In recent months, The Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce has played a significant role in helping to identify local concerns and facilitate solutions with entities or programs such as the Metropolitan Planning Commission, the Industrial Tax Exemption Program, and the Airport Authority.
In addition, the Greater Shreveport Chamber takes voter education very seriously and has a long track record of leading the way in providing unbiased, fact-based information on the candidates and their platforms. In 2018, the Chamber interviewed 35 of 45 candidates running for office and the Chamber expects to surpass that number in the **2019 cycle.
In 2018, our voter education efforts tripled when we undertook a “never-been-done-before” 3-night, back-to-back series of live, televised Mayoral Forums. The Greater Shreveport Chamber worked hard to orchestrate and choreograph three Mayoral Candidate Forums, held in three different community locations in partnership with three different colleges and broadcast by three different TV stations with three different themes to base the questions on. Each night, the candidates fielded questions submitted from our Chamber member investors and the community in front of a live audience, while the forum was also being televised live. At the end of the 3-night marathon, the voting public had heard from all the candidates regarding their stance on Economic Growth, Education, Crime, Taxes, Good Governance, Infrastructure and Leadership.
The Greater Shreveport Chamber staff act as advocates for local business and has undertaken a commitment to monitor the legislature, devoting significant time to attending the deliberations during the Regular Session. We’ve recognized the need to report this information in a concise and timely manner to our member investors and created a separate chamber newsletter (sign up below) to keep member investors informed.
Each week, the newsletter provides updates on the emerging legislation and the progress of bills through the legislature, as well as analysis on proposed legislation and its potential impacts on the Shreveport-Bossier community and the State as a whole. If you’re interested in being added to our mailing list, please complete the form found on the Get Involved page.
As part of our advocacy efforts, during the 2018 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature, the Chamber President spoke on behalf of common sense regulatory reform for the states Riverboat Gaming legislation. These regulations had not been updated since the 1990’s and were impacting the competitiveness of the Casinos in the Shreveport-Bossier area. The legislation supporting the Greater Shreveport Chamber’s position was ultimately passed into law.
Additionally, and in conjunction with local partners, the Chamber has undertaken the support of numerous efforts on behalf of Barksdale Air Force Base. The Greater Shreveport Chamber received recognition for its efforts to help Louisiana join the multi-state compacts for nursing and physical therapists, which supported military spouses who rotate into Barksdale Air Force Base.
As part of our extensive Advocacy efforts, the Greater Shreveport Chamber has made it a priority to get in front of elected officials, not only on a city and state level, but also with those elected to serve us at the federal levels. To that end, the Greater Shreveport Chamber commits personnel, time and resources to travel to Washington D.C. three times a year, with the sole purpose of bringing the issues and concerns from home to our elected Louisiana representatives.
Each Spring, the Greater Shreveport Chamber collates the top issues affecting our region and drafts an “issues book”. Previous challenges, issues or needs have included transportation, waterways, and infrastructure. As in the past, in the month of April 2019, the Greater Shreveport Chamber collaborated with representatives from the Bossier Chamber of Commerce, Committee of 100 and Barksdale Forward and traveled to Washington D.C. to present our concerns to the entire Louisiana Congressional Delegation.
These annual trips have helped secure support from the entire Louisiana delegation for funding for I-49, for the I-220 gate for Barksdale Air Force Base, continued funding for the Red River dredging projects as well as continued attention from the Pentagon for critical operational issues at Barksdale Air Force Base including re-engine-ing the B-52.