Business Advocacy: A Year in Review

August 6, 2018

As the largest business organization in WNC, we are dedicated to serving as a voice for business and advocating to create a business-friendly environment. Corey Atkins, our VP of Public Policy, leads this effort on a local, state, and federal level through public policy forums, legislative receptions, and legislative visits. Our Advocacy & Policy Committee also plays a key role in pushing these initiatives forward.

Over the last year, we’re proud to have made significant strides in public policy. We secured funding for the I-26 Connector, an infrastructure vital for regional growth. We successfully lobbied for teacher pay increases, expanded economic incentives, and a Brunch Bill that loosens restrictions on alcohol sales.

We’ve also planted seeds for the future. In response to rising housing costs, we helped launch an affordable housing survey that will be used to develop affordable solutions for artists and creatives. We traveled to Savannah to gain strategic insight from the city’s business and community leaders. We checked the pulse of our business environment by conducting a Business Walk, and encouraged energy efficiency through our work with the Blue Horizons Project.

Here’s a complete list of how we’ve spoken for business in the past year:

Connecting with elected officials:

At these annual events, members had the chance to meet face-to-face with elected officials and discuss business.

  • Local Elected Officials Reception
  • Legislative luncheons with state representatives and senators
  • Held town halls with U.S. Representatives Patrick McHenry and Mark Meadows

Explorations of issues:

We gathered members across the region to strategize on emerging trends and issues.

  • 2018 Intercity Strategic Leadership Visit to Savannah with business and community leaders
  • Collaborated on Family Forward NC, a forum on family-friendly workplaces
  • Raleigh Legislative Visit and reception (attended by 7 other area chambers and their legislative delegation)


60+ members of our Advocacy & Policy Committee created and shared a legislative agenda.

  • Secured funding for I-26 connector project
  •  Successfully lobbied for expanded economic incentives
  • Successfully lobbied for teacher pay increases
  •  Successfully lobbied for Brunch Bill allowing alcohol sales before noon on Sundays


We’ve partnered with the community to deepen our understanding and problem-solve for the future.  

If you are interested in getting more involved with the Chamber’s public policy, contact Corey Atkins.