the chamber held a business roundtable with our members to specifically talk about state regulations that are hindering businesses in Kershaw County. This roundtable was prompted by Gov. Henry McMaster’s request to hear from chamber businesses around the state in an effort to support Governor’s Executive Order No. 2017-09. We had great feedback from our members who attended and, from the discussion and comments, the chamber sent a letter and report to the Governor’s office for review.

The specific topics discussed focused primarily on Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations. However, there was additional discussion about rural transportation needs, social service wages and state programs and taxation. Specifically, our members in attendance shared concerns about the following: inconsistency in the enforcement of DOT codes and regulations around the state, inconsistency in road paving standards, slow responses to business requests for information from DOT, substandard paving standards as compared to nearby states, lack of consideration for the impact on businesses when scheduling road projects, a lack of transportation options in rural areas, inconsistent sales tax requirements between online and brick-and-mortar retailers, lack of affordable benefits and insurance options for non-profits and small businesses, low wages for social service workers, and cumbersome non-profit fundraising tax requirements.

The actual letter and report can be found on the chamber’s website at www.kershawcountychamber.org/public-information.

This roundtable focused on state regulations, but area businesses may have challenges with federal regulations or laws as well. Our chamber members will have an opportunity to discuss federal issues in August when the S.C. Chamber of Commerce hosts an event called Washington Night in South Carolina. Utilizing a town hall format, attendees will be able to interact and listen to our U.S. Congressional delegation speak about issues in Washington that affect businesses in South Carolina. Following the town hall event, attendees have an opportunity to speak one-on-one with members of our delegation and their staff. In addition to this event, I recently had the opportunity to meet the “liaisons” for our area from senators Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott’s offices. Both are very interested in what is going on in Kershaw County and want to speak with us regularly about issues facing our members. In fact, I spoke at length with Sen. Graham’s representative about information and feedback sessions that she would host for the benefit of our members. I am very excited about this opportunity for our members and look forward to sharing more as we work to put together these programs.

Working on governmental and legislative issues is not all that the chamber does (even though that may seem like the focus recently). We also work with our members to connect them to new customers or partners who will help strengthen their business. We offer advertising and promotional opportunities through celebrations and events, printed materials, our online directory, and word-of-mouth referrals. We are working on expanding our resource offerings for our members with education sessions and content that is important to businesses. I am always looking for new programs that will benefit our business community, and ultimately, improve the quality of life for everyone in Kershaw County. So once again, I say, join us! Don’t miss out on these opportunities. Let us help your business. We look forward to serving you!

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