We focus on the issues that matter most in our region and the communities we serve. The Chamber serves as the voice of business at all levels of government to help advance the mission of the organization to build business success, advance our region and help build and maintain a strong economic environment in Southwest King County.
We are members of the US Chamber of Commerce, the Association of Washington Business (Washington State's Chamber of Commerce), and The South Sound Chamber of Commerce Legislative Coalition. We also regularly meet with the economic development managers of the cities we represent, attend city council and town hall meetings, and take part in various committees and groups that benefit the Seattle Southside Region such as the Soundside Alliance.
The South Sound Chambers of Commerce Legislative Coalition
The South Sound Chambers of Commerce Legislative Coalition (SSCCLC) advocates for business and business-related policies impacting the South Sound region.
Collectively, we represent approximately 3,262 businesses employing more than 185,977 workers with over $100 Billion in revenue in the South King County and North Pierce County region. The primary goals of our Coalition are increasing jobs, competitiveness, and regional productivity. The South King and Pierce County region is an economic powerhouse for the state with significant manufacturing, retail, service and warehousing industries.
Member Chambers include: Covington, Fife/Milton/Edgewood, Kent, Puyallup/Sumner, Renton and Seattle Southside (Burien, Des Moines, Normandy Park, Tukwila, & SeaTac) Chambers of Commerce.
Transportation infrastructure remains a priority objective for the South Sound region.
With the passage of the “Connecting Washington” Transportation Act in 2015, many of the needed South Sound regional projects received funding authorization from the Legislature, including the major Puget Sound Gateway compilation of projects. It is imperative these projects continue to be funded to completion. In addition, the final designs must meet the priority goals of freight mobility and decreased traffic congestion.
The most valuable resource in the South Sound region is the people who live and work here. Our businesses and communities can only prosper with the right investments that improve the ability for people to thrive and find jobs.
- K-12 Education – Find a balanced approach to fully funding education that does not adversely impact the economy of the state or South Sound region. As the Legislature moves toward finding dollars to achieve the McCleary requirements, the SSCCLC will take a serious look at all funding mechanisms proposed and provide a review of impact on our region – both pro and con. The SSCCLC’s expectation is that all funding investment proposals for K-12 education are focused on equity and outcome gains.Career and Technical Education – The Legislature should ensure that adequate education dollars are going to CTE programs. Our K-12 schools must have the staff, space and equipment to provide students with opportunities for graduation and careers that don’t require a traditional academic education.
- Higher Education -- The members of the SSCCLC place a high value on education pathways that facilitate economic growth and include certificate programs, licensing and apprenticeship in addition to traditional associate and bachelor degrees. These programs should be included in any higher education funding plans.
Healthy and Safe Communities:
- Housing & Homelessness– The Legislature must ensure Growth Management Act implementation facilitates housing affordable to all economic segments of the population, including the growing homeless populations in our communities. Housing supply must be sufficient to meet actual demand. Public/private partnerships - and other resource investments - are also needed to help ensure access to affordable housing and other holistic approaches to solve homelessness.Mental Health – Investments must be made to ensure mental health care - including mental health care for juveniles - is readily available for ensuring safe and healthy communities.
While the economy in the South Sound region is impacted in much the same way as the rest of the state when it comes to minimum wage, regulatory requirements on business and taxes, our South Sound firms that create and provide jobs have some unique concerns:
- Trade, Aerospace and Manufacturing – The South Sound region is uniquely impacted by trade, aerospace and other types of manufacturing. It is imperative that the Legislature retain and support tax incentives that ensure trade and manufacturing firms in Washington State are nationally and globally competitive.
- Climate Change – Taxes on fuel should be for transportation, not Climate Change: It is imperative that our state maintain the use of fuel taxes for funding transportation projects which not only generate economic growth but also reduce congestion and thus unnecessary greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, the Legislature should avoid proposals which may directly or indirectly increase fuel costs as it evaluates alternatives to the gas tax for funding transportation.
- Preservation of Buildable Industrial Lands – In order to facilitate future economic development, a balanced economy and the creation of living wage jobs, the Legislature should act to discourage changing local land use designations of, or encroachment upon, buildable industrial lands.
- Trans-Pacific Fiber Cables – The Legislature should act to support the state’s competitive advantage as a “landing site” for trans-pacific fiber cables, specifically cables coming from the Asia continent. Cost comparisons between Washington and Oregon data and fiber hub installations show Oregon’s costs to be significantly lower which is jeopardizing the ability to recruit tech related business to our state and the South Sound region.
Association of Washington Business
Formed in 1904, the Association of Washington Business is Washington’s oldest and largest statewide business association, and includes nearly 8,000 members representing 700,000 employees. AWB serves as both the state’s chamber of commerce and the manufacturing and technology association. While its membership includes major employers like Boeing, Microsoft and Weyerhaeuser, 90 percent of AWB members employ fewer than 100 people. More than half of AWB’s members employ fewer than 10. For more about AWB, visit www.awb.org.
US Chamber of Commerce
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business organization representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions. Our members range from mom-and-pop shops and local chambers to leading industry associations and large corporations. They all share one thing—they count on the Chamber to be their voice in Washington, D.C.
2% of membership dues are used for lobbying and government advocacy and are not tax deductible as a business expense. For more information please contact the Chamber Office.