• Chamber Convenes Business and Legislative Leaders at Business & Government Roundtable

    The Santa Maria Valley Chamber convened local, county and state legislative representatives and local business leaders at their first Business & Government Roundtable.

    The group was formed as a way to guide the Chamber’s work in the area of political and regulatory advocacy. It will also serve as a resource to public agencies by providing a forum for issues and alternatives to be shared, discussed and reviewed by leaders of the local business community.

    While the Chamber currently is a member of CalChamber and the Chambers of Commerce Alliance of Ventura & Santa Barbara Counties, they wanted a more localized way to understand the needs of the business community, and make sure policy positions align with those needs.

    “More than ever, it is imperative that the business community have a direct line of communication with their elected officials, and the Chamber’s Business and Government Roundtable fills that role nicely,” said Cory Bantilan, Chief of Staff for 5th District Supervisor Steve Lavagnino. “It will allow us to have frequent and frank conversations on the issues that matter most to local businesses in the Santa Maria Valley and hopefully head off potential negative impacts before they surface. I am excited to see what can be accomplished when business and government truly work together.”

    One of the outcomes of the roundtable will be the development of an annual policy statement document, which will serve as a roadmap for the Chamber’s political and government affairs strategy. The policy document, which will be created by the roundtable and approved by the Chamber Board of Directors, will provide Chamber staff guidance to advocate on behalf of their members with local, state and federal officials.

    “I think our body of work will be helpful and well received due to the organization of efforts and exchange of information amongst our roundtable members, which include Business Leaders, Government Officials and Chamber staff,” said Tim Ritchie, General Manager of Home Motors and member of the roundtable.  “I am excited to reconnect with our Chamber and feel honored to be able to collaborate with those involved.”

    At the Business & Government Roundtable inaugural meeting, Chamber President/CEO Glenn Morris reviewed the committee’s model and scope of work and priorities. Additionally, updates were given by city, county and state legislative representatives on issues they are actively involved in that affect our local community.

    “As a catalyst for business growth and a convener of leaders and influencers, we know it's important that the Chamber stays in communication with our legislators, and we continue to advocate on behalf of our business community,” said Glenn Morris, President/CEO for the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce. “The Business & Government Roundtable is a platform that allows us to have an open dialog with our government representation, and stay diligent on promoting policies that promote economic vitality for our community.”