Why Business and Government Relationships MatterBy Andrea H. Reay CEO/President Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce Our Chamber of Commerce is proud of the relationships weâ€™ve built with local government; both our elected officials and city staff. Why are these relationships and the open dialogue created beneficial to our members and our community? How are these relationships vital for our elected officials when they are exploring solutions to the issues that matter most to our community? Simply put, because economic cooperation and our ability to collaborate will always achieve better results. Businesses are obviously impacted by public policy decisions. But so are consumers. The most obvious being taxing and regulations. The recent head tax debates in Seattle underscore that reality quite clearly. Although the head tax directly impacts over 500 businesses within the City of Seattle, many more businesses and consumers in and outside of the city will be impacted indirectly as their increased costs are ultimately passed on to their customers. This balance between public and private interests often, unfortunately, turns into an â€œus vs themâ€ debate which is discouraging and self-defeating for all. The truth is that business interests are often also public interests and are not mutually exclusive ideals. Here are just a few examples of areas where public and private interests align and where we as a Chamber are proud to support and advocate for: Research and Development: Whether weâ€™re talking about researching cures for Cancer or eliminating climate change with alternative energy or new technology, investments from the public and private sector, working together, is mutually beneficial for all. Economic Development: A robust and dynamic economy is good for business and the public. When businesses are successful more taxes are collected, and more public programs and investments are funded. Those investments include many necessary public services such as police and fire. Washington State businesses pay 57.6% of the total taxes collected in our state. That ranks us 7th in the nation. Education: the most valuable resource in the Southside region is the people who live and work here. Our businesses and communities can only prosper with the right investments that improve the ability for people to thrive and find jobs. We are grateful for the relationships that we have built with our public partners and are committed to creating opportunities to bring city and regional business leaders together to interact, strengthen ties, and forge new relationships. One of these opportunities is just around the corner, our State of Our Cities Luncheon. The luncheon will be held on Friday, June 8, from 11:30 a.m. â€“ 1:00 p.m., at the Radisson Hotel in SeaTac. Parking is limited, and attendees are encouraged to carpool. Thank you to our host, the Radisson and our Annual Luncheon Sponsor-Alaska Airlines and our Event Sponsors Baker Commodities, Crain Photography, Waste Management and South King Media. Please visit http://www.seattlesouthsidechamber.com/events/details/state-of-our-cities-luncheon-1037 for more information and to register or call our office during normal business hours (206) 575-1633 and weâ€™ll be happy to get you registered over the phone. Thank you to all our public partners and business and community members that are committed to working together in collaboration and partnership. We truly are stronger together. Thank you for your commitment to and for our community.
Andrea H. Reay is the President/CEO of Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce â€“ â€œA voice for business, a leader in the community.â€ Seattle Southside Chamber has served the communities of Burien, Des Moines, Normandy Park, SeaTac and Tukwila since 1988. For more information on the Chamber, including member benefits and resources, please visitÂ www.SeattleSouthsideChamber.com.]]>