Chamber News


West Virginia’s original legislative breakfast returns Jan. 14

Issues & Eggs Wednesday, Jan. 14 8:00-9:15 a.m. – Program Charleston Marriott Town Center Check-in will open at 7:30 a.m. Save the date for Jan. 14 for the Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce’s annual “Issues & Eggs.” More than 400 delegates, senators and business leaders are expected for West Virginia’s original and largest legislative breakfast, which will be held at the Charleston Marriott Town Center. Join the Charleston Chamber in its more than 50-year tradition of bringing lawmakers and business and community leaders face-to-face to discuss the issues that will shape our state’s future. “The event presents an excellent opportunity for you to hear directly from your representatives on the issues that matter to you and your business,” said Matt Ballard, president and CEO. “Issues & Eggs typically draws a sold-out crowd and is one of our most anticipated and popular events of the year.” The event will feature a preview of the Chamber’s 2015 legislative agenda, remarks by key state leaders and a Q&A session....Read More >

Charleston Chamber supports passage of library levy

On November 4, 2014 (General Election Day), there will be a question on the ballot asking Kanawha County voters to approve or reject a new levy, which will provide funding for the continued operation of the Kanawha County Library System. A simple majority (50.1 percent) of the votes cast must approve the levy in order for it to take effect. The Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce has endorsed the levy and encourages Kanawha County voters to vote Yes on Nov. 4. Provided is some information that helps to explain why the levy is on the ballot. Q: WHAT IS THE PUBLIC LIBRARY LEVY ELECTION? Voters are being asked to restore funding for the Kanawha County Public Library (KCPL) system. If approved, the levy will provide funds for the next five years to support the Kanawha County public libraries.  Specifically, passage of the levy would restore $2.9 million of KCPL annual operation and staffing funds lost after a 2013 ruling by the...Read More >

Don’t forget to vote today

The Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce supports the passage of the Kanawha County Safety Levy. A vote on May 13for the safety levy will continue the levy first passed by the citizens of Kanawha County in 1973. This levy is NOT a tax increase. It will only continue the current levy we have in place to support ambulance services, public transit, police services, and fire services. Failure of the levy isn’t an option. It would result in a loss in automatic response for vehicle accidents, reduced service in rural areas, a decrease in bus service and transportation for the disabled and a longer response time for 911 calls. Our public transportation system, KRT, is used by many to ride to and from work every day. The ambulance, police and fire forces are filled with men and women who make it their duty to protect our friends and families. They are there for us 365 days a year. For just one...Read More >

10 Reasons to Vote For the Safety Levy

On May 13, voters will have opportunity to support services on which we’ve come to depend by supporting the Ambulance, Bus & Emergency Services Levy. For nearly four decades, voters have voted “for” this critical protection plan, and this year, there are many reasons to continue the tradition. 1)    A vote for the safety levy means no tax increase. First passed in 1973, the levy would continue at the same rate, amounting to about 18 cents a day for the average household. If our friends and family are in danger, is rapid response worth 18 cents a day? The answer is clear. 2)    The Kanawha County Ambulance Authority would continue receiving the funding it needs to keep 40 ambulances out of 14 stations and three advance life support units on the road. Last year, they answered 53,451 calls. They respond to 90 percent of calls within eight minutes. In addition, the Charleston Fire Department’s Ambulance Division responded to 12,000 calls for service...Read More >

Call to action: Help get ‘Project Launchpad’ signed into law

After passing both the West Virginia House of Delegates and Senate, “Project Launchpad” (House Bill 4343) has yet to be signed into law by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin. This is the final step for this important piece of economic development legislation and we need YOUR help to get it done. “Project Launchpad” focuses on job creation in the state. It will attract new businesses and create high-value jobs for our families now and into the future. Labor organizations, business organizations and many more have worked on this bill that helps West Virginia’s economy attract the jobs of the future. Vision Shared, which was created by the Legislature to put forth non-partisan public policy, has also worked to craft and improve this legislation. The economy of the past is shrinking. Our state needs to position itself for better economic development and more job creation. “Project Launchpad” will produce geographic clusters that will create high paying jobs, new capital investment and a new and diversified tax base. The modest tax considerations...Read More >

