By: Christine Ross, MBA, MS, CCE, IOM, President & CEO, Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce and Executive Director, Bonita Springs Estero Economic Development Council
On January 21, 2016 leadership from the Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and Staff joined with leadership of the City of Bonita Springs for our annual legislative trip to the Florida State Capitol. With our legislative priorities in hand, we spoke to legislators and executives to ensure our support for business-friendly legislation, such as making permanent the tax break on purchases of capital equipment. We also advocated for enhanced funding for Enterprise Florida, transportation, and education. The day was packed full of appointments and topped off by a visit with Governor Scott and his Deputy Chief of Staff Brad Piepenbrink.
The information we gleaned from Secretary of Commerce and President of Enterprise Florida, Bill Johnson was exciting and encouraging. Greg Blose from the Florida Chamber of Commerce highlighted all the business-friendly legislation in the queue from their efforts and emphasized the tremendous state-wide job growth. In addition, we met with Senator Garrett Richter, Cissy Proctor – Executive Director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, Kathy Nobles – Bureau Chief, Standards and Instructional Support for the Department of Education, and Caitlin Murray – Government Affairs Director for the Office of Insurance Regulation.
The great thing about these face-to-face visits is the enduring impact it has on our relationships and successful advocacy for our business community. We are following all the bills and will report out at the end of session on how well we did.