4 Ways Going to Washington Proves Profitable for the Local Business Community
Profits come in so many forms and when we typically think of the term “profitability,” it’s usually associated with money. However, as a 501(C)6 Non-Profit organization, we consider our relationships to be the most valuable asset we have. For that reason, we always appreciate the opportunity to leverage those relationships in order to further our mission to be the voice of progress in our hometown business community.
During the last week of February, we had the opportunity to further the relationships with our congressional delegates on behalf of moving Jackson County forward. First off, we would like to thank our members, city leaders and community partners who allowed us to have such a successful trip this year. The neat thing about getting the chance to visit Washington (every year) is the fact that we facilitate the opportunity to meet and communicate with congressional delegation leaders that we don’t typically have the opportunity to chat with on a day-to-day basis.
We fully understand there are laws passed in all year that effect you personally, and going to Washington is one way we provide an opportunity to let your voice be heard. This year was no exception, and we are excited to share the major highlights that contributed to making this such a successful trip.
On February 26th – 28th we met with all four of Alabama’s Congressional Delegates, to include Senator Richard Shelby, Congressman Mo Brooks, Senator Doug Jones, and Congressman Robert Aderholt to discuss projects that are currently in the works throughout Jackson County. With an exceptional response from all four, we feel confident that their coordinated efforts will further assist the innovative progress developing in our area.
On February 27th we met with Senator Doug Jones to ask him specifically for help growing the fishing industry in Jackson County. Although the tourism department here at the Chamber is actively responsible for bringing in several large fishing tournaments, we would also like to see an increase in business recruitment for industries from boat manufacturers, to rod and real stores and Doug Jones has connections in the industry that he is working to connect us too.
One of our newest board members, Bill Nance, is a retired general who’s worked for years with the Missile Defense Agency. Due to the great relationships he has made in that sector, he was able to help secure a meeting for us at Fort Belvoir during the final day of our trip. As Jackson County is situated so close to the nation’s largest D.O.D. contract city, we are looking to attract some of those same opportunities to our corner of Northeast Alabama.
Finally, we met with Bud Cramer former congressman of the 5TH congressional district, with FTI Consulting. He shared an update of what he’s working on to help Nuclear Energy LLC with the Belafonte project. We learned that Belafonte is still a very viable project, even with the lawsuit currently in works. There hasn’t been a court ruling either way yet, but Nuclear Energy LLC feels very positive about the possible outcome. If the case ends in a favorable decision from the judge, it looks like the project will move forward. If it does, it will be the largest industrial project that ever happened in the State of Alabama’s history.
We came home very hopeful of what came from this year’s trip to Washington and look forward to having just as successful of a trip when we go to Montgomery next month. Learn more about our upcoming Montgomery trip, HERE.