Public Policy, Advocacy and Activisim

The Shoals Chamber of Commerce does not endorse candidates for public office.  We pride ourselves on successfully building and maintaining strong bipartisan relationships with key partners in government at the local, state, and federal levels, regardless of party affiliation. We do believe it is in our members’ best interest take a position on ballot initiatives impacting the Shoals' business community. When the Chamber releases an issue statement, know that we have done the homework so you don’t have to. The Chamber is your trusted resource on Election Day.
The Northwest Council of Local Governments (NACOLG), Shoals Chamber of Commerce and Shoals Economic Development Authority (SEDA) support and promote infrastructure projects that are vital to existing and developing businesses and industries in the Shoals and support equitable funding for your counties, municipalities and institutions of higher learning.

NACOLG, Shoals Chamber of Commerce and SEDA have collectively identified the following issues to be of highest priority over the next 12 months:
  • Education
    • Implement equitable, evidence-based funding for institutions of higher education beginning with support of the following:
      • Project 208, which would include a minimum increase of 10 million dollars to the University of North Alabama's base appropriation.
      • Adequate funding and support for the Northwest Shoals Community College campuses in Muscle Shoals and Phil Campbell, and proposed Workforce Development Center in Lauderdale County.
      • Bonding capabilities that could be used for capital improvements and existing needs.
  • FEDERAL
    • Advocate for the addition and/or revision of Opportunity Zones with input from local officials and interested parties.
    • Support a solution to the Medicare wage index issue that would include setting a floor of at least 0.90.
    • Support the passage and implementation of the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund which has been proposed by the Federal Communications Commission.
    • Continue to support the Economic Development Administration with adequate funding.
    • Support the continued funding of the Northwest Alabama Regional Airport and its service to the Shoals through Essential Air Service.
  • STATE
    • Set aside state funding for public transportation, thereby making it possible to leverage federal resources to assist low-income residents in their efforts to obtain employment, become self-reliant and remain connected to their community.
    • Support the improvement of broadband access by funding, bolstering research and streamlining policies and procedures.
    • Set aside additional adequate funding in order to ensure sustainable mental health programming for our region.
    • Support the projects necessary to make the Port of Florence a vibrant asset to the local economy, including dredging and infrastructure improvements.
    • Support existing economic development agencies, including but not limited to the Shoals Economic Development Authority and Shoals Chamber of Commerce and their unified efforts to positively impact the economy, job market and quality of life of the Shoals region.

NACOLG, the Shoals  Chamber of Commerce and SEDA support policies that encourage entrepreneurship, business growth and increased employment opportunities.  We will actively monitor and report on legislation in these areas that we believe have the most direct impact on our community.
  • Education - We will support legislation that enhances the quality of public education at all levels while encouraging fiscal responsibility and accountability.  We support funding mechanisms that are sustainable regardless of economic conditions including Pre-K, Shoals Scholar Dollars and Entrepreneurship Scholarships.
  • Tort Reform - We will support legislation that protects employers from frivolous lawsuits through reducing the filing of frivolous lawsuits through modifications to the Alabama Litigation Accountability Act and the Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure.
  • Employment - We will support policies that preserve Alabama as a "right to work" and "employment at will" state.  We will oppose policies that disproportionately tax or that impose additional burdens on employers.
March 2019

The Shoals Chamber of Commerce and the Northwest Alabama Council of Local Governments (NACOLG) support and promote infrastructure projects that are vital to existing and developing businesses and industries in the Shoals.

The Chamber and NACOLG have collectively identified the following issues to be of the highest priority over the next 12 months.

Federal

  • Support the widening and connection of Highway 72 in Lauderdale County, ideally through the utilization of a BUILD transportation Grant, in order to facilitate industrial recruitment and development in eastern Lauderdale County.
  • Support adequate, full funding of those entities and resources necessary to complete the 2020 census.
  • Support a solution to the Medicare wage index issue which would include setting a floor of at least 0.90.
State

  • Support a dedicated state funding mechanism for the improvement of local infrastructure.
  • Support the improvement of broadband access by funding expansion projects, bolstering research and streamlining policies and procedures.
  • Continued support of the Northwest Alabama Regional Airport and its service to the Shoals through Essential Air Service.
  • Support equitable, evidence-based funding for institutions of higher education.
  • Explore viable options for re-purposing and re-utilization of the former Colbert Steam Plant and adjacent port.
  • Support the continuation of the Alabama Jobs Enhancement Act otherwise known as HB317.
  • Support a bill to assist breweries in the state of Alabama which would include:

    1) Simplifying the taxes on taprooms with a flat fee as well as reducing the taproom tax penalty, thereby removing the existing penalization of breweries selling beer out of their local taproom;
    2) Enabling brewery employees and owners to serve on charity and non-profit boards without penalty to said charity/non-profit entity; and
    3) Supporting an increase in production limits for brewpubs and allowing brewpubs to package their own product for offsite sales.
The Chamber and NACOLG support policies that encourage entrepreneurship, business growth, and increased employment opportunities.  We will actively monitor and report on legislation in these areas which we believe has the most direct impact on our membership.

  • Education - We will support legislation that enhances the quality of public education at all levels while encouraging fiscal responsibility and accountability.  We support funding mechanisms that are sustainable regardless of economic conditions, including Pre-K, Shoals Scholar Dollars and entrepreneurship scholarships.
  • Tort Reform - We will support legislation that protects employers from frivolous lawsuits, through reducing the filing of frivolous lawsuits through modifications to the Alabama Litigation Accountability Act and the Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure.
  • Employment - We will support policies that preserve Alabama as a "right to work" and an "employment at will" state.  We will oppose policies that disproportionately tax or that impose additional burdens on employers.
  • Serve as the leading advocate for the Shoals business community at the local, state and federal level in order to foster and sustain a pro-business climate.
  • Identify and aggressively advocate for policies and procedures within local, state and federal government that promote economic development and business growth, including comprehensive zoning, design and development and standards and tax incentives.
  • Advocate for local, state and federal investment in both short and long range transportation projects tha spur economic development and enhance the quality of life in the Shoals area.
  • Create an annual local, state and national legislative agenda.
  • Act as the Shoals area business "watchdog" in identifying, exposing and opposing regulations and mandates that would have a chilling effect on business.
  • Establish regular information sharing sessions with Shoals area elected and appointed public officials to ensure clear understanding of issues of importance to the business community.
  • Endorse and support pro-business issues and legislation.
To effectively serve as the leading advocate for the Shoals business community at all levels of government.

Contact the Chamber

Staff email address can be found here. Voicemail is available at 256.764.4661.

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