Policy Issues - Iowa Chamber Alliance

Policy Issues

The Iowa Chamber Alliance (ICA or “The Alliance”) is a non-partisan coalition that advocates for economic growth policies and initiatives by representing leading Chambers of Commerce and economic development organizations across Iowa. The mission of the ICA is to drive a policy agenda that grows the state on behalf of our more than 17,000 members that range from small businesses to Fortune 100 companies. This effort includes developing a policy structure that encourages communities to build attractive places in which employers invest and employees thrive, showcasing local strengths that drive the state’s collective growth.

2020 was an extremely challenging year but showed that sound state budgeting principles and a business-friendly environment can provide an environment for economic growth even during multiple crises. The year included an unprecedented group of natural, public health and economic disasters with the onset and continued impacts from COVID-19, new terms in our vernacular like derecho and snow squall, and record unemployment claims with the associated economic downturn. 

The Iowa Chamber Alliance believes that in order to ensure a quicker economic recovery, it is important to balance businesses remaining open while ensuring mitigation steps are taken to protect both employees and customers. This balance is important because across our membership we have seen economic development expansion and attraction economic opportunities. The reasoning for these prospects is varied but it shows that Iowa continues to be full of economic opportunity.  
Having a job opening is only one step in creating communities of choice. To leverage these opportunities, our members need tools to leverage the authentic assets of each community to intentionally develop attractive places to live and work. Iowa consistently ranks highly in the area of “Opportunity” according the US News and World Report annual ranking of “Best States”. This metric combines affordability, economic opportunity, and equality. Each of our communities have different assets to build upon to fully maximize this opportunity. The Alliance encourages the Legislature to take advantage of existing value available statewide through work in five main areas: 

Recovery & Resiliency

TALENT

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

BUSINESS CLIMATE

INFRASTRUCTURE

The Alliance respectfully presents this agenda to the Governor, Legislature and to all Iowans for consideration in the 2021 legislative session. As various policy proposals are developed and debated, the shared goal ought to involve growing Iowa’s economy in an inclusive and beneficial way with specific support for:  

  • Those recommendations outlined by Governor Reynolds’ Economic Recovery Advisory Board;
  • Funding for existing programs and consideration of new resources that promote “placemaking” including quality of life and the arts;
  • Development of immediately deployable resources for large scale disasters when budget reserves are full for businesses to recover;
  • Favorable policies and additional funding for broadband priorities outlined through the Empower Rural Iowa Initiative;
  • Addressing barriers to employment such as student debt repayment or access to child-care;
  • Fully funding the Future Ready Iowa Initiative;
  • Supporting education at all levels from pre-school through post-high school options;
  • Developing and supporting incentives with proven return in targeted industries; and
  • Removal of the sunset for both the brownfield & gray fields programs.

 

2021 ICA State Policy Agenda

 

 

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