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 >

Charleston Chamber releases general election endorsements

The Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce has released its endorsements for the Nov. 4 general election. “The Charleston Regional of Chamber of Commerce speaks out for the policies and reforms that create jobs, enhance our community and invest in people,” said Chamber Chairman Mike Basile. “Central to our mission is endorsing candidates who share our vision for economic growth and opportunity for the citizens of the Kanawha Valley and West Virginia.” In considering endorsements, the Chamber seeks to identify candidates who: advocate policies that create high value jobs for West Virginia; strive to improve the quality of life for our citizens; work with the Chamber on economic development public policy; and work to attract and keep young people to West Virginia. As part of the endorsement process, the Chamber also considers a candidate’s effectiveness as a political, business or community leader, and whether he or she is accessible and receptive to the Chamber and the views of the local business community. The Charleston Regional Chamber of...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 >

Legislature agrees to launch the WV economy forward

Last Saturday, “Project Launchpad,” a marquee piece of legislation for the Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce and partner Vision Shared, passed both the House and the Senate. It will now go to Governor Earl Ray Tomblin for his signature. “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. The Charleston Chamber and Vision Shared, which is a nonprofit community and economic development organization, have worked to craft and improve this legislation for three years. In that time, “Project Launchpad” has been championed by many individuals and organizations. 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” will produce geographic clusters that will create high paying jobs, new capital investment and a new and diversified tax base. The legislation allows a county...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 >

West Virginia needs your support

Now is the time to encourage the West Virginia Senate Finance Committee to run and pass House Bill 4343 (HB 4343) commonly known as “Project Launchpad.” For the past few years, key organizations such as Vision Shared, the WV Manufacturers Association, the Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce and many others have supported this job-creating initiative. “Project Launchpad” allows localities, working with state government, to provide tax incentives that would support attraction and expansion of high-tech businesses. The legislation also includes a modest incentive to encourage businesses to provide a student loan repayment plan to their employees. Project Launchpad is aimed at “new economy” businesses with little or no presence in West Virginia, such as nanotechnology, bioscience and photovoltaics. These tax credits cannot be used for traditional businesses such as retail, warehouses or call centers. West Virginia’s economy in 10-15 years will not look like it has in the past. This legislation, which has been assigned a neutral ($0.00) impact to the state budget, will...Read More >

Check out what the Charleston Chamber is monitoring at the Legislature

The Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce is pleased to provide an update of the current legislative session. We have been monitoring many pieces of legislation and will continually keep you informed of important issues, not just to business, but to the general well-being of West Virginia. Project Launchpad House Bill 4343, also known as “Project Launchpad,” is legislation supported by the Charleston Chamber, West Virginia Manufacturing Association, Vision Shared and several other organizations and associations. The bill passed the House of Delegates on an 85-10 vote (with five members absent or not voting). The intent of “Project Launchpad” is to assist in creating new jobs and new capital investment. It’s also focused on increasing the economic diversity of the state by attracting businesses that are focused on new technologies, talent recruitment and attraction by addressing student loan debt. The bill will now go to the WV Senate and it is important that we let all 34 senators know that West Virginians want this legislation to build the framework for the economy...Read More >