Businesses join chamber for a legislative voice

Henderson Chamber known nationally for its legislative presence; organization’s No. 1 priority is credit/finances as November approaches

HENDERSON, Nev.While all businesses are affected by legislation enacted at the local, state and federal level, only a small number of business owners have the time and resources to devote to lobbying on behalf of the business industry. That’s why businesses of all sizes – but especially small businesses – join their local chamber instead.

The Henderson Chamber of Commerce is known statewide and nationally for the legislative presence it provides its members – many of which are small businesses with five or fewer employees. A bi-partisan nonprofit organization, the Henderson Chamber has held strong relationships with Nevada’s political leaders on both sides of the aisle for many years.

“The chamber is in constant contact with our federal representatives to ensure our members are well-represented at the federal level,” said Kristine Shattuck Cooper, partner with Shattuck Enterprises and chair of the Federal Issues Committee.

Shattuck, who has been involved with the committee and the chamber’s political affairs efforts for many years, said the chamber’s efforts to maintain its relationships with the state’s federal representatives are as important as reaching out to those representatives on specific issues.

In fact, in the past five months alone, the Henderson Chamber’s Federal Issues Committee has met with a number of Nevada’s representatives – Rep. Shelley Berkley; Rep. Dina Titus, Sen. John Ensign; Karen Mills, SBA Administrator; Kate Leone and Bob Greenwald of Sen. Harry Reid’s staff; U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke; FDIC Chair Shelia Bair; and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk – to discuss issues important to Henderson businesses.

As the November election period approaches, the chamber’s Federal Issues Committee, which meets on a regular basis, has identified the following issues as the chamber’s top five priorities at the federal level: credit/finances, health care, local jobs, taxes and energy. Although, according to Dianna Fyke, director of government affairs for the Henderson Chamber, credit and taxes are the No. 1 priority at this time.

“It’s critical we get our economy moving again by providing small business with the financial credit required to stay in business,” Fyke said. “Our national consumption is only growing at 3 percent. The consumption rate needs to grow well above 10 percent to start our economic recovery. Increasing taxes on our businesses to offset the unsustainable national debt is not the answer when our consumer expenditures have dramatically decreased.”

The Henderson Chamber began its political involvement many years ago, increasing its influence and involvement with each legislative session. It has successfully supported, or opposed, many bills in accordance with the best interests of its membership. In 2007, the chamber took its efforts to the next level by hiring a full-time lobbyist and by traveling to Washington, D.C., to meet with the nation’s leaders to discuss issues important to Henderson’s business community. The Henderson Chamber has also been the only chamber in the state to host regular teleconferences with its respective representatives during the legislative session.

“Each year, it is our mission to continue to improve on these efforts and more – not just for our membership, but for the entire Henderson community because when businesses reach their potential, the entire community benefits,” Fyke said.

The Henderson Chamber of Commerce is a nonprofit, voluntary organization committed to promoting and supporting member businesses.

For more information regarding the mixer, call the Henderson Chamber of Commerce at 702-565-8951 or visit www.hendersonchamber.com.

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