2017 Pro-Business Agenda

A primary function of the Lancaster Chamber is to advocate on behalf of the business community. In 2017, we will advance an agenda that seeks to improve the County’s business climate and competitiveness in key strategic areas.

Download our 2017 Pro-Business Agenda Here

ECONOMIC ENGINE:
A prosperous community driven by a healthy economy, thriving business and an enhanced quality of place.

Strategies:

  • Advocate for measures that would positively impact our business climate and strengthen our ability to create, attract, retain and expand jobs.
  • Advocate for responsible stewardship of state finances and a structurally sound, on-time state budget.
  • Advocate for the development of a tax structure that provides certainty, transparency and incentive for businesses to grow.
  • Advocate for efforts aimed at comprehensive property tax reforms.
  • Advocate for reforms to the unsustainable state employee, school district and municipal pension systems; as well as dedicated funding for the unfunded liability. 
  • Advocate for the voice of business on regulatory mandates with legislators and regulatory bodies.

Tactics:

  • Support the reduction of the Corporate Net Income tax and oppose increasing or expanding sales tax.
  • Support a two-year budget cycle.
  • Evaluate proposals for property tax reform in regards to their impact on the sales tax and local decision making.
  • Evaluate pension reform proposals (level-payments, graduated payments, budget cuts, etc.) and support a specific proposal.
  • Alert members to pending or imposed regulatory changes and provide information on compliance. 
  • Evaluate policies, programs and laws that encourage highly skilled immigrants to locate in Lancaster.
     

EDUCATION:
An education system that provides avenues for individuals to find a good job with family-sustaining wages, prepares students to be engaged in the community and provides a skilled workforce aligned with the employment needs of the business community.

Strategies:

  • Advocate for emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) in K-12 and postsecondary education that prepares students to become innovators and problem solvers. 
  • Advocate for consistent, stable and predictable education funding from the Commonwealth.
  • Advocate for alignment between public workforce development initiatives and economic development.
  • Advocate for mandate reforms that provide greater flexibility for local education agencies and postsecondary institutions.
  • Advocate for objective measurements of success for school performance.

Tactics

  • Represent business perspective as school districts develop Chapter 339 plans for vocational education.
  • Targeted marketing of business resources, including CareerConnect, available to K-12 students. 
  • Develop a plan for comprehensive exploration in STEM careers.
  • Explore tax credit options for hiring or training employees and develop position for advancement.
  • Evaluate strategies around school performance profiles - Future Ready PA or ESS Act (Every Student Succeeds).
     

WELL BEING OF PEOPLE:
A community that offers individuals a sense of opportunity for now and in the future to meet their basic needs.

Strategies:

  • Advocate for the inclusion of the business voice in the development of places2040 by the Lancaster County Planning Commission.
  • Advocate for expanding the availability of housing options for the County workforce.
  • Advocate for projects that increase available housing options and zoning in municipalities to support Smart Growth.
  • Advocate for the agenda of the Coalition for Sustainable Communities, specifically municipal pension reforms and Act 111 reforms.

Tactics

  • Participate in stakeholder meetings on places2040 and engage the business community to have a voice in the plan.
  • Evaluate plans for new housing options in Lancaster County and determine how best to support them if they align with the position statement.
  • Work in partnership with the CSC to pursue municipal pension reform.
     

COMMUNITY AND CULTURE:
A prosperous community that offers residents opportunities to expand their horizons through experiences that enrich their lives and actively engage them in the community.

Strategies:

  • Provide the community with an opportunity to hear from candidates in contested races on their views related to business issues.
  • Encourage local business and community leaders to consider candidacy for public office. 
  • Advocate for policies that support and leverage a diverse workforce and inclusive business practices.

Tactics:

  • Hold a primary and general election debate for Mayoral candidates for the City of Lancaster.
  • Hold a civic engagement academy.
  • When reintroduced, reach out to the Lancaster delegation regarding our support for LGBT non-discrimination.


PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT:
A community that recognizes and embraces the concept of sustainability of the physical environment by participating in the activities and planning.p>

Strategies:

  • Advocate for the County’s top priority infrastructure projects and projects on the Long Range Transportation Plan. 
  • Advocate on behalf of business as the Chesapeake Bay program advances, in conjunction with EDC, Ag Council, Conservation District, City and County.

Tactics:

  • Update the Transportation Vision.
  • Champion improvements to 222/30 and Route 30 eastbound.
  • Have dialogue with TTAC and MPO for updates on progress to priority projects.
  • In conjunction with partners, establish a funding source for Countywide Bay strategy coordination.


HEALTH AND SAFETY:
A healthcare system that provides individuals with options to access healthcare and that encourages individuals to make healthy decisions to be able to live life to the fullest.

Strategies:

  • Advocate for revisions to the Affordable Care Act that will improve the system and provide maximum flexibility to encourage employers to provide health insurance.
  • Advocate for improved flexibility for tax-preferred accounts for health care spending like FSAs, HSAs and HRAs.

Tactics:

  • Share our priorities with our Congressmen/Senators. 
  • Alert the business community to pending changes to the healthcare system.