Issues of Impact 2022

The Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce works to promote and advance a vital, healthy business environment, advocating for public policy that will help our members and the 21 communities we serve to grow and prosper.  Rather than simply react to what policy makers propose, the Chamber will proactively and strategically define its agenda and move it forward through our advocacy efforts.

The BRCC Board of Directors continues to identify “workforce” as a leading challenge facing our region’s economy both today and in the future.  In addition, supporting all business sectors in their efforts to recover from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will remain at the forefront and drive the chamber’s efforts in 2022.  

Most importantly, The Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce will lead, support, innovate and collaborate in matters and initiatives related to increasing the diversity of our labor pool as well as our business environment and will focus on policies related to these key economic drivers:

Issues of Impact 2022:


Pandemic Response:

As a champion of business sustainability and resiliency, the Chamber will be part of the solution to support the community during a public health crisis. The Chamber will assist in providing the tools, resources and communication to bring attention to and help prevent and overcome similar challenges in the future.

The Chamber supports:

  • Bringing awareness to and advocating for policies, strategies, and financial initiatives at the local, state and federal level so that businesses and organizations can remain in business and financially viable.
  • Provide relevant and topical education, training and programming that best serves the needs of our members.

Health Care:

Health care remains a chief concern among employers as a significant cost of doing business, while this sector serves, attracts and retains employees in our region.

The Chamber supports:

  • Initiatives to support all sectors of health care service to recover from the economic and clinical effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • Expanding broadband capacity to all communities to sustain the successful advancement of telehealth access to care.
  • Strategies to reduce the cost of healthcare premiums for our members and their employees.
  • Allocation of resources to local communities to support evidence based treatment for Mainers suffering from substance use disorder.
  • Results focused work with health care organizations, higher education, policy makers and others to solve the shortage of nurses and other health care professionals.
  • Policies focused on social detriments of health including reducing poverty, food insecurity, domestic violence, crime and child abuse.

Education & Workforce Development:

A continuum of lifelong educational opportunity and achievement is essential to the region’s economic health and quality of life.

The Chamber supports:

  • Efforts and initiatives to increase the number of individuals accessing and achieving credentials of value from pre-K to higher education.
  • Creating opportunities for people of all ages to explore and pursue careers in our region through expanded program pathways, internships, experiential learning and apprenticeships.
  • Collaboration between businesses, educational institutions and governmental agencies to encourage workforce development and training focused on the needs of employers.
  • Coordination of post secondary opportunities with economic development initiatives focused on the preservation and expansion of Maine’s natural resource assets.

Childcare:

Access to affordable and reliable childcare is necessary to ensure working families can remain in the workforce.

The Chamber supports:

  • Initiatives at the local, state and federal level to support the creation of new and the expansion of existing childcare facilities.
  • Opportunities and incentives for larger employers to provide onsite childcare.
  • Expanding educational opportunities to increase the availability of childcare providers and workers.
  • Solutions that will allow existing childcare providers to offer competitive wages and benefits to attract and retain workers.

Social Equity Impact:

Addressing social issues in our region is critical to a healthy, vibrant, and productive community and workforce.

The Chamber supports:

  • Embracing a culture of and continuing education focused on diversity, equity and inclusion with our members and community.
  • The successful integration of service members, veterans, individuals in recovery and with disabilities into our communities and workforce.
  • Initiatives that welcome new citizens and their families to our region while assisting them with their transition.
  • Programs that provide community members of all ages with opportunities to engage with and contribute as volunteers and workers.

Connectivity and Communications:  

Broadband capacity and communication capabilities are critical to economic development and to the attraction and retention of businesses and workers to our region.

The Chamber supports:

  • Policies and investments that will allow for greater permeation of high speed broadband to support employers and remote workers, educational institutions, health care providers, tech based companies and home based businesses.
  • Economic development strategies to attract companies and remote workers with a high demand for bandwidth, leveraging the infrastructure that is in place.
  • Promotion of regional collaboration between communities for shared resources including public/private broadband partnerships.

Innovation & Entrepreneurship:

The future of our region’s economy and workforce is tied to investments in innovation, research, development and commercialization.

The Chamber supports:

  • Increasing investment in research, development and commercialization.
  • Converting research into new business and jobs by supporting business accelerators, incubators and related programs.
  • Attracting and retaining students for future jobs through investments in modern STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) educational facilities.
  • Working with the stakeholders in the region to create, develop and promote an environment that fosters entrepreneurship and innovation.
  • Supporting networking efforts among young entrepreneurs to help them develop as leaders and foster a social network to support their growth.

Transportation & Infrastructure:

A robust transportation system and investments in infrastructure supports economic growth, spurs job creation, and enhances the quality of life and attractiveness of our region.

The Chamber supports:

  • A comprehensive state plan including infrastructure investments for the repair, maintenance and expansion of roads and bridges.
  • Public transportation, pedestrian and recreational amenities that enhance the livability and attractiveness of our region for residents and visitors.
  • Supporting the operations and expansion of the Bangor International Airport including passenger, freight and ground services.
  • Preservation, upgrading and expansion of transportation options including rail and ports.
  • Supporting the development of the Bangor Transit Center to enhance public transportation to and from Bangor and surrounding communities.

Taxation & Policy:  

A heavy tax burden on Maine people and businesses discourages growth and impedes the ability to attract and retain professionals and their families to work and live in our region.  

The Chamber supports:

  • Taxation, policies and procedures that encourage business investment and growth.
  • State tax policy that is consistent with federal law so as not to further burden Maine businesses.
  • No increase in, and ideally a reduction of the overall tax burden for Maine people and businesses.
  • Tax policies that make Maine more attractive for the recruitment and retention of residents and workers to meet the workforce needs of employers.
  • Tax policies that provide an incentive for retirees to stay in Maine as well as attracting others.

Housing and Neighborhoods:  

A diverse, affordable and sustainable housing stock, along with safe, vibrant and welcoming communities is critical to attracting and retaining workers and their families to our region.

The Chamber supports:

  • The development of rental units and affordable housing, to attract more residents and spur economic activity.
  • More housing options for individuals, families and retirees through rehabilitating aging housing stock and investments in new housing developments.
  • Initiatives to make communities, downtowns and neighborhoods safe and attractive to those who wish to live and recreate in the same communities where they work. 
  • Initiatives to develop new and innovative ways to build, heat and power homes and businesses.
  • Smart and effective public policies, including state and local tax incentives designed to attract investment in our housing infrastructure.

Energy:

An energy policy that encourages and facilitates lowering energy costs for Maine residents and businesses is critical to attract, retain and grow businesses and jobs.

The Chamber supports:

  • Further construction of wind, biofuel, solar and geothermal technologies as well as alternative transportation to lower energy costs.
  • Strategies, programs and policies that encourage businesses and homeowners to upgrade to more efficient heating and lighting.
  • Construction of energy developments to provide reliable and low cost energy for users and improve the reliability and security of transmission and distribution networks. 

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