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Bishop & Sullivan: Business Priorities for Congress in 2023


This commentary is by Betsy Bishop of East Montpelier, President of the Vermont Chamber of Commerce, and Megan Sullivan of Jericho, Vice President for Government Affairs, Vermont Chamber of Commerce.

A new two years brings new energy and vitality to progress in Montpelier. A cornerstone of pandemic recovery, his 2023 is perhaps the most anticipated year.

The influx of federal funds for pandemic relief has enabled record spending in recent years. As federal funding dries up, Vermonters will be able to absorb the costs of sustained programs will be central to our work.

As Vermont’s most influential business advocacy organization, our five-person advocacy team’s historic knowledge and track record of producing results make us an essential resource for business and policy leaders. Our ability to navigate the political ecosystem as an independent non-profit organization while representing the entire Vermont business community is unmatched.

We look forward to continuing our legacy of working with the legislature and the governor’s administration to find common policies that value the contributions of Vermont’s businesses.

Each year, our legislative agenda is data-driven and cost-conscious. Our advocacy team is determined to ensure the well-being of Vermont’s business community and the vitality of Vermont’s economy.

For 2023, the top priorities for the Vermont Chamber of Commerce are:

Recruiting and Retaining Workforce

Vermont continues to lead the nation in tackling complex problems, but it is also experiencing an aging population and shrinking workforce. By improving performance, Vermont can attract more workers and maintain its current workforce.

To do this, we must leverage our strengths and employ creative means to promote Vermont as the best place to live, work, and raise a family. Our social and economic principles are valuable and allow us to use our brands strategically to include innovative initiatives such as professional opportunities and inclusive declarations. We have a great talent development program, but Vermont needs more people to fill the pipeline.

Increase in employee housing supply

The lack of adequate housing supplies across Vermont discourages new graduates and seasoned professionals alike from working in Vermont. The Vermont Chamber of Commerce seeks resolutions such as modernizing land use regulations, accessible designation programs, continuing lack of intermediate development initiatives, regulatory and financial incentives to convert commercial space to housing, and creating a statewide registry. Keep track of your advocacy for action. for short term rental.

The problem of housing and labor shortages is cyclical. There is no single solution, so a coordinated and strategic effort must be made to keep multiple things going at once.

economic vitality

Amid the ongoing economic uncertainty, piling up costs for Vermonters will only add to the precarious economic situation. Many businesses that survived the pandemic have become deeply indebted and unable to survive the economic turmoil.

Inflation, supply chain disruptions and rising labor costs are already wreaking havoc, especially for small businesses. We inform policy conversations about the broader implications of rising costs, and how increased strain on businesses could ultimately lead to fewer jobs, less income for states, and less vibrant communities. I will tell you that there is

Childcare

A key issue that requires this balanced debate about the desire to spend with the ability to pay is childcare. Public investment is necessary, but the economy cannot bear the full cost of the solution all at once.

Vermont Chamber of Commerce diverts remaining federal bailout funds into one-time investments, including facility upgrades to boost capacity of existing providers and incentive programs to attract more childcare professionals to industry advocate to do

Vermont remains a united leader in a nation more divided than ever. Especially when it comes to agreement on the most important issues facing states. I am confident that if we can come to an agreement on the issues, we will be able to find a balanced solution.

Vermonters agree on the “what” and look forward to working together to find common ground on the “how.”

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