July Word from the Chairman (2017)

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July 20, 2017
Texas Special Session – The Bathroom Bill
As an advocate for our local business leaders, the North SA Chamber opposes any legislation that weakens our city’s ability to attract talent or sustain the local economy. As support for a bathroom bill has grown in the senate, the voice of local business leaders and community partners has matched in opposition. Governor Abbott called a special session for the bill and the North SA Chamber joined with local chambers of commerce and community partners in expressing our concern on its’ impact to business operations in the following letter:
 
Dear Governor Abbott, Lieutenant Governor Patrick, and Speaker Straus:
 
During the 85th legislative session, San Antonio businesses stood together with the greater community in opposition to the discriminatory bathroom bills. As we enter a special session called by Governor Abbott, we write to reaffirm our opposition to discriminatory legislation such as SB 3, SB 91, HB 46 and HB 50.
 
As local business leaders, we oppose any law, statute, ordinance or rule that weakens our community’s private and/or public sector’s ability to attract talent and private investment or in any way limits San Antonio’s identity as a welcoming destination to visit, live, and work. Policies that discriminate against individuals or groups based upon gender identity, sexual orientation, veteran status, race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, or disability are not in keeping with the long history of inclusion that has been San Antonio’s promise, and they hamper Texas’ ability to compete in the global marketplace.
 
San Antonio’s economy has grown in part through the investments made in the bioscience, cybersecurity and manufacturing industries. As we compete for talent, it is imperative that our leaders not hamper our ability to attract a skilled workforce by passing discriminatory bills, or other related companions or amendments.
 
An economic impact study done by The Perryman Group estimates the initial impact of the bathroom bill on business activity in the San Antonio region to be a loss of $411.8 million annually and nearly 4,650 jobs. At maturity, the losses could be expected to rise to $689.2 million and nearly 7,780 jobs.
 
In total, 54 organizations issued an ultimatum to various Convention and Visitors Bureaus and Economic Developers throughout the state: Should discriminatory legislation similar to SB 3, SB 91, HB 46 or HB 50 pass, they will cancel their current projects and redirect them to alternate locations. In total, this represents $1,04 billion in economic impact through 2026.
 
We believe our economy is stronger when Texas is open for business to everyone. Therefore, we strongly urge you to oppose any discriminatory legislation.
 
This letter was signed and supported by the North San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, Alamo Asian American Chamber of Commerce, Alamo City Black Chamber of Commerce, LGBT Chamber, Women’s Chamber, West Chamber, South Chamber, Centro San Antonio and Visit San Antonio. To see the original letter with signatures please click here.
 
We are currently collecting signatures from business leaders who would like to show their support in a similar letter being sent later this week. If you would like to add your support, please contact Cristina Aldrete, EVP Business Development & Government Affairs at (210) 384-7730 or caldrete@northsachamber.com
 
Mayor’s Vision for San Antonio featuring Newly Elected Mayor Ron Nirenberg
In just a few short weeks the North SA Chamber will host Mayor Ron Nirenberg for his first major address to the business community since winning the runoff election in June. During the event on Friday, August 18th Mayor Nirenberg will lay out his vision for the city and ask participants to give feedback as we dive into new initiatives and a majority new city council. Over 500 attendees have already registered for this event and seating is limited. If you’d like to reserve a table, please visit the event registration page.
 
Community Video Project with CGI Communications
We are excited to announce a new partnership with CGI Communications, Inc. on a community video project. Through this partnership, the North SA Chamber will showcase our organization through a series of online videos that highlight everything we have to offer residents, business owners, and visitors. With an easily viewable interface on the official chamber website (www.northsachamber.com), this video program will allow viewers to learn more about our mission, programming, area attractions, economic development opportunities, quality of life, and so much more. In addition, we will be taking advantage of a new app called “Go Cast” allowing us to record member testimonial and publish it directly to our website. The North San Antonio Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to highlighting the advantages of living and working in our community, as well as providing programs that add value to our memberships.  
 
Representatives from CGI/NEXT! Ad Agency may contact you with an opportunity to highlight your organization through the program. While participation is optional, we encourage you to consider the benefits this will have for your business. It is the goal of CGI Communications, Inc. to provide the The North San Antonio Chamber of Commerce with the latest in digital marketing technology, in order to help North San Antonio continue to grow and thrive.

We are here to serve your needs and answer any questions you may have. Please feel free to contact Whitney Lewis, VP of Marketing & Public Relations at (210) 384-7725 or wlewis@northsachamber.com with any questions. To check out another chamber of commerce utilizing this program, visit the McCallen Chamber of Commerce website at http://www.mccallen.org
 
Changes at the North SA Chamber
I hope you will join me in welcoming the North SA Chamber’s newest Director of Membership Sales & Services, Jack Hathaway. Jack comes from a long history of working in the printing, fine paper and graphics industry. He has been a North Chamber Ambassador for the last two years and our chair for the last year and we are very excited about the knowledge and expertise he brings to our team! You can reach Jack via phone at (210) 602-1233 or jhathaway@northsachamber.com for any questions on membership and/or benefits. 

We are currently seeking applications for individuals with marketing, hospitality and/or event planning experience for our Manager of Special Events opening. For the full job description and instructions for applying, please click here.
 
Opportunities for Involvement
As we head into August and summer breaks for many come to a close, find a new place to plug in. Check out our Networking Breakfast on Tuesday, August 8th featuring several employees from Spurs Sports & Entertainment or reserve your table for the annual Small Business Leaders Awards on Wednesday, October 11th. Thank you for all that you do for our business community and to keep San Antonio strong!
 
Contact:
Whitney Lewis, Vice Pres Marketing & PR
(210) 384-7725