2016 Public Policy Agenda

The Columbia Chamber strives to promote issues that are important to regional growth and support public policy and economic development. By creating and maintaining a unified body, we continue to make great progress in developing a regional vision.



Infrastructure is essential in order to sustain existing businesses and support new business development.

The Columbia Chamber Supports:

  • Implementing Richland County’s Transportation Penny projects efficiently with accountability and transparency.

  • Identifying a solution to the City of Columbia’s current and future parking issues.

  • Relocating the Sumter Street COMET bus station to a location that will better encourage business growth without compromising the safety and convenience of COMET users.


The cost of doing business in the City of Columbia and Richland County is much higher than that of comparable communities, which directly influences a business’ decision to locate or expand in the region.

The Columbia Chamber Supports:

  • Reducing the over all cost of doing business and creating a more competitive region by limiting tax increases.

Regulatory Efficiency

A streamlined permitting process is necessary to foster a climate that welcomes new business and creates economic growth.

The Columbia Chamber Supports:

  • Working with the City of Columbia and Richland County to develop a plan that eliminates bureaucratic obstacles, creating a business friendly environment.


Water and Sewer improvements are necessary in order to support the growing business and residential communities.

The Columbia Chamber Supports:

  • Investing in Columbia’s water and sewer system repairs in order to find a long-term solution to current issues without burdening businesses or residents.



South Carolina must invest in transportation infrastructure in order to drive economic growth.

The Columbia Chamber Supports:

  • Securing a sustainable, recurring funding solution for maintaining roads and bridges.

  • Advocating for interstate and interchange improvements as well as secondary road maintenance.

Education and Workforce Readiness

A highly skilled, well-educated workforce is critical to increase job opportunities and long-term business growth within the region.

The Columbia Chamber Supports:

  • Working with elected officials to identify tax incentives for workforce development as well as training for small and medium businesses, including SucceedSC, ReadySC and TransformSC.

  • Implementing educational campaigns highlighting the opportunities that technical degrees provide students.

  • Encouraging the private and public sectors to work together to ensure local workforce needs are addressed.

  • Working to identify best practices where local companies and schools collaborate to create workforce ready graduates.



Military bases in South Carolina account for a significant portion of the state’s total economic activity.

The Columbia Chamber Supports:

  • Working with Congressional leaders to maintain and grow the region’s defense industry by providing strong support for Fort Jackson.

  • Identifying military and community partnerships and promoting their successes.

  • Advocating for reduced or eliminated state income taxes for military retirees to be the retirement community of choice.