Chamber News


Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce announces first round of candidate endorsements for 2018 general election, endorses school levy

The Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce today announced its first round of candidate endorsements for the 2018 general election, as well as its endorsement of the school excess levy. The Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce endorses candidates who: display leadership to move West Virginia and its citizens forward; advocate policies that create good paying jobs for our region and state; strive to improve the quality of life for our citizens; support the consolidation of government services, and metro-government; deliver responsible tax reduction when fiscally prudent; and work to keep our hard-working and educated youth in West Virginia. “By endorsing a candidate, the Charleston Chamber believes that he or she will be a strong and effective partner on policies to advance Kanawha County and West Virginia. It does not mean that we agree with or endorse every position held by the candidate,” said Chamber President Matthew Ballard. “We will pursue constructive dialogue with all candidates – those we endorsed and those...Read More >

Change Your Clocks and Your Smoke Alarms for Daylight Saving Time

Kanawha County Emergency Services reminds you to not only change you clocks for Daylight Savings Time but to check your smoke alarms, too. “Smoke alarms are an essential life safety tool,” said C.W. Sigman, Kanawha County Emergency Services Director. “Working smoke alarms significantly increase your chance of surviving a home fire. A properly installed and maintained smoke alarm is the only thing in your home that can alert you and your family 24 hours a day, seven days a week.” Two-thirds of home fire deaths result from fires in homes without a working smoke alarm, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire in half. With earlier warning, people have more time to escape a burning structure and call to 911. Local fire fighters recommend installing a smoke alarm in every bedroom, outside of every bedroom and on each floor of your home. In addition to changing your...Read More >

Chamber Endorses Kanawha County Safety Levy

The Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce supports the passage of the Kanawha County Safety Levy, which is on Kanawha County’s May 8 ballot. The safety levy raises $17.8 million yearly for ambulance services, local police and fire departments and the Kanawha Valley Regional Transit Authority. The safety levy is not a new tax, but a renewal of the levy supporting local ambulance, bus and emergency services that was first passed in 1973. Failure of the levy would result in loss of 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 transit system and emergency response systems are critical to our quality of life and economic vitality,” said Kanawha County Commission President W. Kent Carper. “The Safety Levy invests in the maintenance of the KRT, which transports people to work, school, local attractions and health care facilities and reaches into every...Read More >

Chamber’s 2018 Legislative Agenda

During the 2018 West Virginia Legislative Session, the Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce will advocate for policies that promote the economic health of the Kanawha Valley and West Virginia, monitor suggested changes to the regulatory environment and react to proposed new legislation and infrastructure projects. The Chamber’s legislative agenda highlights issues and positions on items that affect Kanawha County businesses, including: Create a Statewide Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Support Program – West Virginia should support innovators and entrepreneurs creating high-tech businesses and high-paying jobs throughout the state. A West Virginia SBIR matching grant program will help small businesses commercialize new technologies, keep homegrown technology in West Virginia, attract technology-based small businesses to West Virginia and help small businesses generate a higher return through this federal program. Highways, Roadways and Bridges Infrastructure – Voters approved the Roads to Prosperity Amendment in September 2017. The road bond will repair our roads and bridges, put West Virginians to work and lay the...Read More >

Issues & Eggs Kicks Off West Virginia’s Legislative Session

Issues & Eggs Returns Wednesday to Kickoff West Virginia’s Legislative Session Senate President Mitch Carmichael and Speaker of the House Tim Armstead Will Headline West Virginia’s Senate President Mitch Carmichael and Speaker of the House Tim Armstead will provide keynote remarks at the Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce Issues & Eggs Legislative Breakfast at 8 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 10 at the Charleston Marriott. More than 400 business and community leaders are scheduled to attend the annual breakfast event that heralds the arrival of the 84th West Virginia Legislative Session. Issues & Eggs is the Chamber’s 50-year tradition of bringing together the business community and legislators to discuss issues that shape the state’s future. “We take great pride in welcoming West Virginia legislators and look forward to their insight regarding the economic health of the state and their goals for the next 60 days,” said Matt Ballard, president & CEO of the Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce. “Issues & Eggs shines...Read More >

