The Chamber of Commerce is an advocate for policies and actions that promote a positive business climate, economic growth, business investment in the community and tourism.
Chamber members, public officials, business leaders and community organizations frequently inquire about the policy positions of the Hutchinson/Reno County Chamber of Commerce. This information provides an outline of the issues the Chamber's Public Policy Advisory Committee and the Board of Directors have identified as core policy priorities and specific policy positions.
Core Policy Priorities
The Chamber supports the important role of government programs and support for economic development efforts, as well as the use of competitive incentives and workforce training and development programs intended to support the needs of existing employers and the recruitment of new business investment in the community and state.
Early Childhood, Childcare & Education
The Chamber supports the need for an adequate supply of childcare and early childhood education options to affordably meet the needs of the community, as well as education and workforce training programs to prepare a pipeline of workforce for the future. Quality community basic services, including childcare and education options, are important to attract and encourage young families to make their homes in Kansas and the community.
Health care providers and hospitals combined are the largest employment by sector in Hutchinson and Reno County and are important for the area’s economic health, quality of life and future development. The Chamber supports programs which ensure access to health care as a top consideration to prospective residents and businesses and as one of the keys to a productive and efficient workforce.
The Chamber recognizes and supports the need for an adequate supply of available residential housing as a key component to attracting a skilled workforce and maintaining the local qualify of life. Housing was named as one of the top priorities in the recent citizen survey and therefore we support the need for both housing rehabilitation programs and programs which encourage private sector development of housing options as an important tool to help retain and attract workforce.
The Chamber supports efforts to promote fiscal responsibility and thoughtful consideration of tax policies by federal, state, and local governments. The Chamber supports opportunities for local government cooperation, consolidation of public services and improving the working relationships between local governments and local businesses. The Chamber supports preservation of local control over the policies and governance of local organizations and boards. The Chamber supports the careful consideration of the American Rescue Plan Act funding, guided by the input from the citizen engagement process, to inform the allocation of the local priorities to be funded under ARPA.
The tourism industry in Hutchinson and Reno County is one of the key pillars of our local economy. The Chamber through our Visit Hutch division supports the implementation of programs that enable our area to compete for local, regional, national, and international events which supports the entire coalition of businesses involved and supported by tourism attraction.
The Chamber recognizes the importance of a quality, well-maintained comprehensive highway system, as well as regularly scheduled maintenance of highways and bridges throughout the state and supports preservation of a dedicated transportation fund to ensure that the South-Central Kansas region receives equitable distribution of transportation funding to build and preserve the infrastructure that is vital to business and industry.
The availability of sustainable natural resources is essential to meet the basic needs of all citizens and adequate supplies of clean air and water are essential for business and economic growth. The Chamber is an advocate of proper management of natural resources in a manner consistent with its members’ economic and business interests.
A skilled workforce is essential for economic growth and expansion of employment opportunities. The Chamber supports policies that provide incentives for investment in internships, apprenticeships, and technical education programs to match the needs of local employers and facilitate greater cooperation between businesses, schools, and community colleges to provide cost-effective opportunities for career and technical education.