Glenn Hamer and Jim Norton
A new era is dawning for Arizona’s business community. Recently, the boards of directors of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Arizona Association of Industries (AAI) took historic steps to unite our two organizations. By combining these elite groups, businesses in Arizona will have a greater voice of influence at the state Capitol.
The Arizona Association of Industries has been a respected business advocacy organization in Arizona for more than 40 years. During that time it has represented Arizona’s manufacturing sector to ensure we maintain a competitive business climate and reduce the underlying cost structure for Arizona’s manufacturers.
The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry has existed since 1974. Its mission is to advance Arizona’s competitive position in the global economy by advocating free-market policies that stimulate economic growth and prosperity for all Arizonans.
With plans to merge in place, we have been asked a number of questions about how this change will affect the business community going forward. Below the answers to a few of those questions.
Why did AAI and the state chamber decide to merge≠
The Arizona Chamber and AAI are both statewide organizations with nearly identical agendas. It is only natural that we unite our common goals to be a more effective force in the state. Some reported we merged to create a stronger offense against organized labor or anti-immigration reform groups. For us the reason to merge comes down to this: Together with AAI we are a stronger organization representing the interests of all businesses in Arizona. By uniting we can more effectively oppose any group with anti-growth, anti-free-market interests.
What does the proposedmerger mean for AAI≠
By joining with the Arizona Chamber, AAI will provide stronger representation for Arizona manufacturers. AAI Chairman Mark Dobbins and members of the executive committee will join the board of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He, along with Arizona’s manufacturers, will play a critical role in developing the Arizona Chamber’s public policy agenda through the Arizona Manufacturing Council within the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
What is the Arizona Manufacturing Council≠
The Arizona Manufacturing Council will be the wing of the Arizona Chamber that develops public policy stances that affect the state’s manufacturing sector. The initial council will be comprised of the current AAI board members.
What are the Chamber’s goals moving forward≠
The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s goal is to unite advocacy efforts on behalf of business around the state. We seek to increase the voice of business at the state Capitol and among our Congressional delegation. Together with AAI, we will become a stronger force to promote a strong and vibrant Arizona economy.
What are the issues the enhanced organization looks
Despite significant past tax cuts, Arizona’s effective business tax rate is still higher than the national average. In the upcoming year the Arizona Chamber will work hard to promote a competitive tax agenda. This includes the permanent elimination of the state equalization rate, enhanced tax credits for research and development activities, and corporate income tax/insurance premium rate cuts. In addition, we’ll explore initiative reform and regulatory issues related to air and water quality; as well as provide input to congressional leaders developing comprehensive, federal immigration reform.
Please visit our Web site or call our office for more information. www.azchamber.com.
Glenn Hamer is president & CEO, Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Jim Norton is the director of the Arizona Association of Industries.
What does the merger mean≠ — 5 questions concerning Arizona Chamber, Association of Industries
Glenn Hamer and Jim Norton