AGENDA BOISE: Metro Chamber advocates for business initiatives

Chloe Baul//February 28, 2023

AGENDA BOISE: Metro Chamber advocates for business initiatives

Chloe Baul//February 28, 2023

Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce headquarters. Photo courtesy of Boise Metro Chamber

The Boise Metro Chamber is encouraging its members and the general public to contact their legislators to help maintain Idaho’s place as one of the most business-friendly states in the nation.

The Chamber, in a recent meeting, asked its members to voice their support for a variety of policies that are expected to impact the business community.

The organization advocates to elected officials on business and community issues within education and workforce development, transportation and infrastructure, tax policy and economic development, health care concerns and travel and tourism.

“The Chamber’s ultimate goal with our advocacy efforts is to make sure businesses can continue to do business how they see fit. We’re out there and we’re trying to make sure businesses stay strong,” Tori Thomas, community and government affairs manager, said. “We would love for more people to learn who their legislators are and try to make those conversations happen.”

Among the measures the Chamber is supporting are:

Opposition of House Bill 170

The Boise Metro Chamber Policy Committee voted unanimously to oppose House Bill 170, which replaced House Bill 12. This bill would prohibit state agencies from donating to or sponsoring any nongovernmental events or organizations. The Chamber maintains that the legislation will discourage sponsorships and donations to multiple industries including nonprofits, which depend on this support.

“This would have significant unintended consequences,” Thomas said. “A lot of our nonprofit organizations would be negatively impacted by this. Sponsorships would be really hard for these companies and businesses that depend on them.”

The Chamber’s letter to the bill sponsor said the bill would endanger the ability to host large events in the state, including the Albertsons Open, Far West Youth Soccer Championship, NCAA Big Sky Basketball conference and the Simplot Games.

The opposition letter also stated that the bill will prevent partnerships and negatively impact a variety of organizations across the state, such as the Boise Metro Chamber and all chambers in the state, Boise Valley Economic Partnership and all economic partnerships, Idaho nonprofit center and its members, Visit Boise and local sports that depend on Project Filter.

Support for House Bill 24

Boise Metro Chamber provided public support for the governor’s initiative to expand Idaho Launch through House Bill 24, which amends and adds to the existing law to establish the Idaho Launch Grant Program and to revise provisions regarding the In-Demand Careers Fund. The Chamber’s announcement on Idaho Launch mentioned its importance as a business-driven initiative that identifies the skills and qualities Idaho employees need. It also provides additional support for students who pursue those skills.

“We were one of the first chambers to come out of the gate and say we were in support of Idaho Launch,” Thomas said. “We think it’s going to ensure that our workforce stays strong. It will also keep Idaho kids in our state, keep them close to their families and make sure our state keeps growing and stays the best.”

For further information about the Boise Metro Chamber’s positions on legislation, the community can watch for its “Legislative Update” series, which is forthcoming in March.