Issues of Impact 2023

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. 

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.

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 that provide access and reduce barriers to increase the number of individuals 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.

Health Care:

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

The Chamber supports:

  • Initiatives to support all sectors of health care services to recover from continued economic challenges made more severe by 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 health care premiums for our members and their employees.
  • Initiatives to engage local communities to provide access to 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, physicians and entry level healthcare workers
  • Policies focused on social detriments of health including reducing poverty, food insecurity, domestic violence, crime and child abuse. 


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.
  • Efforts that address the needs of and are working to find long term solutions for the unhoused population.

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:

  • Cost effective 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 businesses 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 bus, rail and ports.
  • Expansion of the availability and infrastructure to support electric vehicles.

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.
  • Tax policies that incentivize the adoption of new technologies that reduce the cost burden to Maine people and businesses.

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.
  • Policies and initiatives to assist the unhoused population find suitable and affordable safe housing. 

Energy and Climate Change

An energy and climate change policy that encourages and facilitates lowering energy costs for Maine residents and businesses while protecting the environment.

The Chamber supports:

  • Further construction of wind, biofuel, solar and geothermal technologies to lower energy costs.
  • Strategies, programs and policies that encourage businesses and homeowners to weatherize and upgrade to more efficient heating, cooling, lighting and refrigeration systems.
  • Improving energy infrastructure through energy storage and reliable and secure transmission and distribution networks. 
  • Policies and initiatives that address the effects of climate change, while not putting Maine businesses at an economic risk, while seeking solutions in response to the needs of Maine businesses and people.

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