The North San Antonio Chamber represents over a thousand business members and industries that employ more than 150,000 employees throughout Bexar County and has a long history as an advocate for business-friendly initiatives and legislation and works to ensure that the voices of Member businesses are heard and represented at the local level, at the state level during Texas Legislative Sessions, and at the federal level.
The North SA Chamber advocates at the local level year-round, monitoring legislative and policy-making activity at City Council and the County. The City Council Scorecard reflects San Antonio’s elected officials recorded votes on key issues impacting economic growth and development throughout their two-year city council term (Spring 2019 – Spring 2021). This informative tool provides a standing record of how each Councilmember and the Mayor vote on pro-business issues. It is important that our Mayor and City Council consider the impact on San Antonio businesses and their diverse industries— the job creators and wage providers for this city—when considering how they will vote on issues.
STATE & FEDERAL ADVOCACY
2021 | The 87th Texas Legislature and the 117th U.S. Congress will each be in session beginning in January 2021. Under the leadership of the Government Affairs Council Chair and the Legislative Chair, and in collaboration with the Infrastructure Council and the Workforce Council, the North SA Chamber will work with the Bexar County legislative delegation as well as other legislative and elected leaders to champion a pro-business agenda and ensure that the voices of business – large and small, are heard and that the policies and legislative issues that are important to them are represented in Austin and Washington D.C.
While the 2019 Session was successful with school finance reform and property tax relief, the 87th Session will be extraordinary with an expected budget shortfall with the Legislature prioritizing redistricting; healthcare; and recalibration of school finance and education and the economy and workforce impacted by COVID-19.
We will advocate for comprehensive legislation that helps to recover, restore, and expand business and our economy, especially small businesses impacted most by COVID-19 pandemic; and help the immediate need for workforce and job growth in hard-hit industries, including opposing pandemic-related restrictions, limitations, and government overreach imposed on businesses. We support legislative efforts that sustain continued economic growth and job creation that includes a broad, long-term view of the impact of business and employer regulations, economic development, education and workforce development, infrastructure and innovation, and the defense community and Veterans.
In addition to the COVID-19 legislative priorities, the North SA Chamber will focus its advocacy by actively engaging business leaders, stakeholders, and legislators in these primary areas:
Business Regulation & Employment Relations
- Employer Mandates—The North SA Chamber monitors and assesses, recommends, and advocates on issues related to challenges, needs, opportunities, and overall strategies impacting successful business, economic growth, and job creation such as legislation and policies with employer mandates that include prohibitive regulations and other governmental actions that limit employers’ rights that are unconstitutional or hinder free enterprise.
- Incentives, Travel, Tourism, Entertainment, & Hospitality—The Chamber supports the continuation of local and state incentives that supplement and increase local economic development strategies to retain existing and recruit new employers and create new jobs. Advocate for incentives that contribute to recovering industries and oppose efforts that could hinder workforce recruitment, business attraction/relocation, and tourism.
Education & Workforce
- Education & Workforce Finance—San Antonio’s future workforce depends on education opportunities for all. Therefore, we support full/expanded HB3 funding. Support a balanced approach to the distribution of public- and private-education funds and resources. Support funding and resources that lead to a strong workforce for in-demand and high-need occupations and TRBs for public higher education capital construction projects.
Infrastructure & Innovation
- Transportation & Ports, Energy, Technology, & Healthcare—Preserve existing and support new revenue sources for all transportation modes. Support innovative, cost-effective solutions strengthening all aspects of energy and utilities. Support innovative technology and broadband connectivity. Support expanded consumer healthcare access with lower business costs. Support funding for biomedical research and higher education infrastructure.
Veterans, Defense, & Military
- Military & Veteran Workforce—The North SA Chamber supports legislation that promotes the training and placement of transitioning Veterans to the civilian workforce, such as limiting barriers and fast-tracking certifications. Support legislation that protects local military installations from BRAC activities, including increased DEAAG funding.
- Government Affairs—The North SA Chamber explores legislative, political, and civic issues, and works with other businesses, community groups, chambers of commerce, and city, county, and state government and agencies to solve problems. The North SA Chamber Board of Directors takes positions of endorsement or opposition of such issues.
- Infrastructure—The North SA Chamber monitors and assesses, recommends, and advocates on issues related to infrastructure and innovation including transportation; energy and utilities; innovative technology and broadband connectivity, and healthcare, biomedical research, and higher education infrastructure. The North Chamber Board of Directors takes positions of endorsement or opposition of such issues.
Periodically, through partnerships with concerned entities, the North SA Chamber will initiate special projects and endeavors that improve or advance the business, civic, higher education, or city/county government sectors. Such projects are typically identified by the Government Affairs Council, Infrastructure Council, and Board of Directors, and are voted on and either endorsed or opposed by the Board of Directors prior to implementation.
City Vision for San Antonio (Annual Program)
Attendees hear firsthand the Mayor’s plans for San Antonio during a luncheon program featuring a keynote address by the Mayor of the City of San Antonio.
State of the County Address (Annual Program)
Attendees get “the Bexar facts” regarding County priorities directly from the Bexar County Judge during a luncheon program.