The St. George Area Chamber of Commerce is committed to advocating on behalf of our members at the local, state and federal levels of government. The SGACC is a nonpartisan organization and is solely focused on advocating for policies or issues that promote the free market economy and empower entrepreneurs and business owners to drive economic activity and create jobs. We are also interested in community issues that directly promote or inhibit economic opportunity as detailed below.
A strong and robust economy demands a highly qualified and educated workforce. Educating and inspiring the next generation of business leaders is a top priority for the chamber. We should invest in our students and teachers. Decisions regarding education should be made at the local level. The Chamber will continue to partner with the Washington County School District, private and charter schools, and support higher education institutions like Dixie Tech and Dixie State University.
For St. George area businesses to operate at the highest caliber, they must be able to attract top-tier talent that has been properly trained. We rely on our partners in higher education to adapt their curriculum and training to support the workforce of tomorrow. The Chamber will continue to provide opportunities for business and community leaders to develop their professional skills in order to provide for a more competitive workforce.
Southern Utah has always been a strong leader in the medical and public health fields. Intermountain as an innovative medical hub has in many ways led this charge. The Southern Utah healthcare scene continues to be recognized as a bustling and robust system. Utahns, as a result, have enjoyed a high quality of life due to their healthy lifestyles. Thus, it is imperative that we continue to promote health-based educational institutions and learning in addition to showcasing local recreational activities that add to and promote a healthy lifestyle.
A competitive, diverse, and free-market economy is a healthy economy. We support entrepreneurs and business owners by promoting less government interference and regulation. Eliminating hurdles that stand in the way of entrepreneurship and business growth encourages a vibrant market that offers economic opportunity for all.
Without water, we cannot sustain economic growth in the St. George area. Water is a scarce resource. We support water conservation and preemptive measures to ensure that we have a water supply that matches our growth. Meeting our water needs is best accomplished through collaboration between government entities at the local, county, and state level and individual property owners. We believe in individual property rights, which include water rights.
Growth and Land Use
Land use policies must allow us to prepare now for the growth that is coming. If communities do not have control of or use of their lands, economic growth is inhibited. Land should be developed in ways that promote smart growth while maintaining the way of life that attracts so many people to southern Utah. Government and business should work collaboratively on land development initiatives.
Low corporate tax rates have made Utah, and Southern Utah one of the strongest economies in the nation. Our frugality with tax revenue and low tax rates have kept us competitive. We should maintain a business friendly tax environment to keep money in the pockets of Washington County residents and preserve our growing economy. We also believe in government transparency and accountability in how tax revenue is spent. The tax code should not pick winners and losers.
We support simplicity, transparency, and equality for all people applying to establish their business in Washington County. Businesses thrive in an environment with less regulation. They innovate, create jobs and impact the community in meaningful ways. Every regulation imposed by the government has the potential for unintended consequences and the chamber will actively engage in conversations to protect the rights of a business to operate and grow.
A strong economy requires an infrastructure to support it. In order to maintain a vibrant economy and great quality of life, infrastructure should precede growth. We know that our population is growing rapidly and we must prepare accordingly. Businesses will continue to grow as long as good infrastructure is in place. Infrastructure is also vital for tourism as millions of people visit our region and use our roads every year.
Southern Utah is an attractive tourist destination. Our national and state parks, lakes, rivers, and trails attract millions of people to our region each year. We support local businesses that serve and support the diverse needs of those visiting our area. We will advocate on behalf of our hospitality industry. We should maintain local input in the management of our natural resources to best serve our locals as well as the visiting public.
Our workforce needs housing that meets its needs and is affordable. We support a strong and diverse business base that attracts higher-paying jobs which will help residents afford the increased cost of housing that we are experiencing. To help mitigate rising housing prices, building and land use regulations should be reasonable as to not inflate the cost of building a home.
As our communities continue to expand with an influx of new residents and businesses year after year, we want to maintain and support the agricultural sector of our local economy. We support a diverse economy and promote agriculturally friendly legislative action that keeps those who produce on our lands viable and profitable.