Charleston Chamber supports the Kanawha County Safety Levy

The Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce supports the passage of the Kanawha County Safety Levy. A vote for the safety levy will continue the levy first passed by the citizens of Kanawha County in 1973. This levy is NOT a tax increase. It will only continue the current levy we have in place to support ambulance services, public transit, police services, and fire services. Failure of the levy isn’t an option. It would result in a loss in automatic response for vehicle accidents, reduced service in rural areas, a decrease in bus service and transportation for the disabled and a longer response time for 911 calls. Our public transportation system, KRT, is used by many to ride to and from work every day. The ambulance, police and fire forces are filled with men and women who make it their duty to protect our friends and families. They are there for us 365 days a year. For just one day — May 13 — they’ll...Read More >

Help propel West Virginia into the future

A Message from Chamber President Matt Ballard With only four days remaining in the 2014 legislature session, the Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce needs your help with an important piece of legislation. Project Launchpad (House Bill 4343) will be an important contributor to the future of West Virginia’s economy. The bill, which is currently up in the West Virginia Senate, focuses on job creation in the state. It will attract new businesses and create high-value jobs for our families now and into the future. The economy of the past that West Virginia has relied upon for employment, business activity, taxes and development is rapidly shrinking. Our state needs to position itself for better economic development and more job creation. “Project Launchpad” would create high paying jobs, new capital investment and a diversified tax base. The legislation allows for modest tax benefits for employers who have student loan debt service plans as part of their personnel policies. This element of the bill will...Read More >

The time for action is NOW

With only days left in this legislative session, the Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce requests your help with the following legislative issues. This is a call to action. Our democracy works most effectively when we as citizens and businesses communicate directly with our representatives. It is for this reason we ask your help. Only phone calls, faxes and emails to the representatives, as outlined below, will result in our mutual desired outcome for the future of West Virginia. Home Rule and Weapons Regulations Instead of allowing cities to control their own destiny, the Legislature is trying to levy its power onto our cities and towns. Senate Bill 317 seeks to overturn a regulation in Charleston and other municipalities that have gun regulations on the books, to address the specific needs in their cities. What rules apply for Charleston, Huntington and Morgantown, may not be right for Gilbert, Glenville and Lumberport. Whether it’s fees, taxes or limiting dilapidated buildings, each time we take two...Read More >

Charleston Chamber supports tobacco tax increase

West Virginia’s current excise tax on tobacco is one of the lowest in the nation. All but one border state has higher tobacco taxes than West Virginia. The state has one of the highest rates of smoking in the country and increasing the tobacco tax has been shown to reduce its use. These reasons are why the Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce is supporting an increase in the tobacco tax by the West Virginia Legislature. Today at 4 p.m., the House of Delegates Health and Human Resources Committee is likely to vote on legislation that would increase the tax on tobacco. We all pay higher insurance premiums to cover the costs of tobacco-related illnesses. We pay higher taxes to fund the health care of the Medicaid and the Public Employees Insurance Agency (PEIA) population who use tobacco; and we pay through lost productivity from workers who are ill, disabled or who die due to tobacco use. Everyone in West Virginia pays when our state’s citizens smoke. Cigarette smoking...Read More >

Call to Action: Now is the time for innovation in WV

For the past few months, the Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce, Vision Shared and other likeminded organizations, have been working on a job creation and innovation public policy called “Project Launchpad” (SB 520). This legislation would revive, renew and rebuild West Virginia’s business climate and create abundant job opportunities. It addresses new technology benefits for existing businesses and the student loan debt crisis, which are critical issues affecting our state. Today is a very important day for “Project Launchpad,” as it must come before the Senate Finance Committee. The committee MUST pass this bill today in order for it to stay alive in the legislative process. The Senate Economic Development committee has already passed the bill unanimously. By acting now, we can secure a brighter economic future for our state – for all West Virginians. Please take a few minutes to do the following today: Call or e-mail members of the Senate Finance Committee  and tell them “I support Project Launchpad (SB 520). Please place this  bill...Read More >