Our Priority is You

We are committed to helping the Beaufort Region become the best community to live, work, and play, and with the help of our members, we develop our legislative agenda around that commitment.

We work, every day, to promote a viable and healthy business climate within our region, advocating for pro-business legislation on a local, state, and national level.  We recognize that policy decisions made by elected officials directly impact your business success.

As the voice of business, this Chamber represents businesses in our membership spanning from Charleston to Savannah, with our core concentration right here in Beaufort County. Each year the Chamber develops our legislative agenda through the help of our committees, Board of Directors, and through surveys of our membership.

The survey produced different areas of legislative priorities. This year’s agenda is based entirely off your feedback.

    Guiding Principles

    We use four guiding principles when we consider taking positions on issues.  They must:

    Maintain and grow opportunities for Beaufort County businesses.

    ;
    Reduce the cost of doing business.
    :
    Increase the qualified workforce.
    Manage growth and support infrastructure improvements to preserve area marketability.

    The 2020 Legislative Agenda

    The following are standing positions taken through the Chamber’s business advocacy process. All positions have been adopted by the Chamber’s Board of Directors.

    Economic Development

    Beaufort County needs a more diversified economy. The Chamber supports initiatives that help the region create, attract, retain and expand businesses and industries that generate quality jobs. The Chamber advocates for streamlining the permitting process to reduce the costs of doing business and to eliminate uncertainty that stifles business growth and development. We support utility, internet and infrastructure improvements to attract new investment and ensure economic development sites are prepared for new business.

    Education & Workforce

    The Beaufort Region’s businesses need a quality and effective workforce to sustain and enhance business growth and improve the quality of life in our community. The Chamber supports education reform initiatives to include:

    • Increased funding for higher education, including the use of lottery dollars for technical college education;
    • Increased teacher pay;
    • Ensuring that every student who graduates from high school is prepared for the next step – whether college, technical training or career;
    • Supporting employer-led “earn and learn” opportunities, including apprenticeships;
    • Incentivizing more effective and efficient partnerships between education and workforce systems.

    Tax Reform

    As legislators approach comprehensive tax reform, the Chamber will actively participate with the larger business community in support of a structure that will provide a fair, equitable and competitive solution to our taxation challenges. The Chamber supports reform and streamlining of the business license tax structure to eliminate double-taxation and the creation of a single payment processor to reduce burdensome compliance costs.

    Infrastructure

    Continue to streamline the permitting process. Provide meaningful input in support of favorable outcomes from the newly established SC Floodwater Commission and the expansion of stormwater infrastructure projects that support local efforts to control flooding and storm water problems. Advocate for implementation of traffic flow improvements on Lady’s Island and the creation of the Jasper Ocean Terminal.

    Military

    Expand the Tri-Command’s $2.4 billion economic impact by lobbying to maintain and grow our military installations and protect them from encroachment. Work closely with local, state and federal leaders to retain jobs associated with the region’s military installations and to support military families in our community. Support legislation to exempt military retirement pay in South Carolina.