Government Relations

The Charleston Region's Collective Voice

Advocating for a Thriving Community

Thriving communities don’t just happen. Rather, they are the result of smart planning, collaboration and dedication to driving solutions. The Chamber’s government relations team works tirelessly to build and nurture relationships, address our region’s critical issues and advocate for a healthy business environment – all so the collective voice of the region’s business community is heard. So you can focus on your business, while we focus on ensuring your business has a thriving community to prosper within. So that each one of our community members has the opportunity to advance and enjoy a top-notch quality of life.

Our team advocates at the federal, state and regional levels and takes a proactive and collaborative approach to tackling issues.

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Regional Advancement

We advocate with local governments region-wide for traffic, housing and land use solutions that support smart, sustainable growth.

Top Priorities

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Champion Advocates are grassroots leaders working to change public discourse by spreading a positive message about our region’s growth and development. Mobilization includes engagement on social media, with personal networks and occasionally in front of elected councils to share facts about the region’s progress and reinforce the need for smart policies and planning to accommodate our future growth.

State House Influence

With a full-time Business Lobbyist working at the State House every day of the legislative session, we are enhancing the region’s business climate by advancing critical state legislation.

Priority Issues

  • Targeted education and workforce policy changes to address the talent gap.
  • Legislation to facilitate the development of workforce attainable housing.
  • Support military base retention and expansion.

During the 2018 legislative session, Chamber Lobbyist George Ramsey was in Columbia 53 days and had 68 meetings with legislators and staff.

Federal Policy

We advocate on federal policies impacting trade, infrastructure, immigration and defense to advance the prosperity of our region and the organizations that call the tri-county home.

Priority Issues:

  • We support international trade agreements that are fair, accountable, consistent and that reduce barriers to free and open markets.
  • To address our dire infrastructure system, we advocate for sustained infrastructure investment at a level adequate to complete identified priority projects region-wide and for streamlined federal infrastructure permitting.
  • Our metro is globally connected and would benefit from a comprehensive immigration reform that helps businesses attract and retain talented individuals who fuel our globally connected economy.
  • The Charleston region has a long military history. We support policies and investments that promote the retention and expansion of military operations and federal facilities in our metro.

Infrastructure Solutions

Infrastructure advancements are vital in our metro. To address our needs, we identify and advocate for our most critical road, transit, freight and stormwater projects.

Top Priorities

  • Update traffic demand assessment of Glenn McConnell Parkway Extension and develop an advocacy plan to advance the project.
  • Examine the region’s stormwater infrastructure needs, potential funding sources and update priorities documents to reflect the highest impact stormwater projects.
  • Collaborate with One Region partners to identify barriers and develop an advocacy plan to advance the Low Country Rapid Transit project.

Meet the Government Relations Team

Senior Vice President of Government Relations
Ian Scott
843.805.3089
Associate Director of Government Relations
Scott Barhight
843.805.3059
Business Lobbyist
George Ramsey
843.805.3116
Director of Regional Government Relations
Erica Wright
843.805.3002

Government Relations Resources

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