Get into government or get out of business. Some rather practical advice delivered by Cole Porter, President of Porter Steel, and this year’s presenting sponsor for the Gwinnett Chamber OnTopic Legislative Luncheon. His opening remarks set the tone for the event where federal and state experts in public policy addressed a packed room of business and community leaders.
Keynote speakers Moore Hallmark with the U.S. Chamber and Dave Williams with the Metro Atlanta Chamber gave resounding support to the fact that business must have government cooperation to be successful. Hallmark highlighted that business cannot be the only thing that works, noting that party polarization has all but halted the business community’s ability to plan past the next election cycle. He introduced the U.S. Chamber’s “Agenda for American Strength” which would set down policies for long-term growth and success for U.S. businesses. Among numerous points, Hallmark shared that the agenda would focus on things like reforming the permitting process, resolving the war for talent through addressing sensible immigration reform, and focusing on how to attract and make it simpler to build energy infrastructure. In the end, he emphasized deregulation as the single greatest way that government can support business growth and economic health.
Dave Williams brought the conversation to the state level with an update on Georgia’s General Assembly and major goals for business during this year’s session. Economic Development and angel investment tax credits are among some of the top priorities up for renewal this year. In addition to those, the regional business community is keenly interested in making sure the state’s revenue code aligns with the federal code to streamline business processes and eliminate red tape. He shared support for a focus on talent and noted that online sports betting would be a hot topic of conversation for potential funding to the tune of 50-75 million dollars. With Georgia among 14 states that have not yet legalized this unique funding mechanism, approval during this year’s session would deliver significant funds to be purposed back into our talent development pipelines. Of course, electric vehicles and the charging station infrastructure and funding needed to support this growing industry in Georgia would be paramount to continued economic health for the state.
In summary, speakers and businesses agreed that business cannot do business without government properly governing. For more information on the Chamber’s legislative priorities, visit our website at GwinnettChamber.org/PublicPolicyAgenda and to register for our next OnTopic Luncheon, go to GwinnettChamber.org/Events.