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Chamber of Commerce holds One Voice Summit

The Greater Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce recently prioritized its legislative agenda for the upcoming election and for 2019, with issues that affect economic development and quality of life ranking above all others.

The One Voice Summit, held Oct. 17 at the Clarion Resort, allowed the chamber membership to chose the local, state and federal issues it will aggressively support and pursue in the coming election and throughout the next year.

"This One Voice process is a great way for our membership to come together, discuss local, state, and federal issues that affect business, and democratically prioritize which issues are most important to our local Hot Springs and Garland County businesses," said chamber President and CEO Gary Troutman.

"We'll use this legislative agenda to inform the chamber's strategic initiatives for this election and through 2019."

Chamber members' top local issues included the preservation and expansion of the Historic Tax Credit, which has aided to revitalize downtown Hot Springs, progress on the former Majestic Hotel site, a local water agreement, economic development funding, and jail capacity.

Continued investment in highways garnered the most votes among the state level issues and was closely followed by the need for increased workforce development initiatives. Support for a statewide eFairness/internet sales tax was ranked a close third while bypass maintenance/beautification/trash pickup came in fourth.

Participants at the One Voice Summit identified important federal issues as immigration, infrastructure, healthcare and pathways to citizenship for students.

The summit drew more than 30 businessmen and businesswomen. State Rep. Les Warren moderated the overall event as well as leading the discussion on local issues. Jason McGehee, district director with U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman's office and Kenny Hall, executive vice president of the Arkansas State Chamber, were guest speakers at the summit.

After the three-hour meeting where all issues were identified and discussed, attendees voted for the issues that mattered the most to them.

Business on 10/29/2018

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