2019-2020 GRCA Pro Business Policy Agenda
The Greater Reading Chamber Alliance serves as the front-line advocate for business and community. We provide a bridge between business, community and government – helping our federal, state and local officials to acknowledge the challenges businesses face, while providing business-friendly solutions to regulatory, legislative and workforce issues. Through lobbying, testifying, developing key relationships, grassroots activities, tracking bills and regulation, we promote a Pro-Business Policy Agenda. GRCA will continue to work with our members and community to keep everyone engaged in the process to build our healthy, competitive business community.
Our interactive ‘Advocacy Center’ on the drop down menu provides information on upcoming Business & Community Advocacy Forums, the latest Advocacy news, hot topic issues, legislation, policies, and information on elections, voting, and elected officials and much more.
The Greater Reading Chamber Alliance serves as the voice for business at all levels of government. We represent business and community interests and viewpoints on current issues facing the Greater Reading Region utilizing our established Policy and Position Process. We build effective relationships with our elected officials to be part of the process and promote our pro-business policy agenda focused on our economic vibrancy. Our engaged Business & Community Advocacy Council meets regularly to identify evolving policy/issues and promote our member driven pro-business policy agenda. Our Partners in Advocacy & Community Leadership support the transformational work including the Advocacy & Community Leadership Event series. With these priorities in place, we continue to lead, advocate, educate and inform members on the various issues that will affect them.
Driving Economic Growth
Support the funding of economic development programs that have positive social and economic impact in Berks County. Our economy has evolved and, where appropriate, legislative, regulatory and comprehensive key grant program should be modernized to be more flexible and effective.
Providing a Skilled Workforce
Economic viability and long-term prosperity for Greater Reading – Berks County depends upon a well-educated and skilled workforce, paired with a healthy talent pipeline that addresses the growing skills gap identified by our companies.
Improving the Business Tax Structure
Pennsylvania’s corporate taxes and tax rate continue to put the Commonwealth at a competitive disadvantage. Comprehensive reforms of and reductions in business taxes are still necessary to help stimulate economic development.
Responsible Budget and Government Spending
We encourage the PA legislature and Governor to work collaboratively towards a performance-based, on-time budget process, without reducing the effectiveness of essential government programs, while understanding that all opportunities for cost-savings and efficient spending should be exhausted before new or higher taxes are considered. Congress needs to manage spending and establish sustainable revenues to deal with debt and not rely on continuing resolutions.
Modern, Safe, efficient and Reliable infrastructure
Ensure our infrastructure is adequately funded to enable construction and maintenance of our aging transportation and utility systems along with other infrastructure. Modern, safe, reliable and efficient Transportation Infrastructure Systems are a core function of government. Transportation systems and utility infrastructure is vital to attract and retain quality businesses to grow the economy, increase regional and PA competitiveness, and retain/create jobs. Including but not limited to: Transportation, Transit/Mobility, Energy, Broadband and Water/Wastewater.
Balanced Labor + Employment Laws
Changes to labor relations and employment policies are necessary to facilitate a fair work environment and address abuse. Our members support reforms to the unemployment compensation, workers’ compensation and welfare systems that focuses on returning injured employees to full health and function. Employers oppose excessive mandates that unnecessarily increase the cost of doing business.
Affordable + Accessible Benefits
Berks County employers want to be able to offer workers quality, affordable health care options. We will continue to advocate for reforms to the heath care, insurance and medical liability that will improve the system, providing flexibility to encourage (rather than mandate) and promote competition.