While every business makes a meaningful impact on the community, businesses working together have an even greater influence. That's why advocacy is such an important part of the Chamber's mission. By representing our members' wishes on issues like taxation, legislation and economic development, we give businesses like yours an important collective voice in the community. And through regular programs like our breakfast and lunch forums, we work to keep you abreast of important and timely topics affecting your business.
Each time public officials - particularly lawmakers - make a move, it could result in new challenges for your business. As a business leader in Upper Arlington, you need to be aware of what is happening in all level's of government. Take this information, use it and get involved. Target your efforts. Make a strategic decision to put the power of our political programs to work for you. That's one reason why your Chamber established the Citizens for Responsible Economic Development Political Action Committee (CRED-PAC). CRED-PAC is an important advocacy tool that enables us to serve as your voice to advocate for our member businesses in Upper Arlington. For more information or if you would like to contribute, please contact the Chamber at 614-481-5710.
Visit the News and Events sections of this site or call the Chamber office at (614) 481-5710 for more information about current advocacy efforts and to learn how you can participate.
The mission of the Business Advocacy Committee (BAC) is to assist the Upper Arlington Area Chamber of Commerce in becoming a more strategic advocate for its members in order to strengthen the economic vitality of area businesses and to enhance the quality of life in the community. The BAC is charged with: reviewing key business and community issues, evaluating their merits, determining the potential impact to Chamber members and the community, developing positions on said issues, seeking Chamber Board input and approval, and articulating the Chamber's positions to its members and the public through appropriate communication mediums in a manner that will help shape public policy decisions and/or public opinion.
Issue Advocay Process
Issues can be brought to the BAC for consideration from several sources:
- Requests by a board member or committee member
- Requests by a Chamber member
- Requests by an outside entity or individual seeking Chamber involvement
In order for the BAC to decide whether or not to take a position on an issue and what that position may ultimately be, the BAC may require interested parties to either meet with the BAC to present their case and answer questions, and/or provide a concise written summary of the pertinent facts on the matter that includes why the Chamber should become involved.
The BAC will review these materials, conduct any additional research it deems necessary, and may decide to develop a position statement and a communication action plan to be submitted to the board for their input and approval. The BAC will make no promises to any person or entity to become involved in an issue without first securing board approval.
The BAC may choose to consult with outside resources or to form a taskforce to gain insight into a particular issue.
The BAC operates under the premise that it is under no obligation nor does it have the authority to take a public position on a business or community issue unless the board directs it to do so.
Proactive vs. Reactive Issue Advocay
The BAC will strive to be proactive in its work by anticipating issues and conducting due diligence in advance of critical deadlines. However, it must be recognized that issue advocacy is more often a reactive process prompted by late-breaking developments, discovery of previously unknown critical trigger points, and eleventh hour outreach from support-seeking entities with last-minute deadlines. Knowing that this is the more typical scenario, the BAC may need to convene at a moments notice to consider a critical issue.
Correspondingly, the board may need to respond quickly to the recommendations of the BAC in order to meet critical deadlines pertinent to the public posting of a position or a legal mandate. In these circumstances, the BAC would ask for the board's cooperation in responding quickly. The board may be polled in person, by telephone, by fax, and/or by e-mail to seek approval of a BAC recommended position. If a simple majority of the board agrees, the BAC will move forward and take the action approved by the board. If, however, a well-informed position cannot be agreed upon due to the lack of sufficient time, the BAC will not make a statement nor take a public position until and unless a simple majority of the board directs it to do so.
Issue Advocay Communication
The goal of issue advocacy is to help shape public policy decisions and/or public opinion on critical issues in order to strengthen the economic vitality of area businesses and to enhance the quality of life in the community. The value to the Chamber, its members, and the community of taking a position on a critical issue lies in the Chamber's ability to articulate and promote its position in appropriate public forums and/or communications mediums. To this end, the BAC will make recommendations to the board as to how the Chamber's position should best be expressed publicly.
The BAC recommends establishing a list of communications tools that the Chamber can use to articulate its position on issues:
- Chamber Resolution: A Chamber resolution would be a succinct and formal written declaration that would articulate the Chamber's position on an issue. It would state formally the specific points being endorsed and/or adopted by the Chamber. The Resolution could be sent to public policy makers or to the news media as appropriate.
- Chamber Issues Brief: A Chamber issues brief would be a concise summation of the pros and cons of an issue. The brief may or may not articulate a specific position. It is primarily used to communicate the Chamber's understanding of an issue and the recognition that there are multiple opinions to consider. An issues brief is valuable if the Chamber would prefer to stay neutral on an issue. yet demonstrate its understanding and involvement in the public debate. A brief can also be written in news release format for distribution to the news media, or formatted as a news story in the Chamber's newsletter. It can also be used as a vehicle to seek member input on an issue.
- Chamber Statement: A Chamber statement is a few sentences or a short paragraph that articulates the Chambers position on an issue. A statement can be attributed to the Chamber President, Board Chair, or designated Chamber representative for use with the news media. Statements are valuable when the news media calls seeking the Chamber's opinion on an issue.
- Testimony: The Chamber may elect to submit formal testimony before an official governmental body to indicate its position on an issue. Testimony should be written in narrative form and may be presented orally to the governmental body by a designated representative of the Chamber. The testimony is written in narrative form so it can be presented to representatives of the governmental body and/or the news media.
- Letter to the Editor: The Chamber may choose to write a letter to the editor to express its position on an issue. Letters to the editor are widely read and represent an excellent forum in which to advocate on key issues. Letters are most effective if they can be expressed in no more that 3 to 4 paragraphs.