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2015 Legislative Agenda

he 2015 Legislative Agenda represents the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerces list of legislative priorities for the year. The 2015 Legislative Agenda will
focus on key issues including tourism, economic development, military, workforce
development and improving infrastructure and enhancing a pro-business environment.
The Vision of the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce is to be the most influential organization in the region creating the preferred community to invest, prosper and
enjoy. The Mission of the Beaufort Regional Chamber is to manage and build capacity for
continual community growth by advocating for a pro-business environment and building
quality workforce development in order to enrich the regions quality of life.

Top 3 Areas of Legislative Concern


1. Economic Development: Aerospace and related industries are a ready match
for Northern Beaufort County, especially with the F-35B Training Center at Marine
Corps Air Station-Beaufort. We seek support for these and other initiatives to boost
and diversify our Lowcountry economy.
2. Growth and Infrastructure: We support renourishing the beach at Hunting Island State Park and also encourage the completion of the Spanish Moss Trail.
We support the critically important widening projects to South Carolinas interstates,
fixing load-restricted and deficient bridges and resurfacing existing roadways. All of
these projects are necessary and inevitable to improve the safety and efficiency of the
existing system and keep up with the demands created by economic development
successes.

Guiding Principles
for setting the
Legislative Agenda
Maintain and grow
opportunities for Beaufort
County businesses
Reduce the cost of doing
business
Manage growth and
support infrastructure
improvements so that the
marketability of the area is
not threatened
Increase the qualified
workforce

3. County/Municipal Regulations and Permitting: The Chamber continues to work with Beaufort County and its
municipal leaders to streamline and simplify the processes to start, maintain and grow businesses.

Tourism

Economic Development

Locally, Northern Beaufort County earned recognition by multiple media outlets, further enhancing legislative, local and community efforts to boost this important sector of our economy.

South Carolina must continue to improve its overall business


climate to create a competitive business environment. Tax reform, workforce development, entrepreneurship and other key
issues must be addressed to encourage expanded economic
development opportunities.

The Chamber advocates for:


Efforts to beautify the entry corridors to Beaufort, Port Royal
and the Sea Islands
Renourishing the beach at Hunting Island State Park
Funding for tourism destination marketing.

The Chamber advocates for:


Maintaining and growing existing businesses in our region
Streamlining the permitting process to reduce the cost of doing business and to eliminate uncertainty that stifles business
growth and development.

Military

With a $1.46 billion economic impact in the Beaufort region, national defense is a critical component of both our local economy
and our local culture..
The Chamber advocates for:
Maintaining and growing the military installations in Beaufort County
Shared services exploration with our military installations
Efforts to protect our military installations from encroachment.

Workforce Development

Developing a highly-skilled and well-educated workforce is integral to increased job opportunities and security with dynamic
companies doing business in the Beaufort region. The Lowcountry must start now, and the business community supports initiatives that will transform the current education system to achieve that goal. The private and public sectors must work together to
ensure workforce needs are addressed and strategies are successfully implemented.
The Chamber advocates for:
Modifying the allocation formula for public education funding using criteria other than a school systems ability to raise revenue
through property tax to a system where all students receive equitable funding
Efforts to continue Beaufort Countys goal of becoming a Work Ready Community
Programs for transitioning military personnel to the local workforce
Increased funding for higher education including technical colleges.
Parity funding for the University of South Carolina Beaufort

Pro Business Environment/Infrastructure Priorities

Investing in infrastructure is a core function of government responsibility and will drive economic growth and job creation.
The Chamber advocates for:
The Port of Port Royal sale and redevelopment in a timely manner
Reform for flood insurance.
Increase connectivity to include improved fiber and IT infrastructure.
Deepening the Charleston Port to 52 feet to improve international commerce, and for development of the Jasper Ocean Terminal port complex

Summary: Concentrate our combined efforts in these areas:


Business retention & expansion
Lobby to maintain and grow military installations
Streamline the permitting process
Support Port of Port Royal sale & redevelopment
Support flood insurance reform.

Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce


PO Box 910 Beaufort, SC 29901
Physical address: 701 Craven Street (29902)
843.525.8500 / info@beaufortsc.org / http://www.beaufortchamber.org/