Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Advocacy makes us a stronger organization


As you are reading this, the chamber has wrapped up our inaugural Small Business Round Table with House Committee on Small Business Chair, Representative Roger Williams. With 25 different businesses and businesspeople in the room, we heard firsthand about the challenges facing small business. From lack of skilled labor to taxation and everything in between, our members echo what thousands of small businesses are dealing with all over the country.

Last month, we heard about several of the laws passed in the recently completed 88th Legislative Session from State Representative Shelby Slawson…and while 20-25 minutes isn’t enough time to completely recap a full regular session and multiple special sessions, it was an excellent opportunity for chamber members to be in on what’s going on.

So, these two examples help us partially answer the age-old question, ‘what does the chamber do for my business?’ Government impacts your business every single day. From taxes and employee regulations to safety, training, health insurance and more, the government is in your business. When the chamber sets up breakfasts or luncheons with your elected officials, we are providing you with the opportunity to talk with them about their decisions impacting business.

We call it advocacy, and it’s impactful for every chamber member in Granbury and Hood County. The chamber is your conduit to these leaders, and in almost 30 years in the chamber business, I can tell you that elected leaders listen to us. Whether it’s a specific bill that needs our attention or an issue where they need to hear from us, chambers of commerce provide their members with those opportunities to sound off. In larger communities, business delegations descend on Washington, DC, and Austin to make sure that elected officials know their business priorities. These visits are great ways to build relationships with staff members, other legislators and like-minded business groups. But, it all starts at the chamber level.

But the other value in advocacy is learning about the candidates for public office. Yes, we are very much a pro-business organization, and to that end, we want our members to know as much about who is running for office as possible. And, whether it’s city council, county commissioners, school board, or any other elected office that impacts businesses, it’s our job to help our members learn about the candidates…not tell them who to vote for.

Once again, this fall, the chamber will host two separate candidate forums at the Lake Granbury Conference Center: on Monday, Oct. 2, we’ll showcase the candidates for Granbury City Council and on Monday, Oct. 9, we’ll host the candidates for Granbury Independent School District Board of Trustees. Both forums will be moderated and start at 6 p.m.; we’ll also be streaming them live on the chamber’s Facebook page. 

One of our core values of membership investment is advocacy, we want our members to be in on what’s up!