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The Advocates
The Advocates: The Chamber’s Work Supporting Military in Our Region
The military community is vital to the success of the Charleston business community. Joint Base Charleston (JBC) leads the state in economic contributions from the military community, with an annual impact of $12.7 billion. Beyond that, the base supports nearly 80,000 jobs in the Charleston region. Supporting Joint Base Charleston and the broader military community in our region is a key pillar of the Chamber’s government relations work. Read below to learn more about how the Chamber works to support our military community.

 Quarterly Commander’s Luncheons
The Charleston Region is home to a number of military commands. After discovering the commands did not all have the opportunity to collaborate and share information, the Chamber began hosting quarterly commander’s luncheons to offer Commander’s a chance to update their counterparts. Since its inception, we have begun briefing the commanders on projects of regional significance as well.

Military Advocacy
In my role as the state lobbyist, I act as a legislative liaison to senior-ranking military leaders in the Charleston region. The military cannot lobby, but they can tell us about the challenges they are facing. Recent legislative wins include Military Spousal Licensure, the Military Temporary Remote School Enrollment Act and the Military Retiree Income Tax Exemption. We look forward to passing more military-friendly legislation this session.

DC Fly-In
Our DC Fly-In trip includes visits with the Air Force, Navy, Army Corps of Engineers and Coast Guard. We use these meetings to show the Charleston region’s support for our armed forces and learn what issues are impacting the military at the federal level that we can share with our Congressional delegation.

Clear Path to Transition
Clear Path to Transition is a pilot event aimed at connecting our expansive network of retired military personnel with businesses in our communities to clear the path for service members to transition into civilian careers. The first networking event will take place on September 26th at 5 p.m. If you are interested in sending someone from your business to network with these highly skilled and qualified military retirees, please email me.

State of the Military
The State of the Military series is an opportunity for military leadership in Charleston to update the business community on their annual economic impact and their mission. This year’s programs have included updates from Joint Base Charleston Commander Col. Freeman and Coast Guard Commander Capt. Veronica Brecht. Our upcoming State of the Military event will feature the Naval Information Warfare Center Atlantic.

Minority Business Accelerator
The Lowcountry Minority Business Accelerator, presented by Bank of America, is committed to accelerating the development and growth of high-potential minority-owned businesses (including veteran-owned businesses), strengthening our region’s minority entrepreneurial community. The program provides participants with the opportunity for economic growth and prosperity. The MBA uses the award-winning and internationally recognized StreetWise ‘MBA’ curriculum created by Interise. The curriculum aids business owners in developing a three-year Strategic Growth Action Plan™, which is customized to their individual businesses and details the strategies and tactics the owner and staff will take to increase revenue, improve financial management and expand access to capital. Each participant will work one-on-one with mentors to help them achieve a successful outcome through the program. Applications for the 2024 MBA Cohort are now open. If you are interested in learning more about the program, please email Grace Hamilton or visit the Lowcountry Minority Business Accelerator page.

Strengthening the relationship between the community and military, working to support the military and their families and expanding the federal footprint in the region continue to be top priorities for our chamber. If you are interested in getting more involved with our military work, please email me.

Bailey Vincett, Director of Government Relations
Posted on
September 22nd 2023
Written by
Justin Allen