April 6 Legislative Update

  Today marks the 58th day of the 60-day West Virginia 2017 Regular Legislative Session. The session ends at midnight Saturday, April 8. Bills will likely need to be read a first time on the floor by Thursday, April 6 to ensure 3 full days of reading. The bills may still be being worked on in committee during this process. As is traditional, the last few days of the session can have unusual events that can be difficult to track in real time. Therefore, we hope to provide you a post-session wrap up after the dust settles. The Budget and Medicinal Marijuana bills have dominated the discussions of the Legislature this week, but there has been time for other bills to move forward. Here are a few updates on bills of interest we have been tracking: SB 238 would increase the tax credits allowed for rehabilitation of certified historic structures from 10% to 25% of rehabilitation expenditures. The full Senate...Read More >

March 31 Legislative Update

Today marks the 52nd day of 60-day West Virginia Regular Legislative Session. The Charleston Chamber continues to monitor legislation that impacts businesses throughout the state. “Crossover Day” has come and gone; and now only bills that passed one chamber of the legislature are in play. However, that does not mean that old bills are dead as they may be amended into bills that are still alive provided they do not violate the “single object” rule contained within the state’s constitution. The session ends on Saturday, April 8 at midnight. Bills will likely need to be read a first time on the floor by Thursday, April 6 to ensure three full days of reading. The bills may still be being worked on in committee during this process. The following is a summary of some of the legislative action the Chamber is monitoring: SB 238 would increase the tax credits allowed for rehabilitation of certified historic structures from 10 percent to 25 percent...Read More >

Charleston Chamber Opposes Rushed Amendment to Change Ownership of West Virginia Regional Technology Park

Amendments offered late last week to HB 2815 would transfer ownership and management of the WV Regional Technology Park in South Charleston to Marshall University. While partnerships and collaboration with higher education institutions specifically in the area of research and commercialization, are embraced by the Park, and have always been part of the vision for the Park, the Charleston Regional Chamber is concerned that such a rushed and dramatic shift has been proposed without the benefit of collective planning and due diligence to analyze the proposed change. With only days left in the session, it would not be responsible for the legislature to pass HB 2815 in its current form. There has been no opportunity for planning with those involved with Park operations, marketing, and strategy, including the Park Board of Directors. The goal of the Technology Park is to create new jobs and capital investment focused around innovation and the commercialization of new technology. This requires collaboration and partnerships...Read More >

Show Your Support for SB 238

The full Senate unanimously passed the State Historic Tax Credit Increase, SB 238, this week. This legislation increases West Virginia’s income-producing historic tax credit from a 10 percent historic rehabilitation tax credit to 25 percent, making downtowns of all sizes desirable places to live and work. The Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce supports this legislation as it will spur private investment, create jobs and repurpose vacant and underutilized historic buildings. The Chamber is supporting the Revitalize West Virginia Downtown Coalition to get the bill through committee in the House and voted on by the full House of Delegates by midnight on April 8. To make West Virginia’s downtowns more competitive with neighboring states, we encourage you to reach out to your Delegates and express your support for SB 238. Let them know that an increase in the current state historic rehabilitation tax credit from 10 percent to 25 percent would make West Virginia’s historic commercial districts more attractive to developers...Read More >

March 10 Legislative Update

It is past the midway point of the 60-day legislative session of the West Virginia Legislature. We continue to keep you updated on popular or hot topics and advocate for legislation that the Chamber believes will help the Mountain State be more competitive when it comes to recruiting new investments and jobs, as well as policies that enable our small businesses and communities flourish. It appears that both houses may begin to have weekend sessions and committee meetings, so future updates may increase in frequency or become sporadic. The last day to introduce bills in the House of Delegates is March 14 and the last day to introduce bills in the Senate is March 20, except those originating in standing committees. The following are bills of interest and bills on the move that we are currently tracking: HB 2548 is of special interest to our restaurant, bar and entertainment community. The bill, quite simply, would remove a state restriction against...Read More >